My Experience With Getting Book Reviews

Reviews. Who among us couldn’t use more? As the lifeblood of indie authors, they encourage readers to take a chance on our books, increase our exposure on Amazon, and get us that much closer to a coveted BookBub promotion. A good review can make your day and validate all those months (or years) of hard work. But what can you do to get them?

When my first book, Sarah, was published in December 2016, I went the NetGalley route. I’d been reviewing books from NetGalley on my blog since 2013, and knew Sarah would be made available to loads of readers and reviewers. And it worked. Sarah received sixty reviews just from NetGalley. Most of them were positive, and I was ecstatic! A few negative reviews were included, but that’s to be expected. You can’t please everyone, and it’s more realistic to have both positive and negative reviews for your book. If a reader visits your Amazon page and is met with a sea of glowing 5-star reviews, they may assume all are courtesy of your friends and family members. In addition to the reviews, I was thrilled to be accepted for a BookBub promotion about a month after my release.

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Ever Been Asked to be a Beta Reader?

What is a Beta Reader?

Through some phenomenal stroke of luck and maybe a healthy dose of Karma, my wife and I have managed to create three published books over the past four years. In all cases, these were, for us septuagenarians, major undertakings requiring the investment of huge sums of time, energy, money, emotion and sweat. We agonized over sentences, argued over the elements of plot, struggled with verb forms, squeezed out dialogue and tortured ourselves through the development of our characters. But one of the most difficult tasks was finding honest, subjective feedback of our drafts from our Beta Readers —avid readers who, when asked, cheerfully volunteered to comment on our manuscripts. 

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