Blog Archives

Review Recruit

I’m looking for some folks who’d be interested in swapping a free digital copy of my newest novel Exodus in exchange for an honest review at Amazon. Reviews are more important to authors than most people realize. For example, until I hit the 25th review, Exodus won’t show up in the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” or the “Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed” sections. Also, to do any sort of promotions or giveaways, I need a minimum number of reviews. That minimum varies from place to place, but it’s there.

So whataya say? I’ll give you a copy of Exodus, you read it, hopefully like it, and then head on over to Amazon to leave a review. A brutally honest review. If it sucked, say it sucked. The review doesn’t have to be long or perfect. It just has to be. And of course be honest.

In case you forgot what Exodus was about…

exodus-cover

 

At the height of the Great Depression, thousands of families who have lost everything are left with no choice but to make the pilgrimage westward in search of a new life. Some will find what they’re looking for. Some will not and will then be forced to make the long journey back home. Then there are the others, those who never make it to either place because they made a stop along the way in a town called Exodus, an abandoned silver mining town in eastern Arizona where nothing good ever happens and most folks never leave.

 

 

 

If you’re interested, you can let me know at kimberlyabettes(at)yahoo(dot)com. Thanks in advance!

Authors Reviewing Authors

A couple of years back, the news broke that certain authors had created fake or “sock puppet” accounts in order to a) leave fake good reviews for themselves and b) leave fake bad reviews for other authors. Deplorable, right? Shady, right? Juvenile, right? Yes, yes, and yes. I have never and will never do any such thing.

Since then, I have been in a bit of a quandary. I’d like your thoughts and opinions on the matter, so here goes.

What do you think about writers leaving reviews for other authors’ books? For example, when I read a book, I would love to leave a review. But then I remember all the hubbub over those fools who faked a bunch of reviews and I think no. I shouldn’t do that. Why not? Because people might think I did the author a favor or something by leaving a review, probably for a book I didn’t read (which I would NEVER do).

What I want to know is what you, the reader, think when you see that an author has left a review on a book. Do you think it’s honest and fair? Or do you think it’s some sneaky lie? Do you think authors should even leave reviews for books?

As a writer, I know just how important reviews are. If we were carpenters, reviews are our nails. If we were surgeons, reviews are our scalpels. If we were photographers, reviews are our cameras. Reviews are absolutely essential to what we do. Readers use them to judge whether or not the book is worth their time and money. Sometimes, when a reader is on the fence about investing so much of themselves into our work, those reviews are the deciding factor. Knowing this, it kills me to not leave reviews for fear of readers thinking it’s a fake, a lie.

It’s time to weigh in. Tell me what you think. And thank you in advance for your opinions. 🙂

 

Writerly Advice

Earlier today, I was perusing the social media and came across an author who was complaining about receiving 1- and 2-star reviews for their book. So I decided to give a little advice to any other writers feeling down about bad reviews.

Reviews aren’t there to fill the dead space on our Amazon profile pages. They serve a purpose. Well, they actually serve a couple of purposes. And though you may feel that one of those purposes is to make the author cry, you’re wrong. That’s not one of them.

Reviews are there to help readers decide whether or not to buy the book.

Reading a book is a huge investment of the reader’s time. In a world where there are so many other things competing for their time, you better make it worth their while. There are far too many good books out there waiting to be read for them to waste their time on a bad one. If they read a bad book, they get upset about it. Angry even. And understandably so. Some of those readers are willing to take a little more of their time and warn other readers to stay away from your book. It happens. You can’t keep them from having an opinion, but you can change their opinion. How? By writing better books.

Reviews are there to help the author better their writing.

If you, the author, are reading your reviews, then you should be learning from them. Did the reader find a lot of typos? Hire a proofreader and get those suckers fixed. Did the reader find a major plot hole? Fix it. Did the reader think you use a certain word too much? Stop doing that.

Now hear me out. I’m not saying do what each and every review says. Reviewers are giving their opinion, and sometimes their opinion is wrong. BUT–if several readers say the same thing, then there’s probably some truth to it.

When I first started out, I got some bad reviews. Hell, I still do sometimes. And yes, it bummed me out a little bit. No one wants to hear that the thing they created from nothing and spent long hours and possibly years working on is bad. But after looking at the reviews of some of the best in the literary world–Koontz, King, etc.–I saw that even they get bad reviews. Yes, even the giants have critics. That made me feel better. Then I remembered the old saying you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

So yes, you are going to get bad reviews from time to time. Even if your book is perfect and flawless, there will be someone who doesn’t like it. You have to learn to deal with that. Do the very best you can and let the rest happen as it will.