How To Generate Reviews For Your Novels

The above photo was taken by my friend Shawn in Lima Peru.  I believe this is through one of the little windows in the Parque de Amor.  Nice work!

On my recent trip to Peru, I managed to get a copy of my latest book into the hands of a bunch of my friends.  Most of them actually read the book too, because we got into some nice discussions about it.  The general consensus is that Beyond Birkie Fever is a pretty solid little piece of entertainment.  It’s been released for almost a year now, and I’ve had enough feedback from enough people that I’m pretty certain that is the case.

I think most writers feel uncertain about their stuff and tend to tinker with it endlessly.  Even with Birkie, my publisher and editor got a little mad at me as I made elaborate changes even in the very late stages of the editing process.  As money gets committed and deadlines approach, people don’t see you as a “hard worker” when you start to rip up the floorboards the night before the opening day walk through.  Instead, they see you as a bit obsessive, which is pretty much standard for writer types.

But anyway, today, I sit here with the rewarding sense that I’ve written a legitimately good book.  So, once your initial concerns about the quality of the work are eradicated, it’s time to shift your energy towards getting the text into as many people’s hands as possible.

Reviews certainly help.  Especially Amazon reviews.  There is such a pack mentality out there that people like to see a book they are buying has been read and reviewed by hundreds of people.  It’s really kind of funny, for as much as people like to think of themselves as rugged individualists, nobody buys books that are sitting on Amazon with zero reviews.

You’d think it’d be easy to get people to write a few words for you when they’ve sent you texts, called you up, and told you in person that they were “inspired/amazed/enthralled” by your book.  But oddly, the second turning that text message into a few lines on Amazon gets involved, they suddenly disappear.

I’ve heard all kinds of excuses as to why no review on Amazon is forthcoming.  People have told me that they can’t write a review because they didn’t purchase the book there (this has never been the case with me), or that they can’t remember their password (password reset), or…meh…who knows what else.  I start to tune out the excuses these days.

What’s the real reason?

Could it be the lack of anonymity?  Well, you can write a review on amazon under a pseudonym.

Could it be a lack of understanding with the interface?

I don’t know.  I think it might just be that if something doesn’t happen right away, it’s just not going to happen.  It’s sort of like dating and falling into that “we’re just good friends” void of platonic contact.

Folks, my recommendation is this.  When somebody comes up to you and says, “I really liked your book!”  You need to pull out your laptop or tablet or blackberry or iPhone, fire up Amazon, and WATCH them type in a review.  Even if they just write Five Stars…GREAT! That’s a plus for you!  The important thing is to have them get it done right then!

We’ll see, but I’ve been promised reviews from: Larry, Rodney, Matt, and Shawn.  Keep checking back to Beyond Birkie Fever on Amazon to see if these reviews ever materialize.  Come on folks, it’s a small press!  Word of mouth is how this stuff succeeds!  At some point, it’d be nice to think I had a chance to outsell somebody like Snooki.  After all, I actually spent a good portion of my life…learning how to write.

Plus, I just legitimately want to read what you have to say.

For those of you who haven’t already, make sure you do me a favor a pick up my books Beyond Birkie Fever and The Bone Sword over at the Rhemalda Bookshop!  If you happen to write a review somewhere, please let me know!  Also, add Birkie and Bone Sword to your cart on!

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