Friday, May 20, 2016

GATU Early Reviewer Appreciation Giveaway

GIRL AGAINST THE UNIVERSE is finally out in the wild!!

Photo by Canadian blogger Amanda Stav (@bbbblogca)

I am really proud of this book. Not only is it fun and romantic, I think for readers who are dealing with anxiety or fear, it will resonate on a deeper level. Maguire has a great support network and a loving family, but things inside her head are pretty dark. My wish is that reading about Maguire slowly overcoming her issues will bring comfort and hope to people who are currently struggling. And if you're not struggling, then there's that whole fun and romantic part ;) Click here for more info about GATU and to read the first three chapters.

Aila made this and I am still in awe.

In order to help get the word out about Girl Against the Universe, I'm asking people who have read the book to consider posting a short review to the book-buying/review websites they frequent regularly. You can find links to several larger American sites in the sidebar by clicking on the icons on the "Available Now" widget. For your convenience, here are links to AmazonB&N, and Goodreads

Because your time is valuable, I've created an early reviewer appreciation giveaway. The first 40 readers (INT) who post an honest review of 50 words or more in three different places and fill out this form will all be mailed a copy of a limited edition fan art postcard created by Aila from One Way or an Author and a limited edition "Life is risk" sticker created by Ri from Hiver et Cafe. If you've already received Ri's sticker in your Uppercase box, I will send you a different cool sticker made by Silvana from The Book Voyagers. If you don't normally write reviews and 50 words feels like a lot, consider writing a "What I liked/What I didn't like" list format review.

But that's not all. One random winner out of 40 entrants will receive a $10 gift card to Amazon or an international equivalent. This giveaway is mainly geared toward getting some of the 250 people who have rated the book on Goodreads to write or cross-post honest reviews, but anyone who has read the book is welcome to enter. Contest ends June 1st.

Curious about why I want reviews so badly? Keep reading:

I've blogged about this before (see the reviews tag), but my thoughts have changed over the past couple of books. I don't read reviews much anymore. I will read extremely early ones just to see if people are reading my book the way I'm hoping they will and I will read friends' reviews and most of the ones tweeted at me because I feel like those probably won't crush my fragile writer soul ;) Occasionally I will read other ones, but these days I am try to do this full-time writer thing and that means in any given week I might be promoting 1-2 books, revising 1-2 books, drafting 1-2 books, and outlining 1-2 books. That's a LOT of voices in my head, so I try to minimize the reviewer voices--positive or critical--that get in there too.

But even if authors aren't reading them, reviews can impact the success of a novel in several ways.

1. There's the obvious way, where if a book has a lot of positive reviews, then a prospective reader might be more willing to take a chance on it. Positive reviews have the power to influence readers who are "on the fence."

2. There's the inverse (converse?) where a negative review might prevent someone who wouldn't like the book from picking it up, which is also a good thing. Multiple people wrote negative reviews for Liars, Inc. on Goodreads because it has sex and F-bombs. I would love to see those reviews on book-buying websites even though they'll lower my overall rating, because I don't want people who will dislike one of my books to buy it. GATU has neither sex nor F-bombs and I'm not willing to risk losing a potential reader forever to make one sale.

3. Sometimes just the sheer numbers of reviews (say 60 on Amazon vs. 10) is enough to cause a potential buyer to click for more info. The only reason I ever clicked on Susan Ee's Angelfall is because it had a massive number of reviews, and I really enjoyed that book. Volume of reviews can influence casual browsers who might click on "People who bought [Book] also bought [Other Book]" links.

4. Most book-buying websites also have algorithms that cause the more "popular" books to come up more frequently in site "If you like [Book] you might be interested in [Other Book]" features and targeted emails, etc. This placement can be tremendously helpful in getting the word out about a new book to targeted audiences--almost like free advertising. One way a book's "popularity" is measured is by number of reviews.

5. So-so reviews can also sell books. One of the three-star reviews I've seen for GATU was extremely well-written and complimentary--the reviewer mostly felt that book was kind of long. (It is.) If a reader sees that and likes long books, that might be even more persuasive than a 5-star review. Also, everyone knows that not all 3-star reviews are the same. Some reviewers have their reader-meter set to LOVE and three stars means the book let them down. Other reviewers have a "no five star" policy since no books are perfect, and three stars might be a really good review from them.

6. Even one-star reviews can sell books. I will openly admit that when I see a book being obliterated with one-star reviews, my curiosity is piqued and my sympathy-response is activated. I am more likely to read that book. Also, some one-star reviews are more "it's not for me" than "no one should ever read this." One of my Liars, Inc. one-star reviews says this: No matter how I didn't like the plot/decisions of the characters, I will say the writing was exceptional, and the book is a fast read. I love flawed characters and fast reads. That's basically a blurbable quote from someone who "borderline-hated" the book.

Ri's sticker on the left was included in this month's Uppercase Box.
Silvana's design on the right took second place in a contest I ran in April.

So those are my reasons for wanting your reviews. Are you an author? Why do you want reviews? Are you a reader? What is it that makes you write a review for one book and not write one for the next book?

Thanks for considering writing a review for GIRL AGAINST THE UNIVERSE. Here's the link to the giveaway form again if you need it. And if you plan to read the book later this summer, no worries. Like I said, I'm mostly hoping to persuade people to cross-post reviews already written. I don't want anyone rush-reading to qualify for this. I'll run another reviewer appreciation giveaway when the paperback releases if not before.


  1. Replies
    1. I know! My readers are the most talented people ever :)

  2. I know your life will not be complete w/o that post card. It's almost as cute as BB-8 :D

  3. I just finished reading this book and loved it.

  4. Replies
    1. Awesome. Thank you :) The second batch of postcards will go out early next week. US people should have them mid-month. Int people by the end of June.


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