Hi guys! Happy December :)
I've talked a lot about why reviews are important. For example here and here. I even wrote specifically about negative reviews here. Tl;dr is that reviews matter for a lot of reasons, but one of the most crucial is they function as free publicity and help sell books. I realize it takes time and effort to leave reviews, which is why I try to do a couple of these contests each year to thank the people who are willing to go that extra step.
For this international giveaway, the winner will have a choice of a $25 B&N gift card, or a signed copy of any of the books you see in this post. (For Ferocious and TIHIH, you'll receive a signed ARC.) You can earn points for reviewing any of my last four novels--Vicarious, Girl Against the Universe, Liars Inc., and The Art of Lainey. You can also earn points just by tweeting or by leaving a comment about how to encourage readers to write reviews.
The dangers of running a giveaway likes this include that people will plagiarize/write fake reviews to qualify or that people will think I am bribing readers for positive reviews. It's important to me that neither of these things happen. So:
1. If I think your review is fake or plagiarized (meaning that you copied someone else's review, not that you used quotes from the book--that's totally fine), I will disqualify you from consideration without notification.
2. Any honest review qualifies you to win. 5 stars. 1 star. A GR review with no rating if that's how you roll. I probably won't even read your reviews unless you're the contest winner.
RULES FOR ENTERING:
1. You must have read a book in order to review it.
2. Your review must be at least 50 words long. (Reviews that you have already posted also count. No need to edit or update, unless you need more words.)
3. Reviews can be written in any language.
4. You can copy/paste the same review to different sites for multiple entries.
5. You must fill out the Raffecopter below.
IDEAS FOR WRITING REVIEWS:
I know some readers aren't comfortable writing reviews, which is why I kept the length requirement short and included other options to enter the contest. But if you want more entry points, here are some things you could incorporate into reviews that might be more fun for you than just writing them in "book report" formula.
1. Pretend you are an author writing an official blurb for the book jacket. What would you say to the world about this book if you had to condense all your thoughts into one or two sentences?
2. Make your review two lists--the things you liked the best and the things you liked the least about the story.
3. Make your review a mini "editor letter" by commenting separately on the prose, voice, setting, plot, and characters.
4. Pretend you are the book's publicist and it's your job to come up with good comparison titles. End your review by saying "Fans of [these books] and [these movies] will enjoy [book] because [reasons.]"
5. Choose your favorite quotes from the book. Tell how each
affected you and how it connects to the overall story.
Do you have other ideas for "reluctant reviewers"? Share them in the comments :) The Rafflecopter comment question is about how authors can encourage readers to leave more reviews. It's generally unethical to pay reviewers (exceptions being things like Kirkus Indie, etc.), so authors and publishers frequently trade free books in exchange for reviews. That sometimes works well at the publisher level, but the expense of sending books is often too much for individual authors and doesn't always pan out in the form of reviews. I would love to hear any suggestions you guys have on how to score more honest reviews, especially on book-buying websites.
Thanks and happy holidays :) See you in January when I'll be giving away a signed copy of Kristen Simmons's Metaltown!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Questions about the giveaway? Put 'em in the comments :)
Find reviewers who love to review because they love to read not just because it's their "job". There is a ton of people who review just because they love to read and share that with others. And I recently started reviewing on different sites and I started doing it just because I wanted to help the author and their book so the more I want to help the more I will post on different sites.ReplyDelete
Thank you for reminding me that such people exist :) I think I had the "love of reviewing" beaten out of me at a young age by mandatory book reports. I always loved reading but haaaaaaaaaaated school book reports. it's hard for me to ask other people to do something I myself don't like to do in order to support my work. But it's great to have a reality check that some people really enjoy writing reviews :)Delete
Not the best at writing reviews, but I am dealing with it for this. Amazingly, I hadn't written reviews for GATU, only did a star rating which is odd. Love the opportunity for this though.ReplyDelete
I'm with you that I struggle to write reviews. I feel all this pressure for my review to be extremely "well-written" to the point where when I used to write reviews for a website it wasn't uncommon for me to spend 3+ hours writing and revising and formatting a 500-word review. That can become drudgery really quick, which is why I tried to provide fun review options and keep the word count low to encourage participation. Thanks for your support :)Delete
I've seen some reviews where people give recommended reading settings "great beach read!" "cozy up with a blanket on a rainy day!" "great for the classroom" etcReplyDelete
People also recommend the target audience "great gift for your niece you haven't seen in three years" "perfect for the tennis player in your life" "NOT FOR TODDLERS" etc
I'd like to see people recommend what snacks to eat with a book! Maybe an iced coffee or waffles with Lainey? A California burrito or fries with GATU? That would be pretty fun.
These are great ideas :) I went to culinary school for a year (I went to school for like 9 different things, but that's another story) and worked in a restaurant kitchen for most of my 20s. I think I'd enjoy doing "Menu Book Reviews."Delete
I have always been surprised by people thinking they need to write a different review for each site. Most of them have an "ah ha" moment when I tell them I usually write a shortish review on Goodreads shortly after I finish a book and then copy and paste it to Amazon, B&N, Edelweiss and Netgalley. If and when I write a full blog review I just add the link to the Goodreads review. I am also surprised by the number of readers who feel this method is cheating. I think maybe authors and publishers might want to mention that this is acceptable and that shorter reviews are okay, too. :)ReplyDelete
That's interesting and good to know. I always wonder if people think they have to write different reviews for different sites, so I do try to specify that cross-posting is fine. It would be super-grueling to feel like you had to come up with different stuff to say to support a book in multiple places. Obviously on some sites (GR, personal blogs) you can use GIFs and swear words, etc. that some book-buying websites don't allow, but even then I'd just say to edit your current review slightly.Delete
When I wrote reviews for an outside review website, the weird quirk I had was feeling like using the publisher copy as a synopsis before discussing the book was cheating. That meant for each book I reviewed, I basically had to come up with my own flap copy to introduce the story, something that's not always easy to do. It wasn't until I got published and started reading book blogs that I realized you could just use the publisher description at the start of your review. Funny, the things we think are cheating ;)
I don't know if I have any suggestions really, Goodreads seems like a pretty good place to reach out for reviews but I know for all the good reviews there's always the inconsiderate ones too. Anyway... thanks for the givewaway chance! I liked Vicarious and reviewed it a few months ago (hope that's okay??) but I had not seen the cover yet for Ferocious, so yay!ReplyDelete
I definitely use Goodreads for marketing purposes--like when it comes time for a blog tour or scheduling giveaways I'll often go there to see which bloggers liked the book because I feel like they're more likely to want to participate. It's funny, though, as huge of a site as GR is, with its millions and millions of members, most of the casual readers I know (meaning not bloggers or industry pros) don't use it. For that reason I guess I gravitate more toward getting Amazon and B&N reviews, since getting more reviews there changes the placement of your book in their algorithms and can act like free publicity.Delete
Past reviews are totally fine. One of my goals with this contest was to encourage people who wrote past reviews to cross-post them in additional areas. Thanks for your comment :)
I don't think I have any suggestions about reviews :/ I have never reviewed a book, GATU is the first one (and it was surprisingly easy!). I've known about this giveaway since day one, but today I finally sat down to write something about GATU, so I could have a chance. My main problem for reviewing books? Language!!! :( I mean, if I could write reviews in Spanish, piece of cake!ReplyDelete
Btw, this made me think about something. I've always wanted to go back to blogging (yeah, I had a blog until 2013)... So maybe in a few months, instead of writing step-by-step tutorials about crafts, I'll be writing about books. Let's see! This could help me with my review skills :P
Wow, this is something I've never even thought about. I have no problem with reviews being written in other languages and have edited the rules to show this. I think your English is great, but I know that sometimes behind seemingly effortless English emails or reviews might be a ton of work. I could write a short review in French or Spanish, but it would probably be all in present tense, with misspellings and grammar issues, so I completely respect how hard writing in a second language can be. Thanks for making me think :)Delete
I always review on GoodReads, but I forget to go back to Amazon. (the good thing, Amazon sends me emails to remind me to post my reviews, and then I do). I didn't use to leave reviews at all, because I did not realize how important they were. Once I found out, I put in the effort, because I do appreciate what authors do for me. Now that my daughter has asked me to contribute to her blog, I am even more vigilant about posting reviews.ReplyDelete
Right! I don't buy very many things from Amazon, so I forgot until you mentioned it that they do tend to send those "How would you rate [purchase]?" emails. That is a helpful reminder, especially for people who read advanced review copies of books.Delete
Thank you for putting in the extra effort :) And how fun that you contribute to your daughter's blog. Thanks for supporting books and authors :D
I think I'm always motivated to write reviews when I see authors speak about their publishing journey. Like, when I see that they actually *need* and depend on these reviews for their very livelihood. Cause there are authors with huge book deals that *do* appreciate reviews but you know they don't really *need* them. It also helps when I see authors who really like to interact with their readers.ReplyDelete
Hmm I'm not sure, maybe something fun or a contest like this to post reviews. Perhaps an incentive like write a short story if a book gets certain number of reviews on Amazon? Something that happens to me is that I don't use other sites like B&N or iBooks so I can't leave reviews there but I do use Amazon. Also sometimes I post a review on my blog and it takes me so long that I wait until the next day to leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon... and then I forget because I have a lot of things in my head LOL but eventually I remember and post them. I love to write reviews, it's so much fun!ReplyDelete