Monday, September 3, 2018

HIDDEN PIECES Reviewer Appreciation Giveaway

Have you seen the official book trailer for HIDDEN PIECES?

In order to help get the word out about my latest release, I'm asking people who have read Hidden Pieces 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. You can also review on international book-buying websites, as well as library sites, online community sites (Goodreads, Booklikes, YA Books Central, etc), school sites, your own blog or FB/Twitter/Tumblr/YouTube/Instagram, etc.

Because your time is valuable, I've created an early reviewer appreciation giveaway. The first 50 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 2 signed HIDDEN PIECES bookmarks and a magnet.

Sorry. Terrible pic. Can you tell I posted this in a hurry?

But that's not all. One random winner out of 50 entrants will receive a $25 gift card to Amazon, B&N, your local indie, or an international equivalent. If HIDDEN PIECES gets 50 Amazon reviews by October 1, I will give away a second $25 gift card, so tell your friends who read the book to enter too. Contest ends October1st.

This is not an attempt to score more positive reviews. Any rating (or no rating on sites where that's allowed) will qualify you. Good reviews, critical reviews--I won't even read them unless you're a winner and I have to verify you. Honestly, the worst review is no review at all. Please see below for more info on how I feel about reviews.

This is also not me expecting you to go out and buy my book and read it ASAP. I will do another one of these giveaways in December for people who read the book after it is more widely available in libraries.

My one request: As usual, I made several (over 150) changes to the book between the printing of ARCs and final copies, including editing two scenes to make the identity of the final culprit harder to guess. If you're reviewing the ARC, please note that in your review. Thanks :)

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

I've blogged about this before (search reviews), 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 most of the ones tweeted at me because I feel like people who tweet reviews at me want me to see them and it seems like the least I can do after someone takes the time to post about my work. Occasionally, I will read other ones, but these days in any given week in addition to working and volunteering, I might be promoting a book, revising 1-2 books, and drafting/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. [Reposted from an earlier blog post.]

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. Some people aren't bothered by those things at all, but I don't want to offend anyone who is and scare them off from checking out my PG-rated books like Girl Against the Universe.

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.

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 HIDDEN PIECES. Here's the link to the giveaway form again if you need it. And if you plan to read the book later this year, no worries. I'll run another reviewer appreciation giveaway in December, if not before.

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