Since I’ve self-published my first book I’ve been running around like a madwoman (in cyberspace, of course, so it’s not like I’ve gotten out of breath) requesting reviews of as many readers as possible. Here’s what I’ve learned.
First of all, friends are invaluable, for moral support, encouragement, and a sympathetic ear. There are many people I’ve met through this blogging game, writers and readers, poets and philosophers. No, I’m not taking the piss (ockerism, see ‘joking’). Blogging is probably once of the best tools for reflection on the world and the self, as it’s both a way to record important events and thoughts (like a diary) and a forum for discussion of such topics with a variety of people, many of whom have strong curiosity and are open-minded.
Secondly, people want to read, but there are a LOT of books out there. I’m taking the same attitude to this as I took to when I was out of work: apply, apply, apply. If I approach a few bloggers a day or even every week, I’m going to consider that progress. Bethany Hatheway, a fellow indie author whose book I reviewed here, gave me invaluable advice that I should expect about a 5% response rate. It was sobering but I naively hold onto the belief that this advice has prepared me for eventual success.
I have signed up for The Indie View and within a three days I’ve received six requests from people to review their books. I am not a fast reader – I manage about one book a week when I’m working, maybe two when I’m not (although holiday season means lots of family to visit, so I’m not spending as much time reading as I hoped). So now I’ve had some experience with what I’ve always known – it’s impossible for reviewers to read every book that they’re asked. And then, not every reviewer is interested in reading every book. It’s honestly been a better database for authors to approach me rather than the other way around – I haven’t had any luck with using it to gain responses about my work.
However, it was only through authors approaching me to read their books that I found out about Reader’s Favourite (the link takes you to a review of the book I was asked to review), a website that utilises the huge number of readers out there to review everyone’s books. I highly recommend checking them out. I have found similar websites since but they all seem to ask for exhobertant fees in exchange for a review. Reader’s Favourite is, by contrast, free. I haven’t heard back from them since my initial application yesterday, but they seem genuine, and I highly recommend checking them out.
So that’s it for now! I shall update as I discover more…