Writers know the importance of garnering reviews of their books to draw the kind of attention that will result in more book sales. But how do you do it when a book first comes out, and hardly anyone has bought it to review it?
You give a few books away, right? Maybe more than a few, like dozens, but that can be costly especially if you only get one review for every book you give away. There must be a better way.
That was my thinking a few months ago that lead me to my most recent experiment — the Read, Review and Pass Along Plan. It’s really pretty simple. I created a Read, Review and Pass Along Form and taped it into the back of several copies of Dominion Over All and Seeds of a New Birth. I then offered the books to some of my friends as well at my Freelance Friday group with the request that they read the book in a timely fashion, review it on Amazon, complete the short form on the back, and then pass it along to someone else they felt would enjoy the book and would be willing to also read, review and pass it along.
Now, the experiment is currently still underway, but already I’ve learned a lot. One of the main things I’ve verified for myself once again is that a lot of people mean well but often don’t follow through with their agreement. Yes, sad, but true. And the weaker the connection with the person, the more likely the ball will get dropped somewhere. So, I’ve ‘tweaked’ the instructions a couple of times to make them clearer and more specific.
I’ll be passing a few more books out with the new instructions that include asking each person to point out the instructions to the next person and to contact me by email so I can keep better track of the books.
Time will tell if that will work. So far, I’d give the results I’ve seen a C-; passable but not great. Want to play along with this idea. You can download the form here. If you decide to try the experiment yourself, let me know how it works for you, especially if you come up with any strategies that has it work better for you.
After all, I don’t believe in a paradigm of competition but instead one of collaboration.
Update: October 18, 2012: Give Read, Review, & Pass Along a Try
My latest book now available on Amazon.com is Amberlin: Divine Destiny, the first of a young adult/adult fantasy trilogy. Here’s a little bit about it:
Of all created beings the wickedest is one who originally stood in the immediate presence of God. ~ C. S. Lewis
Amberlin Gentry doesn’t feel all that special. After all, can’t everyone change the direction of a whirlpool with their mind, know the inner feelings of others by just touching them, and receive guidance from woodland creatures? Her grandfather claims she has a divine destiny to fulfill, but what do you expect him to say about the apple of his eye?
True, there’s so much work needed to bring the world back on course, but what can one small girl hope to do especially when she doesn’t have a clue what her destiny might be? Papa Herb vows not to make the same mistakes with his granddaughter that led to her mother dying in childbirth. But even with his help, following her destiny seems impossible in the radically conservative religious community where she lives, especially under the iron rule of grandmother Rose who does everything in her power to suppress Amberlin’s special gifts.
There are just so many rules you have to follow as a member of the Golden Acres of Christ Community — rules that seem contrary to her inner guidance and that make following one’s divine destiny just that much harder. Step out of line and either Reverend Stover or his wife, Missy, will read you the riot act…chapter and verse straight from the Bible, often with a stinging slap of a ruler across your knuckles.
And who is that strange woman with the angelic face that keeps visiting her dreams? Could she have a role to play in helping Amberlin follow her destiny?
I have several copies of Amberlin: Divine Destiny that are available as Read, Review & Pass Along copies. I’ll even cover the postage to send a copy to you. All I ask is that you give the book a chance by agreeing to read at least the first 50 pages, and if you’re enjoying it, finish it, then review it on Amazon.com before passing it along to someone who you feel would enjoy it as well as keeping the Read, Review and Pass Along process moving forward.
Want to give it a try? Send me an email here with your name, mailing address, and a line or two why you feel this book would be a good read for you.