Okay so here’s the thing. It’s no secret I’m a fan of Mark Lawrence. I read his first book, Prince of Thorns, and I was hooked. I’ve reviewedeverybook as he’s released them – beforehand, in one case, since I managed to get hold of an ARC. I pre-ordered The Liar’s Key in September last year. Mr Lawrence has got a great voice to his prose, one that keeps me reading – this time round til 1:30am two nights running – and fantastically fun protagonists. There was never any doubt in my mind that once again he’d pull it off and I’d of course review his book and say it’s great. Which it is.
And therein lies the problem. There’s only so many ways you can say “this author’s great”. But I’ll see what I can manage.
Dylan Saccoccio isn’t happy about a 1 star review he received for his book The Boy and the Peddler of Death (Tales of Onara book 1) on Goodreads. He is offended that someone could be immoral as to leave a 1 star review, which is clearly an attempt to ruin his dreams and hurt him financially.
That’s the archived page behind that link there. Mr Saccoccio has deleted his comments in response to the offending review, having eventually come to his senses and realised what a mistake he’s made.
“Do not engage.” This advice is given to authors who receive bad reviews. When an author ignores this advice, the results show why it is given. Whether that advice should be considered gospel or not is another matter (I see no problem in thanking a reviewer and politely asking for more detail on why they disliked a book). It is advice Mr Saccoccio should have followed. But, since he didn’t, he has provided both entertainment for us and a cautionary tale.
I’ve written on this subject before, and me previous advice still stands, but after having received some more unusual requests, I feel it’s time for a refresh of the topic. If you’re an author with a new book you’re trying to promote, you’ll be looking for reviews. Book bloggers are a good place to get reviews because they give your book exposure to an audience who might not have seen it before, rather than just providing reviews on Amazon or Smashwords, which will only be seen by those already considering buying the book.
So how do you go about getting book bloggers to review your book?
Author engagement is important for an indie author because it humanises you to your potential audience and encourages them to be interested in you and emotionally invested in your success. If readers feel that you are their friend, they will be more willing to support you and your work.
But recently I’ve come across a few authors who just don’t seem to get it. They posted links to their blogs without getting stuck into conversations, or they tweeted nothing but promotional information about their books. From a reader’s point of view, this is off-putting. Nobody likes a spammer. What we want to see in our twitter feeds and on the forums we frequent is interesting information, helpful advice, people talking with passion about something they enjoy.