The importance of choosing the right book reviewers

Getting readers to review your books on their blogs is a great way of spreading the word. I have to admit that I haven’t seen a huge spike in sales after reviews are released, but it is a good way to get your title’s into readers hands. This is especially true if you have a number of titles because even if none of the book review readers buy your novel, perhaps the book reviewer themselves will come back for more.

There are huge lists of book reviewers to be found on the web. A great place to start is the Indie Book Reviewer, a place where you can find hundreds of eager readers who want to take your novel and blog about it. As you go through the listings you’ll discover that many people are simply swamped with books and cannot take on more reads, resulting in your pool of possible reviewers shrinking considerably. This can cause you to simply contact everyone that is open to taking on books. However, this may not work to your advantage; a fact that I found out this morning.

There are always going to be people who don’t like your books. Fair enough. I don’t like every book that I read either. However, it is important to try and choose reviewers who have a great looking blog, lots of followers and who are actually interested in the genre AND style that you’ve written in.

This morning I had a three star review from a reader who mentioned that Inside Evil’s pacing wasn’t very good and that there wasn’t enough back story in the book. Looking into her history, I saw that she marked similarly for all books which didn’t give back story or lots of superfluous information. She also mentioned that it took her longer than normal to read the book because she just couldn’t get into it. In my rush to find reviews, I’d simply just found a name, an email and sent the book out. Of course, EVERY reader is entitled to their opinion and I’m grateful for the honest review, but if I’d done my research, I would have discovered that perhaps this reader wasn’t the best candidate for my work.

You can then compare this to the wonderful four star rating that I also received today from The Book Barbies. Whilst the pacing was slow for the reviewer mentioned above, the reader at The Book Barbies couldn’t put it down. She was devastated by the cliffhanger and is ‘dying in anticipation for the next book’. She even had a dream about the book after she’d finished.

You can never tell if someone’s going to love or hate your work, and it’s important to not become too bogged down by the details. After all, Twilight has 715 ONE star reviews on Amazon, The Hunger Games has 501, and even Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has 88. However, when you’re searching for book reviewers, it can be worthwhile to take some time and establish a reader’s back history of reviewing and the genre and style’s that they love. It could make or break your resulting write-up.

Book Review: The Emporer’s Edge

Book: The Emperor’s edge
Author: Lindsay Buroker
Available at: Amazon – FREE

Lindsay Buroker’s plan to get readers of her wonderful writing blog to give her books a look continues to work, especially because the first of the series is completely FREE. It’s part of a marketing ploy that works because Lindsay has another four titles in this series, and once you’re sucked into her steampunk world, you’ll be hard put to not to rush onto the next book within minutes. The Emperor’s Edge was my first meander into the world of steampunk and I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I mean, what IS steampunk? Well, it’s an world without electricity and, if Lindsay’s books are anything to go by, it’s a place where emotional and physical turmoil are only moments away.

The Emperor’s Edge follows enforcer Aramanthe as she become caught up in a plot to assassinate Sespian; a young emperor who has become a mere pawn in the military’s bid to control Turgonia. Aramanthe is a strong heroine who finds herself caught in a difficult situation, her life’s wishes falling away before her eyes, and everything that she’s worked so hard to obtain being lost. She turns to assassin Sicarious for help, and pulls an unlikely team together consisting of a professor, Books, a male escort, Maldynado, and a mental sciences (magic) believer, Askyr. Thus, they take on a battle to save the emperor’s life, but as is always the case in a good read, nothing is ever quite that simple.

For my first plunge into the world of steampunk, The Emperor’s Edge was the ideal book. Lindsay does just enough world building to give readers the setting and concepts of the world without overdoing it. Her real skill is in writing conversations, and though descriptive are to be found, Lindsay relies on the people to set the pace, with all of the characters brought vividly to life as they try to become friends and comrades. This is a book that will throw up a few U-turns when you’re reading, ensuring that you’re never quite where the storyline may head. It keeps you guessing. It makes you laugh, even when the situation seems quite grave. And, it shows that even heroes and heroines are fallible and don’t always do the best thing for their cause.

Emperor’s Edge is a great read, and I’m looking forward to finding out what’s next for Aramanthe and her motley crew. Even better, if you’ve already spent your ebook budget for the month, it’s free ;)

Download at Amazon.

Book Review: Hearth; Exile

Whilst I prefer to write, I do of course indulge in the odd novel or two. Though I have absolutely no intention of turning this blog into a book review blog, I thought it would be nice to post a few personal reviews of my latest read. Since getting into the indie publishing world, I want to do all I can to support authors. This means that I’m trying to read and review more indie books and support those who in turn have given me support. Hence, this is my first book review, Heath; Exile, and I have to say, it was a very good read! :)

Book; Hearth; Exile
Author: M. R. Jenks
Available at: Amazon

Hearth: Exile is most definitely one of those reads that draws you in gradually. Set in modern day New York, the main character immediately grips you, but it’s the quiet unravelling of his story that begins to stir your interest and curiosity. At the outset of this book you don’t even know the main characters name, for he himself has amnesia and has no idea who he is. However, for those who worry that this read will take a while to get into, Jenks’ beautifully crafted New York cityscape is superbly drawn. It’s winter, it’s desolate, but the Big Apple continues to shine in all its beauty, and adds as much to the story as a supporting character.

As the story progresses, the main character’s identity is revealed and he starts to remember aspects of his past life. This is particularly sparked when he meets Lauren; a stunning woman that he’s sure he’s met before. She offers support, kindness and shelter by way of a city Convent. There, under the watchful eye of Sister Regina, the pair of them begin to not only develop old feelings for one another, but sense that something rather sinister has happened to them.

One of the reasons that I loved this book was that the fantasy aspect was done in a very subtle way. It is the characters fascination for discovery that drives this story along, and the fantasy is peppered throughout; just enough to cause intrigue and curiosity, but not too much to turn what is a well structured character driven novel into yet another pointless fantasy saga. As more details emerge, so the fantasy thrills increase, offering an exciting end to this first novel in the series. I really liked the mixture of characters, including youngster Page who surprises everyone with her intellect and becomes a vital part of the storyline.

There’s no doubt from the end of this novel, that Hearth: Exile is set to have a sequel written. And, such is my need to find out just what has happened, I hope that Jenks’ has this sequel planned sooner rather than later. I highly recommend this book, and it’ll leave you wanting much, much more.

Available at Amazon.