“THE LAST INFECTION” Book Spotlight: Guest Post by Author Mike Garza

Author Michael W. Garza gives us his take on book reviewers, and classifies book reviewers based on his experiences…


 

Book reviewers (come in all shapes and sizes)

 

I’ve written in previous posts about the eye opening moments after you get your first book published. Once the dust settles and you realize the work has just begun there are several lessons you quickly learn. One of the first realities is the importance of book reviews. If you’re book is being handled by a small press chances are they’re not going to send the book out ahead of time. So, while you’re precious work is withering away you realize no one knows it’s out there. 

 

There are a number of ways to start requesting reviews. You’ll turn to your friends and family, and you’ll turn to total strangers. Let’s face it you’d give a free copy to a five year old if you found out they had an Amazon account. You’ll soon discover that there is an entire community of people online who live to review books. And when you find them you will assault their email accounts with desperate pleas. 

 

Book reviewers are a curious bunch. They love to read that’s easy. They all have their pet peeves (You’ll learn those along the way). Most of them are kind and helpful to those newly published authors who coming calling. I managed to narrow down these dedicated readers into four general groupings. I’m sure other writers could expand the list (and I’d encourage you to do so), but here’s mine.

 

1) Fair and honest (whether you like it or not)

 

This is my favorite group. These are usually well established reviewers. They have their own blog or website and their likes and dislikes are well stated. They make no bones about what they offer. They’ll take your free copy (most of them) but they offer no promises. I would advise newly published writers to seek this group out first. They may be harsh at times, but they’ll be honest and you’ll find out very quick if your book is really as good as you think it is.

 

2) Sure, send me a copy

 

This group is probably the first a writer will encounter. You’ll find them on Goodreads and Facebook and they’ll be more than willing to help out. They’re generally just readers who’ve managed to understand they can get free books if they’re willing to write a short paragraph on Amazon when they’re done. These reviewers will make an author feel good, but you might not get a true impression of what people think about your work.

 

3) I can do that, but what about this

 

This group is common place. These are usually websites that offer book related services. They’ll agree to review your book, but expect you to purchase one of their services in return. The switch is usually made with a statement like, “I slammed right now, but if you signed up for our premium plan I could probably bump you up the list.” These reviews don’t offer much. They tend to prey on new authors who haven’t learned enough about the process to know they’re being taken for a ride.

 

4) Houdini

 

This group is out there in droves and I’ve been taken by them more times than I can count. There’s no contract requiring these people to actually do what you’re asking them to do. Once you send off your book, it’s completely up to the reviewer if they’re going to follow up with their end of the deal. There are plenty of people out there who’ve learned they can get as many free books as they want and they’re more than willing to add yours to the list.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a large number of wonderful book reviewers. For the most part they do what they do because they love to read and they enjoy helping authors. Authors recognize how important reviewers are to the process (Myself included) and we should thank the good ones for what they do.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a large number of wonderful book reviewers. For the most part they do what they do because they love to read and they enjoy helping authors. Authors recognize how important reviewers are to the process (Myself included) and we should thank the good ones for what they do.

 

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3 comments

  1. Very helpful, but not a name, individual or Group mentioned – so what are new authors to do? What is the take-away, in this interview? I guess Mike could have given us some names, right?

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