After I wrote my first book, I hired a publicist to help me with publicity and to get my unknown self out there. Imagine my surprise when he told me that I had to give him almost half a box of books to distribute to book clubs and reviewers.
I thought I’d croak.
After all, I was independently published and had put a lot of money into purchasing books to sell–not give away.
It hurt, (not literally) but it was worth it. Those reviews live on into infinity and you can’t get anything in this world for free.
You have to give away books to receive reviews. We all do it. You have to in order to get people to notice you and your book. It may seem like a strange concept, but think about it, you’re asking someone to read your book. Do they know you? Would they have read it via some other means? Probably not. It’s probably a title they’ve never heard of because you’re an aspiring/first time author. You want them to stop what they’re doing and throw themselves into your book, right? Can you guarantee they will like it? Of course not, no matter how much you believe it’s the best book ever written.
If you have a good product, then it shouldn’t be a problem. If you have reservations about your book or know there are errors or formatting problems, know this: you’re asking for reviews from people who have no obligation to give you a favorable review. Produce a quality product and you shouldn’t have to worry about getting a bad review.
Make sure your book is properly edited, formatted and you have a professionally designed cover. You do not want an eternal review that says there were too many errors or the book was poorly formatted.
However, some people may not like the book for personal reasons. When I wrote Brotherly Love and Betrayal, I had people actually say it couldn’t possibly be a Christian book because Christians don’t get into the kind of situation mentioned on the back cover. (I won’t even go there.) Some people simply couldn’t identify with the situation that occured, but still read the book and gave it a good review. Why? Because it was a good, drama-filled book.
So, aspiring authors, know this: when you’re ready to publish, make sure all of your stuff is “tight.” There are enough authors out there who are willing to give advice and help you on this journey. Remember, reviews are the opinions of the reviewer, however, the the things you can control such as, errors, formatting and cover, affect your credibility as a professional writer.