I keep seeing other “clean” writers asking, “Where or how can I get reviews on my books?” It’s a tough question. Many of my reviews on Amazon come from people who know me, read my book, and took the time to write a review. I’ve submitted my book to some places who offer reviews as well as other book publicity sites. Perhaps it would be helpful for others to see the results.
Submission to review – a month and a half. Site is evidently closed now.
Long and Short Reviews
Submission to review just under 3 months.
From time of submission to review being published took 6 months.
In addition, I had a number of sites where I filled out the information and nothing happened with it. Some even included an offer of book giveaways.
Book Listing Sites – these usually show the cover, blurb and bio. Some you can request specific dates.
Book posted in a month.
Book of the Day
Submission to posting was one week. Now 9 months later can’t find the listing.
Book posted less than a month after I requested it.
Book listed for a week the same month I requested listing. Small images of covers that are clickable.
Under a week before my book was posted. I’m also in their author directory with links to my website and my book on Amazon.
Didn’t keep accurate records of submission time, but they tweeted about my book for months, plus did a book quiz. http://readersgazette.com/quizzes/ex6/70
As you can see, I had better luck with these sites.
I met other writers, mainly through my publisher’s Facebook page, and some other Facebook groups, who were looking for someone to write topics, or to interview, or who did cover releases. Each time, of course, I could include info about my book and my bio. Often, purchase links and a link to my website were included. At the current moment, I’ve been on twelve different blogs.
I also used a promotion service and they got my book listed on various sites for a Promo Tour. Here’s one of the sites where they sent my info: http://www.bookbangs.com/. These often included an excerpt.
Newspapers and Magazines
My local newspaper has a place for “Local authors’ recent offerings”—these are very short listings, but they did print my info.
One last resource I want to share—a post titled “Review Gathering: The Good, the Bad, and the Morally Gray” by H. L. Burke. It’s definitely worth a read.
Maybe this info will be of help to you. If you have any tips to share or questions, feel free to comment.
Readers take a leap of faith when they begin reading a story. They open the pages hoping to be pulled right in and carried along. So, how do writers do that? With character, voice, and often, action.
P.G. Wodehouse says, “The thing to go for is speed. Nothing puts the reader off more than a great slab of prose at the start.” Just because he writes a lot of tongue-in-cheek prose, doesn’t mean he’s joking here. But what is he talking about? In my opinion, it’s where you start with your character. We don’t need his bio on page one—her whole backstory in chapter one. We start with where things are different for the character. We jump in close to the action.
Does that mean there won’t be description of the setting? Not blocks of it, at least. I like how Susan Hart Lindquist says it, “Present setting from the inside out. Make your character react to it if you can...above all, have a reason for mentioning something.”
The whole story really should be written from the inside out. Everything through the character’s voice, motivations, world view, beliefs, prejudices, experiences, etc. For example, I hate the smell of cigarette smoke. If I was writing about me experience of someone lighting up near me, the smell is something I’d definitely mention and not in a positive way. If your character is used to people lying to him, that will slant how he reacts to anything anyone says to him.
I’m reading a book right now and even though it started with a character, it jumped quickly into some political background for the culture (it’s a sci-fi). It came back to the character, and then the next chapter was another character, well, an artificial intelligence. I almost stopped reading, but persisted a few pages and now am hooked. We don’t want to give readers a reason to stop reading by doing too much backstory or explanation, or in my opinion, changing viewpoint too often.
Here are some resources on story beginnings:
10 Ways to Start Your Story Better by Jacob M. Appel
12 Ways to Start a Novel by Darcy Pattison
20 Great Opening Lines to Inspire the Start of Your Story by Mark Nichol https://www.dailywritingtips.com/20-great-opening-lines-to-inspire-the-start-of-your-story/
Components of a Good Opening Scene by Joseph Bates
Dynamic Beginnings: Getting Your Story Off to a Great Start by Will Greenway
How to Write Great Story Beginnings from Creative Writing Now
What NOT to Do When Beginning Your Novel: Advice from Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
SM Ford writes inspirational fiction for adults, although teens may find the stories of interest, too. She also loves assisting other writers on their journeys.