Blog Tours From A-Z - Reviews

Saturday, April 20, 2013

When my first book was published, I had no idea what was expected of me other than the usual, which was to start a blog. As I grew to understand what needed to be done, I began to panic. Where would I get reviews? Especially since eBooks weren’t as popular as they are today. How would I find readers, other than the people on my writing network who’d already read the book?

End result was that I wasn’t able to generate a lot of reviews before Contraband came out, now was I able to do the same for Dissolution. However, I did make contact with a couple of influential book clubs who posted positive reviews for Contraband.

Writers with a strong presence and a large network are able to garner reviews that coincide with their book release date or just after. I can’t stress enough the value of having this sort of support. Of course, there is the risk of having Amazon remove reviews they view as suspect, but this shouldn’t deter you from asking people to read your book and provide reviews.

Admittedly, this is not one of my strengths. I’ll provide a copy of whichever book I’m promoting to the people who help me get the word out, but this is more to do with reassuring the persons of the quality of the story.

An aside here—I’m extremely grateful for reviews that I do receive, but in my experience, way more people move on to look for my next book rather than expressing their thoughts on the last one.

The more reviews you can gather for your book close to the date of its release, the better your ranking will be (ergo your books visibility). With that added buzz, people who come across the book while it’s on tour will be more inclined to take a chance on purchasing it.

Think about the popularity of the Fifty Shades of Grey novels. People loved to hate the books and were vocal about their feelings. Even more people took the time to say how much they enjoyed the novels. To date, the first in the series has over 19,000 reviews. 

Reviews (both good and bad) have the power to make the reading public sit up and pay attention—particularly if you write around a controversial subject matter—so don’t discount the impact they can have on your book.


  1. Thanks so much for visiting and sharing your thoughts. I'll be out for most of today, so will catch up with you later or tomorrow.

    Continue to enjoy the Challenge and if you didn't know J.L. Campbell writes Jamaican Kid Lit

  2. I'm fortunate my publisher sends out review copies many months before my books are released. The encourage me to find review sites and authors as well.

  3. I read ebooks all the time and up until recently, I never left a review or even starred the books on Goodreads or Amazon. I've recently learned how much it means to the authors to do so, so now I try to leave something when I finish the books. It's posts like these that have reminded me how much they do mean.

  4. Oh my--you've said a mouthful here. We start out navigating the online writing world...and have no idea what to do or how to do it. This is a wonderful choice for "R". :-)

  5. Good business, Alex.

    Jeff, thanks for coming by. Writers do benefit much for reviews, so yes, they're precious commodity.

    Teresa, so true. I'm learning new things every day.

  6. I review all books that I read on GoodReads, but I have only submitted a few reviews on Amazon 'cause I just never remember to. I do intend to do so though for my blogger friends' books that I've read, to help them out. :)

  7. I have never given a review of a book even though im a part of Good Read. feel bad now. sure to do it more often. Happy to connect. I am now following you via A to Z Challenge . Do feel free to drop by my blog Wilderness at

  8. Thanks for the great advice, This is one site I'll be visiting often...

  9. Trisha,
    I'm sure your friends will appreciate your reviews.

    Hi, Disha. Lots of people never leave reviews. If it becomes a chore then there's no fun in it.

    Thanks for stopping in, Fe.

  10. It never dawned on me how important it is to the author to leave reviews either! But now that it's explained it really does make sense.

  11. Thank you for this. I'm going to try to find the time to leave more reviews from now on. I don't have my own book out yet, but I would definitely want reviews if I can ever get it finished!

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog:

  12. Hi J.L. Great 'R' word and you have me thinking about trying to comment on the books I read. I know I appreciate reading the reviews when I and considering a book or item. So I might as well return the favor. Thanks. God bless, Maria

  13. Hi Joy, this is a great article. Keep going.

  14. Jen, Kristen, Maria and Peaches, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Reviews are wonderful gifts to writers and readers. Reviews do help me decide on whether to buy or not. The Amazon sample is the final step in deciding.


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