Are there any author groups around I can join?

Hi everyone,


Those of you who sell on Amazon will know how important reviews are for the suceess of the book. I was wondering if anyone on here has set up an author's group or circle where people can send each other copies of their books in return for a review on Amazon? If not, maybe we should set one up? If there are, say, 30 of us and we all review each other's books then this should help all of us do better in the listings. Please let me know if there is anything like this around.






  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor

    It's a great idea.


    Just make sure you read the new Amazon fine print of Reviewing policies. 


    Plus, I think they sometimes/often reject reviews from people who have not actually bought  the book on Amazon.


    But, still a great idea. So, the best way to go about it would be: You buy each other's book, wait two weeks order to read and allow a fair amount of time in which to show you read the book, then review.


    But, if there are cross reviews, again they will reject. Maybe some kind of review triangle would work.


    Good luck.

     A citizen of the world.

  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor

    PS. In all these years I was only able to get one colleague review accepted. Skoob's. Must be God in the works. Because they actually invited  me to review! (Read and loved the book. )


    They have a sixth sense for favour reviews.

     A citizen of the world.

  • oncewasoncewas Librarian



    This is still needle in a haystack territory. Granted the very tip of the needle might be gold plated but the tiny needle is still in a giant haystack.


    It sounds like you are asking about peer reviews on Lulu. Somebody still has to find your author page, or book listing, to see the reviews. It would be better to apply the energy involved in some other way. It is not likely to increase your sales on Lulu.


    Anyway, I thought reviews were supposed to be organic? Kindle does invite readers to review books they have purchased. That would be a far more valuable review than one which was traded for another review. Personally I would rather have one lousy review than several glowing fake reviews.


    However, I am sounds like you have had some experience of this over at Kindle; did it improve your sales?

  • I agree that fake reviews are a waste of time (and they often get detected and removed by Amazon anyway), but there's a difference between a fake review and an honest review by someone whose opinion you have solicited. Just because you've asked someone for a review doesn't necessarily mean that review is fake. Look at the traditional publishing industry. Do you think all those reviews in the Sunday papers by authors on other authors' work are there without people being given a copy of the book and asked to write about it?


    Then again, if you ask your mother or your best friend to review your book, you're not going to get an honest review. Similarly, if you ask someone to review your book with the promise of reviewing theirs in return, how likely do you think it is that they're going to give you a bad review?


    I don't think there's any doubt that reviews are an important part of the jigsaw. Yes, people are never going to see the reviews unless they're somehow tempted to go to your landing page in the first place, but once they do they're obviously going to be influenced by either a page full of 5 stars or a page full of 1 stars.


    Luckily, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people who review books for their blogs etc, and will often also post their review on places like Amazon and Goodreads. If you want to build up some reviews, contact them. (You can get a book on Amazon called the Book Reviewer Yellow Pages that lists them all). There are only two rules: don't bother people who are obviously never going to review your book (there's little point in bothering a cookery book review blog with your vampire romance) and don't pay for reviews (they're as biased as your mother and Amazon will remove them as soon as they find them). You'll usually have to provide these people with free review copies, but if you've got an e-book version this at least won't cost you anything.


    I've also added a page at the end of my book asking the reader to leave a review. I can't really tell whether or not this has made a difference because I don't have a control I can compare it with, but I've had over 100 reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Maybe it helped. I don't think it can hurt, and it doesn't cost you anything other than a couple of minutes of your time.


    Once a few reviews start rolling in you'll find that others will follow.


    By the way, don't be afraid of the occasional bad review. The greatest book in the world will have people who didn't like it. And the occasional bad review at least shows potential buyers evidence that your reviews are real. Of course, if all your reviews are bad then you might have some thinking to do.

  • I am curious at the wording you use at the end of your book asking for reviews. I would like to try doing that. Sounds like a good idea.
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