Inquiring Minds Want to Know

In the past two weeks, I have been getting Junk emails advertising—actually guaranteeing—40+ reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. The correspondence says they are fully compliant with Amazon’s rules and regulations.

Why the influx of these so-called review businesses? How much do they cost? Do they deliver what they promise? Do they really “comply”?

Well, the jury is still out on that one because I’m not sure I want to get caught up in something that just might be a scam.

If you have tried one of these. I’d be interested to hear about your experience.

Generally speaking though, I would make these few remarks:

It’s a waste of money to pay for a trade book review if you only intend to sell your book on Amazon. You will sell more books by generating more five-star reader book reviews.

For myself, I usually read short and to the point reader reviews, rather than lengthy professional ones. Those reviews mention things like character, plot, theme (which I am interested in as a reader) and less about writing style, editing, and so on.

And, remember, paying for a review is no guarantee that it will be any more positive than reader reviews.

Here’s a plan for finding those reviews which will be of most benefit:

*Go to Amazon and find several books that might be direct competitors of yours.

*Look at their category on Amazon.

*Find the bestsellers in each category.

*Read their reviews and see what review sources are listed.

*You may find some free blogger reviews and/or some free niche publication reviews.

Like I said, I am curious about the “new” paid reviews advertised out there recently. Please write in and share your thoughts.


Who Are You Looking For?

How do readers find authors whose writing styles are a perfect fit for their tastes?

     Some readers say they enjoy beautifully-written descriptions of landscape and weather, creating striking visuals and immersing them in the story’s setting. Others want little in the way of setting or character backstory to distract them. Plot and dialog are their focus. They want to dive right into the story.

    Is finding an author compatible with your tastes hit-or-miss? Or is there an easier way to discover authors you’d enjoy reading?

May I suggest?

  • Ask for recommendations from friends who are aware of your specific tastes.
  • Read book reviews.
  • Read authors’ descriptions of their own books in which they will often say, something like, “Fans of (author’s name) will love this book.”
  • Read books which have won contests that focus on the specifics you are looking for. 
  • Use the computer search bar, typing in key words.




It’s no secret that people read reviews from consumers on everything from mattresses to restaurants.

It’s the same with books. Even more so.

So, why not offer potential reviewers something free for writing a review of your book?

This “freebie” can be anything from a free copy of the book to a world cruise (Ha! Just kidding.)

Where to find these reviewers?

Look for books similar to yours that display a “Top Reviewer” badge. These are usually people who are willing to take the time to write a helpful review.

Do You Want More of It?

We are repeatedly asked to rate products and services on a variety of surveys and questionnaires.

Teachers sometimes use “thumbs up/thumbs down” with their students.

Some people use a scale of 0-10.

Others use a sad face, neutral face, and a happy face.

I was in a store last week in which customers indirectly rated their choice of ice cream BEFORE they ate it by selecting it by size labels:  Like It!     Love It!    Gotta Have It!

Wouldn’t this be an interesting way to get feedback on our books (AFTER they are read, of course)?




Like It! Might mean is was ok. Not particularly noteworthy but not a waste of time, either.

Love It! This choice would mean, perhaps, that it was very exciting or especially funny. It was well worth the time invested in reading it…the reader would consider reading another book by the same author.

Gotta Have It! This choice would mean that the book was really a page turner. It was inspiring. It spoke from heart-to-heart. It was a great read. The reader would like to read another book by this author.

Didn’t Like It!  To be fair, we need to add this category to indicate a book that was not exciting or interesting or worth the time spent reading it. Perhaps, it even might be used to label a book that the reader put aside, mid-read, never to be picked up again.

And just so we include all possible reactions to a book, we might add a final category for books that are “over the top.” We might call it:

Gotta Have More of It! This would indicate a book that so resonated with the reader and he is watching for the author to pre-release his next one so he can continue the experience! He can’t wait to get his hands on another book from the writer. The author has gained a new follower!

I am close to the end of a novel right now. I think I’ll give it a try.

What about you? What books have you read, lately, and how would you score them on the “ice cream” scale?



photo credit: <a href=”″>Happy Rock</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>(license)</a&gt;