After waiting fifteen weeks for my new book Big Brother to make the online store lists thanks to the major cock-up by Ingrams Distributors, and securing sales, I now come to another part of the marketing process I love to hate - applying for reviews!
This has to be done because getting the average reader in the street to leave a review after they've bought your book is well nigh impossible!
For 'traditionally' published authors this is all very neat and tidy. Their publishers know exactly when their books will hit the market so they can send out advance copies to newspapers and magazines like Publishers Weekly. Self-published and POD authors can't really do that. For a kick off most newspapers and magazines won't touch SP and POD with a barge pole (except the Self-Publishing Magazine, I really must renew my subscription!), and for another it's very hard to know exactly when our books will be available when you have to rely on divvies like Ingrams. So SP authors are reduced to applying to the kindness of online sites who will provide a review when one of their readers takes an interest in it - usually months later.
I can't knock most of these sites. ReadersViewsKids, for example, have been kind to me and I'll offer Big Brother to them; but there are other sites who have let me down after accepting my first two books for review, I struggled to get Epiworld picked up by them, yet the reviews they'd given for Goalden Girl and Abbie's Rival were quite good. Did the sites no longer operate? Was the cover not appealing enough? Was it obvious it was set in the UK? 'Britain 2099...' You try finding a review site in the UK that doesn't want to tell the world about Harry Potter or the latest muck 'written' by a 'celeb'! The majority of SP friendly reviewers are in the US.
Then there are the sites who charge a small fortune for the privilege of reading your work. Out of desperation I listed Epiworld on one of them, and two reviewers picked it up. I've listed
Big Brother there, too, but I'm waiting for interest. The reviewers don't buy your books, either, you have to send them a copy.
So here I go again, trawling through the 'net posting Big Brother onto book promotion sites and filling out contact forms asking if they wouldn't mind reviewing it. And waiting, and waiting, and waiting...