Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The reviews are in...oh wait, they're not

Reviews.  For a self-published author, they are as coveted and valuable as sales, no matter what genre you write.  If you write erotica, however, they can be extra tough to come by.   I have blogged about this before, but the subject bears revisiting.

The best reviews are the ones that happen spontaneously and unsolicited.  Let me clarify what I mean by solicited - requested from reputable uncompensated reviewers, NEVER paid for.  Take a look sometime at a few erotica titles with decent sales and notice the lack of reviews.  I could propose folks are reluctant to leave negative reviews, but I couldn't do it with a straight face.  There are plenty who don't cringe away from giving negative reviews in other genres.  My guess is readers are reluctant to attach their names publicly to books with graphic content.

Therefore, many of us turn to review sites.  They are plentiful, even for erotica and erotic romances.  The problem we run into here is the massive number of authors requesting reviews.  Reviewers are overloaded and most are honest about it and simply can't and don't promise a response to your request.  Before I published Second Chances, I submitted review requests to twenty individuals and sites, provided review copies when requested, and guess what.  Not a one has materialized as yet.  I'm not whining (well, maybe a little), merely citing an example.

I make it a point to post a review for everything I read, unless a sizable number of reviews already exist.  It only takes a few minutes, you don't HAVE to write more than a paragraph or two, and, in most cases, you can do so anonymously.  For example, on Amazon there is a link that allows you to change your display name.    I urge you to do the same, and remember to be honest in your assessment but please also be polite.  Write about the book, not the person who wrote it.  Personal attacks reflect badly on you and obliterate any point you are trying to make regarding the plot characters, etc.

With the huge number of ebooks being published, reviews can often be the determining factor when readers choose books.  Do us all a solid and provide feedback.  You will be helping readers and authors alike.  It's a proven fact that helping others make us feel good and who couldn't use more of that.


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