The Horribly Incomplete DIY Publishing Guide - Appendix 19
I know, I know! It's been ages since I posted. And you are right to admonish me because I have been a very bad man. Very bad indeed! Perhaps I should be punished? Tickled unmercifully? Made to sit in the comfy chair? Forced to look at and listen to Dr. Fauci?
I am truly sorry but here I am to make amends and teach and entertain you with another brilliant blog about DIY publishing.
This week I want to explore the promise of getting your wonderful book, reviewed. Now, anyone paying attention will realize I have touched on this subject in past blogs. And you, my alert reader, get a star beside your name and a cookie. I hope you don't mind a few crickets in your cookie as I find they add a nice crunch. And it's rather satisfying as their incessant rubbing of their legs together kept me up all night!
This will be a blog about another aspect of getting your spectacular book reviewed - at least the promise thereof.
A few months ago, I tried out Books Go Social which I thought was good fun and a beneficial thing to do. One of the things they can help you with is getting your book on NetGalley where your priceless work of creative genius can be read and reviewed by their huge stable of reviewers that hail from all over the world. Sounds great so far! Now, for any of you new writers who are holding your literary baby so tight to your chest that the blood's been squeezed out of your fingers - get ready for a shock! You're going to have to let go of that baby and put it on display for all to see and in this case review.
Yes, you purple fingered scallywags, you will need to upload your ebook onto the secure NetGalley site so said countless reviewers can download and review at a later date. Be brave, be strong and don't worry about someone stealing your book from the NetGalley site. You need to do this to get some reviews.
At this point, some of you with cricket legs dangling out of your gob, might be saying, "CM, surely this is just too good to be true?"
And sadly, you would be right and thus to the point of today's blog.
Many reviewers may download your book ( for free ) and assure you they will provide a review in the near future but for the most part - the promise of a review is all you will get.
Am I wrong or misguided in believing that quid pro quo means an equitable exchange of my book for a paragraph or two about my book? In fact, the exchange favours the reviewer in an inequitable manner. Isn't a review, the least they could do?
A case study:
My book, The Forgotten was up on NetGalley for a month - beginning November 12, 2020.
64 reviewers downloaded my book for free and promised to review it. ( why yes, that is a lot of money! )
To date, 12 people have posted reviews. ( yes, that is over 4 months )
I have sent reminder emails to the other 52 layabouts, twice during that time.
So, the review rate in this case study is 18.75 %.
To the 12 kind souls who did in fact quid pro quo - I thank you. Most reviews were glowing, some mediocre and a few were quite caustic. You can be assured that the last category won't be receiving any fresh baked cricket cookies in the foreseeable future!
Will I ever get reviews from the other 52? I doubt it. Reviews are like everything else in life, if a person isn't motivated to take action right away - they won't later on.
So, I will suck it up like a buttercup.
12 reviews are better than none and I will milk those 12 for all they're worth.
It occurs to me now that my blogs on DIY Publishing could be viewed as being rather negative and I have been known to suggest acts of revenge - some involving copious quantities of goat urine!
However, that is not my intention. I am merely retelling my experiences in the hopes that you will learn something new and make good use of my mistakes and failings. If you thought publishing your own book was going to be fun and easy - ha ha sucker!!!!
Just kidding. Don't get discouraged, don't pack it in. Stay on the path and keep going and believe in yourself and that beautiful creation you hold fast to your chest. You brought that creative baby into the world all by yourself and that is a HUGE win!
Keep writing my friends.