Below a couple of social links to novel number two.
A Twitter account (I’m trying to limit my tweets about the novel from my own account, since most of my followers are journos and politicos who I doubt are interested in my book promotion efforts).
What else is new? Needless to say I hate book promotion more than practically any other activity, but it’s a necessary evil.
So I sent the novel out to many book review bloggers over the past week. Not the sort who charge for a review, just those who’ll give honest appraisals in exchange for a free copy. It usually takes months for those reviews to come back. But for me, it seems better to wait for honest reviews than cut corners to achieve ‘fake ones’.
This is quite an important area at the moment. Lots of authors are happy to pay for reviews, or get their friends to give them a string of five-star reviews.
It is controversial to say the least – and loathed by many. It seems similar to buying fake Twitter followers but perhaps more morally questionable, since it’s designed to create a certain impression of a paid-for product.
I decided from the outset not to bother my friends too much because not only is it a bit awkward (they may well hate the book), it seems counter-productive. When I see a litany of glowing reviews on a book I’m considering buying, I’ll normally check how many other things those people have rated. Often they have only made one contribution to Amazon, suggesting fakery or a personal relationship to the author. It makes me less likely to buy the book.
I’m not immune from this phenomenon, and well remember when I published novel number one, a few well-meaning friends put reviews on its Amazon page and it was a bit toe-curling – to the point where I asked them to take them down. It’s a tricky area, but I prefer to ask my friends not to review on Amazon, it might seem like you’re doing your author mate a favour, but this is questionable, at best.
As such I was more than happy to sign up to the True Review pledge today. Authors who sign up for it are saying they will not solicit paid-for reviews, friend-authored reviews or fake reviews. Also it says the author will not do a swapsie review with another author – which also happens, sometimes.
The one exception in my case is I’ve asked Reader’s Favorite for a free review, which takes longer than their paid-for offering but I believe based on my previous experiences with them to be honestly-held when it finally arrives.