Reviews are vital to anyone trying to get anywhere in the publishing industry. Good or bad, they generate attention for the book – which can only ever be a good thing. That said, you obviously want to have good reviews if you can get them!
For the Herald’s series, the only reviews we’ve been able to get are those put up by people who have read them on Kindle. Even then, to date at least, there have only been 4 reviews in total between both books. We were fortunate enough to have a really concise (and quite good) review for Herald’s Call especially.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the last couple of months trying to find various blog and review websites that might be able to help out in this regard. There are a few hurdles I’ve come across though;
* Most review sites aren’t interested in self published work
* A lot of review sites are extremely busy and rarely (if ever) take on reviews when requested (preferring to pick their own – fair enough)
* A lot of review sites charge – consistently around the £220-£250 mark. Bearing in mind that few authors – particularly self published ones – are furnished with extensive funding this can be a painful expenditure for what may amount to be very little (if any) return.
* Genre picky – Like publishers and literary agents, reviewers have their preferences. Whilst this is understandable, it again restricts down the available options for anyone seeking to have their work reviewed and noticed by the wider public.
Very few review sites/blogs allow any leeway around these hurdles. Frustratingly, the ones I have found I’ve either had no response from, or that added an extra hurdle that I had to have the book sold via their supplier – which is tricky when you’re self publishing.
So what to do? Well there aren’t many answers beyond the usual ‘keep looking’, however I’m hoping to get some spare softback copies for Herald’s Call to send out to local newspapers and possibly retailers (Waterstones jumps to mind, but Bristol also has a Forbidden planet – which may be closer to my books cup of tea). Hopefully this may help generate some extra attention if nothing else.