Book Reviews: What You Give Is What You Get
Contributor
Written by
Alex Benkast
August 2017
Promoting
Contributor
Written by
Alex Benkast
August 2017
Promoting

I used to think that writing a 300-page novel was the hard part. But have you ever tried getting strangers to buy, read, and review your book?

I’m one week into promoting my novel and let me tell you, writing a book is fun—marketing it? Not so much. I have the utmost respect for successful indie authors like R.S. Grey, because getting to her level takes incredible effort, willpower, and persistence.

Since I didn’t follow authorpreneur Seth Godin’s advice to promote my book while (or even before) I was writing it, I have to start at zero. Actually more like below zero, because most people have at least a network of friends, relatives, and coworkers eager to spread the word. I do have a network, but most people I know are either guys (not my target audience), are not on social media (which I also use reluctantly), or they don’t speak English.

Social proof is what makes your book rise from obscurity, so getting reviews is key. Maria Murnane wrote a great She Writes article about it: How to Find Book Bloggers. I won’t repeat it here; instead, I want to focus on another aspect: what you give is what you get. I’m ashamed to admit it, but until I published my own book, I’ve never written a review for another author even though I read about two books a week. That’s at least a hundred reviews a year that don’t get written. It should go without saying: I can hardly expect other people to give me reviews if I’m not doing it either.

To boost my good karma, I’ve decided to write reviews for every book I read from here on out—and I hope you’ll consider doing the same. So if you are a published or aspiring author and would like me to give you an honest review or feedback, let me know. I prefer romance and detective stories, but I do occasionally read nonfiction, especially anything that has to do with writing, publishing, and promoting. I also love to read about parenting, health, and minimalist living.

Writing a review about a book you enjoyed is one of the easiest ways to support your fellow authors.

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