Welcome! Welcome A J Nuest.
Yes! This is absolutely the information I’m looking for. If you’re new to the publishing world-just had your first book published-and still don’t know all those so… helpful marketing tips on how to keep track of reviews…then this is the place for YOU. READ ON for I asked AJ Nuest if she would very kindly give me some tips. Not only did I get tips, but her breathtakingly honest answer has REALLY has helped me, a lot, to know how someone else tackles the game of marketing yourself as a writer.
(some blogger hitches today so please excuse any odd letters appearing in odd places that I can't seem to remove!)
Here's AJ's take on the work she needed to do... to get those reviews.
We all know how important reviews are to the success of any book, and with Jezebel’s Wish I’ve been lucky enough to receive several kind reviews from various sources. Since the books’ release in April of this year, my totals are twenty-two reviews (on Amazon), twenty-four (on Goodreads), and once I reach twenty-five, I plan to have a party to celebrate this happy achievement.
Nancy asked me if I would share the secret as to how I’ve been able to gather so many, but in order to do so, I need to go back in time a little bit.
My first book was published in 2008. Forgetful Hearts is a contemporary romance that I literally fired off the keyboard, got contracted, and had published all within a matter of four months. Being “fresh off the boat” to the world of publishing, I went with the first publisher that offered me a contract. Although this particular company did everything they said they would do – cover design, printed and bound the book, and made it available for purchase (and most importantly, they didn’t charge me anything in return), they didn’t really offer me any editorial services. You can only imagine my great chagrin now that I am an editor. The story is fraught with technical issues I was previously unaware of, simply because I had no idea what the heck I was doing. (Sidebar: I am currently working to get the rights back, and hope to one day edit and republish the story error-free.)
I don’t talk about this experience too much because I’m not crazy about anyone reading that particular book, but I feel the need to share this story for two reasons. Reason #1: had my first foray into the world of publishing not happened so quickly, I don’t know if I would have had the motivation to keep going. At the time, I was thrilled to learn that getting published was so “easy”. (This is where you’re all shaking your head at my naiveté. Dumb, I know. I get it.) Reason #2: After the book was released, I ordered my copies and held several book signings, I realized something. I was holding onto that book so tightly, it wasn’t getting the attention I had previously hoped for. (i.e. I refused to give copies away because I was too concerned over making a “sale”. I clutched at every dime so that I could say I was earning money off my writing. Unfortunately, this meant that unless someone purchased a book— including my mother—they would never read my story.)
Fast forward three years to the release of Jezebel’s Wish. I promised myself once this book hit the cyber shelves I wouldn’t make the same mistake, and so far, I’ve been true to my word. In fact, I’ve given away way more copies than I’ve sold. Book bloggers, contest winners, review sites, heck, anyone who stands still long I can hand them a copy, gets a book. While this technique tends to put a dent in the ol’ royalty payments, I now know that in order to set up the success of my NEXT release (She’s Got Dibs is slated for release from The Wild Rose Press in 2012), I need to use Jezebel’s Wish to gather as many readers (and reviews) as possible—so I can spread the word about AJ Nuest, romance author.
But there’s another part. I’m a firm believer that a person reaps what they sow, that old law of the universe which states a person attracts those things they want most by visualizing the receipt of those very things. (Some use the terms “what comes around goes around”, karma, the Law of Attraction, etc.).
Jezebel’s Wish is the perfect example of this “law” in action. Every time I give a book away, I literally visualize that book reaching as many readers as possible. In the time I’ve been doing this, the reviews have come in, my blog has gained a following of 135, 98 like my author FaceBook page, and as of today, I have 898 Twitter friends. I know these numbers aren’t the epitome of super-stardom, but for the seven months I’ve been promoting JW, I have to say I’m pleased with my numbers. And the best part is, they keep growing.
Okay, now onto the good part. I’ve compiled a little list of the things I’ve done when it comes to getting reviews. If you’re struggling in this area, hopefully these tips will help.
F Friends, family, the checkout lady at your local grocery store, the postmaster, your librarian, anyone you come in contact with on a regular basis – GIVE THEM A BOOK. In exchange, simply smile and say, “If you wouldn’t mind writing me a review on Amazon that would be sooooo great.” Most of them will.
2. Your Blog – host Give-Aways as often as you can. In fact, come up with reasons to do so. Sixth month anniversary of your release, (or one, or two, or three), heck give one book away each month! Your birthday, anniversary, Christmas, Halloween, New Year’s, St. Patrick’s Day – whatever floats your boat that you think will drive as many folks as possible to your blog. Have them comment and give them a copy of your book. In exchange, simply smile and say, “If you wouldn’t mind writing me a review on Amazon that would be sooooo great.” Most of them will.
3. Book Bloggers – this is a great resource for garnering reviews from “strangers”. And by strangers I mean anyone who doesn’t know you personally. (Book bloggers aren’t really “strange”, most of them are quite nice. These folks dedicate a ton of time reading and reviewing books. And more often than not, they do it for FREE.)
Here’s one link: http://www.stepbystepselfpublishing.net/book-reviewer-list.html
Here’s another: http://pippajay.blogspot.com/p/book-reviewers-list.html
Write a really tight, friendly, informative email about your book and keep it someplace you can access quickly on your computer. On average, I query about 3-5 book bloggers per week. Not all of them say yes, but some of them do.
4. Twitter – Do not underestimate the value of this marketing tool! I have found tons of reviewers through Twitter (most of them state as much in their profile). Send them the witty email you wrote and ask for a review. Again, not all of them will respond, but some of them do.
5. Last, and most importantly, don’t forget the “social” in Social Network. Be friendly, chat with folks and get to know them, and do it honestly. People can sense a fake, even through the internet. Find folks of like interests and get to know them. Trade emails or Tweets and ask them if they’d be interested in reading your book. Most of them will jump at the chance. In exchange, simply smile and say, “If you wouldn’t mind writing me a review on Amazon that would be sooooo great.” Most of them will.
. Read on for her contact details.
AJ Nuest lives in northwest Indiana with her loving husband and two beautiful children. She is the Senior Editor for Still Moments Publishing, and the author of two contemporary romance novels.
Visit her on the web at:
Facebook: Tattered Pages http://tinyurl.com/3qvxyn6
Jezebel’s Wish Buy Links:
The Wild Rose Press: http://tinyurl.com/446f7r3
Thank you so much for coming on today and giving me this help AJ ...and I hope it's been helpful to other people too. There's an ecopy of Monogamy Twist coming to one lucky person who leaves us a comment about what they have done to garner reviews for their book/s.