#SaystheEditor In Return for a Freebie…

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Author: Susan Helene Gottfried

I know I’ve harped on this before, but it came up the other week, so I thought I’d harp some more. You see, I was chatting with an author friend of mine. She’d gotten SEVENTY (yes, you read that right) copies of one of her new releases from her publisher. They were promo copies, and the idea was that my friend, the author, would send all SEVENTY out and get some early reviews for her new book.

She’s got quite the publishing history, my friend. Sixty-three books under one name and another thirty under another.

Do the math, folks. That’s 93 books.

You’d think that after 93 books, her following would be devoted, large, and willing to write a few words of review that’ll help spread the word about how awesome a writer she is (and she is, whether or not she’s my friend).

Know how many reviews those SEVENTY books spawned?

Do you?

Any guesses?

Bueller?

Okay, I’ll quit teasing you. She got SEVEN.

That’s really sad. It was a free book! She sent it to YOU, reader. And you couldn’t be bothered to write a few simple sentences. Even, “Author X did it again! This is her best yet!” or “Woo, this was so hot, I haven’t cooled off and it’s been three days!” or even “I liked [title z] better because the main character there wore jeans and this guy wore business suits and I’m a jeans sorta girl. Jeans are comfortable. Business suits are stuffy, and so was the guy in this one.”

C’mon… really? Ninety-three (coincidentally one for each of my friend’s published books) readers grabbed a free  book and ran with it. *

I hope those 93 have to buy their own copies from now on.

Which brings me to my soapbox. Although do I really need to get on it? Word of mouth is the  best way to sell books. Writing a review helps sell books. You love an author or a book, taking a few minutes to write a review is the best, simplest, most appreciated way to say thanks. (Okay, other than buying 100 copies and spreading the love, yourself, but how many of you really do that? I’ve bought multiples, but never 100.)

No one said you HAVE to include the plot in your review. Or that it be long or insightful. Just that it be readable. Enthusiasm is super, especially if it’s a book you loved. Pointing out flaws is perfectly acceptable but if you can’t think of any, that’s okay, too.

Just… take the plunge. Authors will be glad you did. And you can be one of those seven who not only got a free book, but showed your thanks in a very meaningful way.

Help an author out. If you  love his or her works, taking those ten minutes to write a few thoughts down will help him or her get more books on the market. It might even let them quit the day job and stay home and write.

That’s the effect YOU can have. Seize it.

 

(and, of course, if you aren’t confident in what you wrote, we at West of Mars are more than willing to help you polish it up. But really, be confident without us. Your opinion is valid, it matters, and we’ll forgive spelling errors if your words are heartfelt.)

 

*And here, Susan proves why she’s a wordsmith and not a mathematician.

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