In my Facebook group Tirza’s Bookstore Laura D. Child, book blogger extraordinaire, dear friend and owner of The Magic Book Corner offers a free review raffle each Friday for fiction books written by Indie authors. Authors can comment under the relevant post with the links of their books in the comments and Laura will randomly draw one to read and review. In the group’s announcements, there are a couple of posts detailing this and also a short tutorial on how and why to shorten your Amazon links.
Laura posted an explanation on what and why she does what she does. Here is her post she shared on her social media accounts as well as in the group:
This seems to be a thing so I want to make it clear.
I DO NOT CHARGE FOR REVIEWS AND FEATURES
In fact, whenever I can, I try to get a hold of the books to review by myself. If they're on Kindle Unlimited I get them from there. It's easier for me to post a review on Amazon since the platform allows it and it is good for the authors too. And I am huge Indie author supporter. My feed is proof enough of this. I may be late at times reviewing because of the huge amount of review requests I get. But I always get to the book in the end.
I even have this review program running with the lovely Tirza Schaefer in her Facebook Group Tirza's Bookstore. Every week a post is uploaded where authors are asked to drop the links for their books to be considered for review. I enter all the titles into a random draw and read/review the one randomly chosen. If the book is on KU, I take it from there. If not, I ask for a review copy.
Additionally, I always pick one book that appeals to me personally that week. Which means there are two books I read and review every week for this program. All for free. Why? Because I can and because it's a good thing to do.
Do I ask for anything in return? No. But I do appreciate sharing if the reviews are good. When an author shares one of my reviews, to me that means the review matters. It means it was liked and appreciated. And there is nothing better for a blogger like me than to see a little quote from one of the reviews up on the cover of a book or on a promo poster. Because that means the review was awesome!
So keep a watch for the Friday posts and drop your links in the comments. If your book is not selected, there's always a chance next week. You don't need to stick to one book alone, either. If you have more, post them. Even if I have already reviewed one of your books I will welcome the link for another in the next week's post. I don't mind reading more titles from the same author. Especially if I loved one of the books.
The posts are uploaded weekly. Every Friday. And they are always pinned to the top. You have time from Friday to Sunday every weekend to enter that week's draw. Hugs and light everyone and happy reading!
This is a wonderful way of not only giving an insight into a book blogger’s world who is passionate about her work and delivers the same high standard quality she seeks in a book. And I honestly find Laura’s reviews the most outstanding I have ever read. They are detailed but don’t contain spoilers. They grab you and tell you what to expect, as well as making your mouth water with wanting to know more and wanting to read the book.
To offset all this amazing information she provides above, I added my own perspective as an author to it and would like to share both views in this blog for easy reference, educating the reader on the importance of bloggers for authors and how this relationship can benefit both sides.
First of all, I'd like to say how much I appreciate Laura’s great work and its quality. Even amongst professional bloggers (and that's got nothing to do with income derived or not but expertise in the area you're doing the work in) Laura is a shining star. As an author, I have read through so many book bloggers' profiles to see if they would be a match to like my books and might want to read and review them.
Before Laura, I've not come across anyone who could compare to her. That's why I've also invited her to be part of my Facebook group Tirza’s Bookstore as admin and resident book blogger. I'm not saying this because she is. There's a big difference. That she’s become a valued friend and I have been fortunate enough to glimpse behind the scenes and see what an amazing person she is, is an added blessing this has resulted in.
As an author, I would also like to impress on every author who may not be aware of the importance a blogger's review has. First of all, the blogger sharing their review on their social media gives your book exposure like you could never do yourself. Look at Laura's Instagram profile @magicbookcorner and see the engagement rates she has. Each post is liked several hundred times, she gets so many comments not only from authors and readers but also fellow bloggers. So if any of them likes her review well enough, they might want to read and review your book as well. More exposure.
A review from a book blogger carries more weight because it is independent and cannot be misconstrued by anyone as a friend doing you a favour. Bloggers of QUALITY like Laura have INTEGRITY and won't give a bad book five stars only because you asked nicely (or even paid them). They take their work very seriously and their reputation as well! On top of that, look at the way these reviews are written. And even though Laura is pretty much in a league of her own, other bloggers also write very good and detailed reviews. Potential readers who read their reviews will often base their buying decisions on them because they feel they can now make an informed choice about a book by an author they don't know yet. I know that because as a reader, I am reading a lot of reviews as well to see whether I'd like a certain book.
Moreover, if you share the review of the blogger around your social media and engage on their posts, this has several benefits:
More exposure of your book.
More potential new followers.
More potential sales, readers and reviews.
Happy bloggers who will be happy to review your next book as well because they feel appreciated and might recommend you to fellow bloggers as someone who shows them appreciation in return which also results in more exposure for them.
Having a quality blogger review will lend more importance and give more credit to you as an author and increase people's confidence in the quality of your work.
Don't be shy to ask the blogger about how you can improve your work. They will be happy to share their expertise with you and feel you take their advice seriously, which will not only make you a better writer but will also show how serious you are about your craft and dedication to it.
You have great quotes as content for your social media feeds.
I think the above is quite a convincing catalogue of points, don't you agree? So never underestimate a good blogger of quality and integrity and the wonderful relationship bloggers and authors can have that both sides can benefit from so enormously.
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