Thursday, June 25, 2009
Hey guys, we have a guest! My dear friend, Joanna Campbell Slan. I've quoted Joanna quite a bit on this blog, but today she's here to share her thoughts in her own words.
In addition to being a terrific writer and the creator of the Kiki Lowenstein mystery series (PAPER, SCISSORS, DEATH was an Agatha nominee), Joanna is one smart cookie!! A graduate of Ball State University, she went on to become an internationally known expert in the world of scrapbooking and has written several books on the subject. She's bubbly, fun, a real dynamo in a small package with a huge thirst for knowledge. In fact one of her favorite phrases is "isn't that interesting?" (this statement is usually made after she fills me in on a subject about which I'm absolutely clueless! 8) )
So grab a cup of coffee and meet Joanna!! I'm sure you'll find her as much fun as I do!!
You, dear reader, have tremendous influence over the career of any author. Especially when an author's career is young. As you might have read or noticed, the publishing world is in a state of flux. Once upon a time, authors were expected to grow and mature over time. They were allowed to build a following. Editors worked with authors extensively to learn their craft. But today, publishing is more like every other industry. The goals are much more short term--and as a consequence, authors don't have the luxury of time to grow an audience.
One of the most important ways you can influence an author's career is simply by writing a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. You see, your input really counts. And, when you think about it, if you enjoyed a person's book, don't you want to tell your friends? I know I do!
These online reviews have tremendous power! Here's what Brent Sampson says in his book Sell Your Book on Amazon : "...Amazon recommends products...The more reviews your book has, the more popular Amazon thinks your book is. Similarly, the more five-star reviews your book has, the more valuable Amazon thinks your book is."
So, in essence, you become the bookseller when you write a review on Amazon. I imagine it works the same on Barnes & Noble's site and so on.
How do you write a review?
First of all, I suggest you write it in something MS Word, or whatever word processing program you have first. This makes it easier for you to spell-check, for you to copy the review on more than one site, and for you to be certain your review isn't "eaten" by the computer gods.
Then go to Amazon, select "Books" from all their products. Type in the name or author of the book you wish to review. Scroll down the page. Stop when you see "Customer Reviews" in orange on the left. On the right of those words, you'll see a small phrase inside an oval that reads "Create Your Own Review." Click on that. It will ask you for your customer information--your email address and your password. If you've never ordered from them, I don't think you can go any further. If you have, and you supply that, you'll be taken to another page. From there, it's pretty self-explanatory.
For Barnes & Noble:
Go to their website, click "Books" and put in the book title. At the bottom of the paragraph of information, there's a spot to click called "Customer Reviews" or something similar. When you click that, at the bottom it says "Write a review." Click on that "Write a review" and it will take you to a spot to log in. You have to create an account--and then it will walk you through everything you need to do.
Receive a FREE Gift from Me for Taking the Time...
Now...let me sweeten the deal. I know this takes time and you are busy. So here's what I'm offering. If you write a review for either Cut, Crop & Die or Paper, Scissors, Death, I'll send you a small thank you gift. I have some pretty little album kits, complete with stickers and paper. As long as the supply lasts, all you need to do is email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, tell me where your review is, and share your postal address.