Earlier this week, in the middle of my crazy work day I received a text message that read “Your Reader’s Favorite review of All I Left Unsaid is complete! Please login to your Author Area to read your review.”
I got this text at 2:03pm on a Monday. I was in the middle of a meeting when my phone dinged, but with no time to read the review, it would have to wait even though I wanted to login and read it sooo badly that instant. Let me tell you why!
For the past year and a half I’ve kept up with all book marketing efforts I’ve made to help me keep track of what’s worked, what hasn’t, what’s generated book sales, and what’s led to other opportunities. I’ve worked my tail off to market my debut novel in the time I allot to it. When I analyzed my tactics several months ago, I made a list of things I had yet to try and submitting my book for a book review was one I hadn’t done yet. Most reviewers out there charge for submissions, don’t guarantee your book will get reviewed, and your book is open for judgement on a professional level. Worst case scenario- you pay someone and your book may or may not get reviewed. If it is, you’re not guaranteed a good review you can use. The risk was great. I also didn’t like the idea of spending money to get a review.
At a last ditch effort to “give it all I got” I researched reputable reviewers, because if I was going to try this new tactic, it better damn well be a great company I wanted to be affiliated with.
I submitted my book for review, did not pay for the review, and put it out into the universe. If it’s meant for me, it will be. This was in April of this year. I was informed that books that are submitted for an unpaid review may not even get picked at all to be read. Basically, the synopsis has to be good enough for a reviewer to want to read it.
When I got that text, I was ecstatic because it meant that someone had chosen to read my book among some great options. This is where I am in life- simply grateful someone chose my book off the shelf. I had yet to see what rating I got.
Friends- my book earned a 5 Star Rating by Reader’s Favorite! Let me tell you what that means! Readers’ Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.
Earning this recognition for my work is overwhelming and touching. I was in tears when I was finally able to login and read the words- Congratulations on your 5 Star Review.
The process for writing this book from the emotional toll to the sweat that goes into the book hustle (on top of all the other hats I wear) is one of the hardest things I’ll ever do. I feel deep gratitude for this recognition. I can’t wait to see those shiny 5 star rating stickers on the cover of my book!
Along with the stickers, I get a press release that’s going out to media across the nation, a notification letter being sent to libraries, schools, and bookstores across the US, some free advertising, social media shout out from Reader’s Favorite, a new community of writers to network with, and more opportunities that await me. I got a beautifully worded review written by the wonderful woman who read my book. Thank you Maria Beltran. You can read the full review HERE.
Thank you for letting me share this happy news with you.
Speaking of reviews- my dear reader- If you haven’t written a review, I would be most grateful for one! Reviews help Authors share their work far and wide. My publisher explained book marketing with a visual. She told me to think of a target. Each ring around the target is an audience. The Author’s reach is the small loop in the center. These are the Author’s close friends and family. The next ring are the Author’s network of contacts- community friends, neighbors, co-workers. The next ring are those contacts’ circle of friends. This is the hardest ring to break into and each ring even more difficult. Authors need readers like you to help us branch out. You can do this by writing a review and talking about the book.
Share your review on Amazon, Goodreads, or the bookstore from where you purchased the book. You can also share your thoughts on the book with your book club friends, your avid reader cousin, your college professor friend, the neighbor that’s looking for a good summer read, your co-worker, and anyone else you can think of.
Thank you always for your support.