Finding book reviewers 2

The best way of finding book reviewers is Goodreads. I have already mentioned that with the help of the Book Blogs Search Engine I had already found roughly 400 book bloggers. With the help of Goodreads I later managed to find an additional 600.

How? Go to Goodreads.com and type into the search line the title of the book or author you have chosen. You will find many reviews for that book. You can then click on the name of the blogger who wrote the review and you will get his or her profile. And if you find an address of their website there, click on that.


Waiting period for book bloggers

When I read Amanda Hocking’s blog it seemed that all her reviewers read her books in one or two months. Later I found out that Amanda writes young adult fiction. And these are the books that were in greatest demand at that time.
In the case of crime stories, things are slightly different. The waiting period is usually at least 4-6 months. In extreme cases, your book will get read in two months or after more than six months. Some bloggers told me that it would be my book’s turn only in 10 months. I never complicated matters, and always thanked them politely for their reply and accepted any waiting period. 


Finding book reviewers 1

Initially, I used Google: Book Blogs Search Engine.
If you want to find bloggers for the Mystery section, then write the word Mystery into the search engine. Numerous addresses will pop up. You can copy the addresses to Excel. Why? Because some addresses will keep coming up. If you copy them to Excel one below the other, you can then sort the column in alphabetical order and delete the addresses that appear more than once.
This way I found around 400 book reviewers for crime novels. And how many agreed to read my book? Only 30.

You must realize that most bloggers are very busy, so you must be patient.


What do omniscient POV and 3rd person POV actually mean?

In the case of omniscient POV, a number of persons in a chapter can think, feel and see. In 3rd person point of view only one person in a chapter can do all those things. So you can describe only what one person sees and write only about that person’s feelings and thoughts. Some practice is necessary for this, but gradually the rule gets under your skin. And it produces a stronger emotional reaction in the reader. All the books on creative writing recommend 3rd person POV.


The weakest aspects of my writing that critics have pointed out

After a thorough analysis of all the reviews, I realized they were not as bad as those for some other authors. Mostly, they pointed out the following:
·        The main characters are nothing special and rather shallow.
·        The use of omniscient POV (point of view).
·        Some parts of my books drag , even though nearly everyone recognized that my novels were very readable and referred to them as “page turners”.

As a result of this I did the following:
  • I deepened the characters.
  • I changed all three novels so that they are told from a 3rd person viewpoint.
  • I deleted all the parts that did not contain enough suspense. An example: in the book Promise Me Eternity I deleted more than 20% of the text.

What happened:
  • The characters became more likable.
  • The books are full of suspense from start to finish.
  • Because I am now using only the 3rd person POV, readers feel more for the characters, resulting in a stronger emotional experience.


The second reaction to reviews

Later, I came to my senses again. As I had invested a great deal of time and money in writing (translations cost me 33,000$), I decided that there was no way I was going to give up that easily. I began reading books on creative writing. I read at least six and out of all of them I would recommend two that I think every author should read.
  1. Stein On Writing
  2. Writing Fiction For Dummies

One has to be honest with oneself. I had spent months sulking, but when I read all these books on creative writing, I was forced to admit the reviewers were right.
Today I am very grateful to them. In the newer versions of my books, published after December 2012, most of the reviews are taken into account.
However, it is true that many reviewers could have written their criticism in a nicer way. Some were rather too sarcastic and hostile, which is wrong, whatever the reason. A good review must include both positive and negative observations.
But above all I have learnt that what is most important is that a writer creates a strong emotional experience. The book must be full of suspense from the very start, the characters must be strong and likeable, the place where the story takes place must be attractive and there must be a sufficient number of conflicts and events in the book to pull the reader along. It is no use knowing how to use unusual words or how to describe events poetically. The point of novels is not to tell others how clever you are but to create an emotional experience. If you cannot do that, the book will not sell. And the more obscurely you write, the greater the possibility that the readers will not feel what they should feel.


First reactions to reviews

Positive reviews give you energy, whilst negative ones bring you down, especially if the books are not selling as you would like them to. Then you start getting eaten away inside, wondering what is wrong. In my case, this state lasted at least five months, during which I did not even want to think about writing and I decided to throw in the towel for good.