Sunday, June 8, 2014


Reviews are the life-blood of Indie/ Self-publishers. However, reviews (reviewers) are difficult to find. On Goodreads, there are three review groups that I have joined.

The Strictly Reviews is the one that I have been a member of the longest. It is a no commitment group. By that, I mean that you post your book link and a brief description and let reviewers contact you.

To date, I have gotten one review for Sal, Captain of the Baby Guards as a result of being a member, and it cost me two books (the reviewer wanted a copy for her local library, which I was more than willing to provide). However, I posted it in the picture book section and the children's book section in December, and it was the last post to date (June) in these threads. I have received 0 reviews for The Inconvenient Widow. After adding The Corruption today, I see the fantasy thread has had no one posting in it (aside from my new post) since November (not very encouraging), the paranormal and Christian threads are not much better.

The General Review group was the next (and recent) group I joined. The premise of this group was that you join, you sign up when groups are forming, and you read and review other books from group members while they do the same for you. This group helps you get fair reviews. However, I recently joined and it is undergoing a transition.

Initially the group was set up so that you have no idea what you are reading and no matter what it is you are supposed to give it a fair review. Apparently there has been an influx of erotica and graphically violent books, which has created problems (people were refusing to review them). So, after a debate, which I of course embroiled myself in and probably shouldn't have, they decided to create a "hard core" group, which is primarily for erotica, BDSM, LGBT, and graphically violent works, the general group (which means you will have to review everything in it without complaining and it could contain some of the above "hard core" items), and the "clean" group that contains no sex, and no violence. Of course, the hard core group filled up quickly (I think there is only one space left in this round) and then the general group filled up (again only one space left), but the clean group is struggling a little (they are about halfway there). The benefit is that you give and get 4 reviews. It is also nice because the people reviewing you are not the people you are reviewing.

I also joined the extension of the above group - The Genre Specific Review Group. This group is run the same as the General Review group with elements of Strictly Reviews in it. For whatever reason, it doesn't seem to be quite as popular as the General Review Group. However, I was able to join the fantasy group that was forming and have started that. Again, you join a group and when enough people have joined you are in it. In this group, you give and get 2 reviews, but you are not reviewing the same people who are reviewing you. This group is broken down into many genres, though. You can also let the moderator know if you want to give 10 free MOBI/ ePUB/ PDF books to have people review it. This is similar to the Strictly reviews board, but a little more controlled.

All in all, I should be getting 4 reviews for The Inconvenient Widow and 6 for The Corruption published on Goodreads, Amazon, and Amazon UK. The only limit on the number of reviews/ groups you join is that you are able to fairly give the number of reviews you commit to. For example, I will be reviewing a total of 10 books to get my 10 reviews. And each group has a maximum time limit for posting the reviews.

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