Free book for your thoughts?

Reviews are the life blood of authors. The number of reviews on a book (good, bad, or indifferent) leads to bigger and better advertising options which leads to more sales which leads to more time to write more books. Authors give books away to encourage readers to post reviews. The best thing a reader can do for a writer is to review it. You’d think it would be buying the book, but no. Reviewing a book causes more people to buy the book. For the author, it could mean the difference between writing another book and taking up needlework. Not long ago I was at a low point. Circumstances had led to a slump in sales. I was considering chucking it to—I dunno—watch a movie? Read a book? Do anything but put myself through the highs and lows of writing, revising, editing, proofing, and publishing another book. Then I was cruising around Instagram and I found a review for Try A Little Tenderness. Not only did she like the book, she got it. She got it in ways I wanted readers to get my books. The review was months old when I found it and it is still, months later, making my day.

So how, you ask, do I get in on this fabulous deal where I get free books and help out the author whose work I love? There are a few ways to go about it. The direct route is to see if your favorite author is requesting reviews. Up at the top of this page is a tab for how to get on my review team. Sign up for my newsletter and you will be offered a spot. I will send you an email when I have books to review. Since this is the year of the review for me, I will have a couple every month. Not sure if you’re already on my mailing list? Email me at Christabellemaurice(at)gmail(dot)com and ask. In fact, if you only want to be on my review list, email me and I’ll make that happen too. Other authors do similar things so feel free to check their websites or email them and ask.

Don’t want to approach an author directly? There are a few places you can find free books in exchange for reviews.

Netgalley is well known. My books aren’t posted there and I find many Netgalley reviewers to be vicious, but there are books there to be reviewed.

Booksprout does have my books in limited quantities and you can follow me there so you will know when I post a book for reviews.

Bookbub actually just gives you a daily email of free books, but authors who post free books are really hoping for reviews (and sales on other books in the series.)

These are the sites I know about. If you know of others, leave them in the comments.

But how is a review written? It’s really easy. Really. REALLY easy. I have posted reviews on Goodreads that ran along the lines of “This books was fun. I liked it.” You don’t have to summarize the book. You don’t have to list pros and cons. It’s your opinion. That’s all. Nobody is judging you on grammar, punctuation, or clarity of thought. We, the authors, would appreciate it if you get the title and characters’ names correct if you are going to mention them though. It’s really confusing when a review mentions a character who isn’t in that book.

Where are these reviews posted? Amazon is best. Goodreads is good. Any book retailer. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Any place other readers are going to see it. The review that made my whole 2018? It was on Instagram. The problem with posting there, though, is that the reviews disappear. If that review was in Amazon, it would be helping me more. But I’m really not going to be picky here. Word of mouth is the best kind of advertising and if you’ve got a bunch of friends/followers who like books no matter where you are, review the books you love.

So help out an author. Review a book.

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