Dear Fellow Author,
If you’re thinking of asking for reviews from friends and acquaintances you respect and trust, and who know a few things about writing and storytelling, here are ten points you might consider:
1. If friends give you an enthusiastic "yes, of course I'll review your book," best they know the length of your book. If possible, set a soft time goal that's both comfortable for author and reviewer. .
2. Sometimes the best thing a would-be reviewer can do is be straight with the author. An upfront "I wish it were otherwise, but I can't help you" is far better than an endless protraction of good intentions,
3, Take the time to explain to someone that writing is your passion, perhaps even a career, and you would greatly appreciate their feedback. It's okay to mention another obvious thing: What writer or artist doesn't need some kudos or validation, especially in a profession where one can labor largely alone and in silence for a year or two. Once published, you find yourself in survival-of-the-fittest waters, as two or three million other authors are scrambling for reviews just like you.
4. Ask the friend you're soliciting if he or she can possibly read just ten pages. If they like the story, you hope they continue, If not, it’s all okay.
5. If the moment feels right, remind your friend a book is your investment in yourself and your talents. You want to. be taken seriously, without being considered pushy or begging.
6. Tell friends they don't need impeccable writing or grammar skills to complete a review, Two or three sentences should make you happy, as long as they're honest words.
7. You might offer your friends a topic or two that other reviews haven't
covered. Suggest they share their opinions about your main character, for example, or how your surprise ending worked or didn’t work for them.
8. If you do receive a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or wherever, thank them. He or she took time out of their busy lives for you.
9. Be reluctant to ask anyone in your immediate family to review your book. Unless your relationship is exceeding strong and open, it can backfire.
10. I know writers who make the mistake of 'nudging" potential reviewers who haven’t had time to digest the book. Your friends usually don't need a reminder. There could be many reasons for a delay, and they may not have anything to do with your book.
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Michael R. French
Michael French is a graduate of Stanford University and Northwestern University. He is a businessman and author who divides his time between Santa Barbara, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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