One of the things my publishing strategist coaxed me to do was to solicit reviews once an initial printing of the book was printed. That version of the book, the Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) was completed in early summer of 2022. Of course, I would have loved to have a big-name celebrity read the book and give me a positive review but I’m sure a thousand others would like the same thing. Celebrities don’t even consider such requests, even if you have a means of reaching them.
So, I started going through my contacts and wondered who I might approach. I picked seven people who I thought were readers. Some were “politically aware,” but I had never talked about politics with others.
The last person I called was a former business associate and friend. As I was dialing his number it dawned on me that he had written a book. It was a book that became an international bestseller. As we talked, he showed a kind interest in my project and said he would be happy to read the book and give me a review. He paused a moment and said, “you know how this works don’t you?” I said, “uh, not sure. Why don’t you tell me.”
Todd explained that he had gone through the same thing when writing his book. An author friend of his explained that sometimes people don’t have time to read the book. So, when sending the book, just include what you would like the person to say about it. He said he had been through this before with someone. They sent the book to him. He tried to read it but just couldn’t get into it so he didn’t finish. He did send the review, however, as promised.
I sent him the ARC and what I would like him to say about it. A couple of weeks later, I got a wonderful email from him. He said that once he started reading it, he had a hard time putting it down. He didn’t use the review I suggested to him. He sent his own review that was much better than the one I had suggested. Since that time he also commented on one of my LinkedIn posts, saying “Great author and writing. One of the best fiction books I have read in years.” What a confidence builder!
I had another early reviewer reach out to me to tell me he loved it! He told me he read it twice!
For the record, I did let the people I sent ARCs to help them with the review if they wanted.
Only one of the seven asked for help. I suggested something and he used it. No, it wasn’t one of the gushing reviews!
After doing a book signing prior to the book being released for sale, I continued to get very positive feedback. I really hope all my readers react as positively toward the book as my early reviewers have.