Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I am not soliciting

Last Friday, I received an interesting email from my publisher, Life Sentence Publishing. They would like to see more reviews of my devotional “The Christmas Story in 40 Days” on Amazon before the Christmas season. They say my goal should be to get 30 reviews in 30 days. To which I wanted to reply, “but the book is all about growing closer to God in 40 days. Shouldn't I try to get 40 reviews in 40 days?”

So that has been consuming much of my free time the last few days – emailing family, friends and soon-to-be former friends that I would like them to write a review for me. Of course, then I need to get them a copy of the book, which I figure I should offer for free if they are willing to write a review for me. But I can’t give away all of my books. So I have told them, that if they don’t already have a copy (really? And you call yourself my friend and you don’t have a copy of all of my books?), I will loan them one. I trust them and am sure they will get this copy back to me, but then what am I going to do with it? I haven’t quite figured out all of the logistics, but most people have been willing to cough up the money if I lay a book in their hands.

And, yes, the book is available for e-reading, but it seems that many of my family and friends don’t have e-readers or they just want that book in their hands. I can never tell.

At last count, out of 51 people personally emailed or facebooked, seven say they will write a review and one has actually done it. I am a long ways from 40!

I’m just going to throw it out there, that if this kind of book sounds like anything you might be interested in reading and writing a review on Amazon for, let me know. I will get you a book. Somehow. If you want one. And if not, that is totally fine. This blog is not about solicitation, it is about my writing journey and that is really what I wanted to share with you tonight.

I guess as helpful as reviews would be, it would also be helpful to get advice on how to prod people into writing reviews for you. I’ve read up on this and have yet to find something that actually works for me. Or is like a 15% success rate the norm? 

I’d love to hear your thoughts. 


  1. Chris, you've outlined the indie writer's predicament precisely. I've sent you some info privately and hope your post brings good results! You got to me!

    1. Thanks Beth, all of your information has been helpful and appreciated. I will be in touch.

  2. It's a strange, strange world. In order to get readers you not only need to have published a book, but you need people to have read and reviewed the book. The more people who have reviewed the book on the online marketplaces, the higher up in the search results it goes. The higher up in the search results it goes and the more likely people are to see it, consider it, buy it. And it's not (just) your publisher's job anymore to get the book into reviewers' hands, it's yours, too. I can relate to the predicament. I do know that a lot of indie authors offer free review copies in exchange for honest reviews; that seems to be a standard practice these days. Often, those review copies are electronic, so they cost the author nothing to give out. I'm curious: while you're emailing all the people on your list and blogging about it, what is your publisher doing to help you meet that target of 30 reviews in 30 days? Or have they already tapped out all their resources?