Thursday, June 12, 2014

How to Get Reviews for Your Book

As the president and owner of self-publishing company MindStir Media, book reviews is a topic that comes up often when speaking with my authors. To get MindStir Media books reviewed I usually recommend the following options to my clients (this is a partial yet powerful list):

  • NetGalley: This site puts a digital version of your book in front of 145,000+ reviewers, who can download the PDF. Whenever a reviewer downloads your book, he/she MUST review the book before downloading any other books from the website. MindStir Media authors have the option to get reviewed via this service.
  • GoodReads: Use this website to give away copies of your book in exchange for honest reviews. MindStir authors are encouraged to signup for a Goodreads account and then use the Author Program to participate in the giveaway program. Here's a link that I usually give out to MindStir Media authors:
  • LibraryThing: This site is a lot like Goodreads in that you can give away print copies of your book. On LibraryThing, though, you can give away copies of your ebook in exchange for reviews as well. MindStir Media authors have found this very beneficial. 
  • Contact reviewers directly: Sites like The Indie View show lists of book reviewers. Look through the list of reviewers and follow their submission guidelines, etc. Also perform a search on any of the major search engines for something along the lines of "book blog reviewer list" or "book blog directory" and you'll find a wide array of book reviewers for you to contact.
  • Turn fan mail into reviews: You might receive fan mail from time to time. Instead of sending back a dull response, why not send a genuine "thank you" and then ask them if they'd kindly post a book review on Tell the fan that you appreciate their kind note and would really appreciate their continued support by posting an honest review. You'll be surprised by the response!
  • Run a "Free Book Promo" for your Kindle book: As part of their Select program, Amazon allows authors and publishers to offer their Kindle books for free for up to 5 days during each 90-day period. Readers worldwide will download your ebook for free during that period and many of them will review the book on Amazon. MindStir Media authors have seen great success with this book review tactic. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Self Publish A Book: The Best Way

MindStir Media is a full-service self publishing company, and I'm the owner of MindStir Media, so keep that in mind while reading... There are numerous articles out there that discuss how to self publish a book but many of them talk about self publishing as if you have to "go it alone." The truth is simple: You do not have to handle self publishing alone, and some -- including myself -- would argue that you should not handle it alone...

There are exceptions, of course, but the best way to tackle self publishing is to hire a team of professionals around you. This means hiring a book designer, an editor, printer, self-publishing coach, publicist, etc. You can try to assemble this team yourself, as some self publishing authors do, but that will take a lot of time and patience on your part. The easiest and most convenient way to self publish, in my opinion, is to simply team up with a self publishing company like MindStir Media. MindStir has everything in place for you to self publish a book, including professional editors and book designers, coaching, etc.

Regardless of how you decide to self publish, here's a partial list of things you should look for in your team and/or preliminary questions you should ask:

  • Book designer: A professional book designer should have a portfolio available for you to view. For instance, at MindStir Media we have an entire online bookstore filled with books we've designed. Authors can quickly see the work done and decide whether or not MindStir's designers are a good fit. 
  • Editor: What books has she/he edited? Are they published? How did they do in the marketplace? What kind of background does she/he have? 
  • Printer: You should always inquire about pricing. How much will it cost to print your book? Is the printer equipped to handle large volume? The printer MindStir Media uses is actually the largest print-on-demand printer in the world, printing millions of books for publishers worldwide. 
  • Coach: There are many self publishing coaches out there but many of them are not qualified to be giving advice. A good self publishing coach has experienced strong book sales and understands the ins and outs of self publishing, including marketing. 
You'll also need to look into book distribution and order fulfillment. Ingram is the leader in wholesale book distribution and there are many book fulfillment companies throughout the world but, again, the easiest way to handle these items is to partner with a self publishing company like MindStir Media...