Monthly Archives: January 2013

Eureka! Five stars from an Amazon Top 500 reviewer

DSCF0122Two blogs in a day – in fact, in less than two hours! What is the world coming to?

But I simply have to share my joy that Ionia Martin, one of Amazon’s Top 500 reviewers, has awarded five stars to The Girl with the Haunting Smile. She speaks of “emotionally developed characters that you can’t help but like”. She adds: “I love the dialogue in this book and can’t see how it could possibly be better.”

Wow! I said in my last post that it is an endless drag to track down Amazon top reviewers. Suddenly, that drag seems well worth the trouble.

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Seeking reviews

DSCF0122I wrote about reviews not so long ago but here I go again. The fact is, it’s hellishly difficult to get them. Countless thousands of novelists are begging the bloggers and reviewers to add them to their list, so it’s a lottery in which your poor old ticket is more than likely to stick to the bottom of the urn.

That’s not to say I’ve had no luck. After days of trawling through long lists of bloggers, I’ve managed to line up quite a few to review The Girl with the Haunting Smile between now and the summer. If you’re in the same boat as me, you have to understand that (1) their lists may be closed because they’re inundated (2) they may not accept ebooks (3) they may not accept self-published authors (4) your book may not belong to a genre they’re prepared to read. Even if they add you to their queue, they make clear there’s no guarantee they’ll read and review your book. All they’re doing at this stage is to add you to their list of possibles. They’re in this powerful position, of course, because they don’t get paid for their services and can therefore pick and choose as they please, which is fair enough.

For all my efforts, I wouldn’t have got to this stage if it hadn’t been for an angelic fellow author who slipped me the names of three bloggers who have now agreed to review my book. I’d love to give her a resounding shout-out but won’t in case she gets a shoal of begging tweets or emails in hot pursuit of the same favour.

Scouring the Amazon list of top reviewers is the most laborious experience of all. Only a small percentage are book reviewers and most of those want to make their own book choices, so they don’t leave contact details. But what makes it an endless drag is that you have to click whenever you want to change page (there are 10 reviewers per page). I’ve reached 2,200, so if I want to look for more Amazon reviewers, I’ll have to do 220 clicks before I can even start. On some other websites which incorporate lists there’s a search box where you simply enter a page number and, eureka, you’re there. Why can’t Amazon, a market leader in high technology and ultra-complex algorithms, offer the same facility?