Originally posted on April 15, 2011, but this may be of help to some of you!
Using Twitter and Facebook effectively can gain reviews for your ebook. While such prestigious outlets as Publisher's Weekly and even the New York Times have announced (finally) that ebooks will be reviewed by them, the number of slots for such reviews are miniscule at best, and I suspect most such reviews will go to the authors who least need the extra toot to their horns. I mean does Dean R. Koontz need another place to be reviewed? Evanovich? Now, you and I and many another upstart Indie author or midlist author with an ebook -- we are the ones who need a review outlet. There is Mysterical-e and a handful of others reviewing online but for ebooks and kindle books, the place where you will most likely be seen if you do garner a review is on Amazon.com.
But then how do you get people to review your book on Amazon? I recently put up new books for sale from the Kindle shelf, and to entice eReaders to review my books, I announced on Facebook and Twitter that I would gift a copy of a book to anyone interested in then reviewing -- FREE copy of Children of Salem or Titanic 2012 and the eReader need only review it in some venue, preferably Amazon.com.
I recently received on April 14, 2011 -- the 99th year of Titanic's launch and demise -- another review of my T2012. The reviewer, a Chris Gibson, eReader, Joe Q. Public, remarked on how chills went through him when he realized he had placed up the review on April 14th--the exact night 99 years ago when Titanic sank. Next year at this time it will be the 100th year of Titanic. One of the reasons I tackled the manuscript which posed huge challenges.
The reviews I have recieved from this process have been terrific and detailed for the most part. in which I said I would prefer an ugly, nasty, bad or tepid review to NO review but that I would take my chances as I believed strongly in the novel. They also inform me that I was on the right track with these two titles and offer some strong vindication as both books were repeatedly shunned by brick and mortar publishers, but in the case of querying myself as Independent Publisher for Instinct InK, I sorta knew I was not going to get a rejection slip or a pleasant 'no thank you'--HA!
It is rather nice to know your book is accepted by the publisher even before you have completed the thing. Independent authorship/publising with Amazon.com/Kindle. Nice to know you will be all-in on the cover art, the script/lettering, and no one to fight you on your title. All copy writing in my hands, so the description is precisely as I want it to be. Marketing director, PR person, responsible for it all, and oddly enough it frees me up from a myriad of problems faced when dealing with brick and mortar publishers, includinng no confusion on earnings and no delays on earnings. No more waiting six months or a year to learn of the progress or lack thereof of the book. Instead of royalty statements, I have unit sales reports. Instead of an agent and a publisher, I have a partner in crime who allows me to take 70% off the top to his 30%.
It is all so remarkable that even after placing up 46 booklength works on the Kindle shelf, I am still flabergasted that I am realizing a childhood dream--to be able to afford to publish myself so I don't have to cow-tow to anyone or wait on others I consider far, far too slow as I write too fast for brick and mortar stores but never too fast for the Kindle Store.
People looking for advice on practical methods for selling ebooks/kindle titles, find me on Kindle Community Forums. Hope to see you there.
Robert W. Walker
Killer Instinct, Cutting Edge, and Thrice Told Tales