tl;dr Reviews are the #1 way books get readers’ attention, and that drives sales for authors.
There are all kinds of studies using all kinds of algorithms about how word of mouth impacts book sales for the better. You can read those, if you care to, or you can take my word for it.
Back when we all lived in a slower, kinder world, people sat and chatted with each other, and they talked about what they were reading. Now, only the most devoted bibliophiles hang out in in-person book clubs (except pandemic, which has largely killed those); most of us are lucky if we meet our Goodreads Yearly Goal, snatched in moments here and there in the interstitial spaces of our crazy lives.
The online book review has replaced actual word of mouth almost entirely. Whether it’s on Amazon, Goodreads (which is owned by Amazon now, but still has separate reviews), in the Silent Book Club group on Facebook, or other places altogether, people are discovering what their friends recommend, and making recommendations of their own, online. So for any author, having readers leave reviews is literally the difference between make and break for any given title.
We provide authors with business cards and post cards of their titles, so they can hand out reminders to people, but even then, people recognize these, appropriately, as promotional materials, and therefore biased. Before people spend their entirely valuable time on a book, they want to know if it’s going to have been worth it, and they rely not on promotional materials, but on real people’s reviews, to make that judgement.
What that means, is that as an author or a publisher, you can spend all the money on marketing you want, and it won’t make as much of a difference as receiving a well-written review will. As a reader, your review has more power than the Press’s marketing dollars. And that should make you happy; it’s one of the only places in the great wheel of Capitalism where the power resides with the people.
So get out there and flex that power. If you’ve ever bought a title from a small press, leave a review of the title on every platform you feel comfortable using. Get in the habit of leaving reviews every time you finish a title, whether it’s small press or big. You’re doing good in the world by doing so, and that’s a worthy use of anyone’s time.
During this holiday season, when you’re looking for the perfect gift for that author friend or family member, here’s something that will fit every budget:
Leave a review.
There are a lot of important business-related reasons why leaving reviews is important to a book and author’s success. (We will discuss these in detail in another post.) The most important part:
Leave a review.
For authors and books, the two most important places to leave reviews are Amazon and Goodreads. You can even post the same review in both places!
Did you know:
Give the author in your life the perfect gift for the holidays.
Leave a review.
There is a size that fits every budget — and you don’t even have to gift wrap it!
We are extremely pleased and honored to be able to announce the immediate availability of Pious Rebel by Jory Post.
After her partner dies suddenly, Lisa Hardrock realizes how little she knows about the life she’s been living — and starts exploring her questions in a blog that unexpectedly goes viral.
Following the sudden death of her domineering partner, Lisa Hardrock begins to discover how little she really knows about the life she’s been living for the last seven years — and the man she was living it with.
As she confronts the secrets and unpaid debts her partner left behind, Lisa also begins to investigate the mysteries of her own life by beginning to write. Begun as a journal for her daily thoughts, her blog ends up going viral
Along the way, Lisa discovers the truths and lies about those she has considered friends, learns more about Central Valley motorcycle gangs than she ever thought she needed to know, and unexpectedly ends up with a pantry full of sockeye salmon for her cat, Eloise.
Pious Rebel is available now in hardcover, trade paperback, and digital editions.
We are extremely pleased to be able to announce the immediate availability of The Found Child (A Shelby McDougall Mystery) by Nancy Wood.
Private Investigator Shelby McDougall is out for revenge.
Repeated miscarriages have caused Shelby’s marriage to disintegrate. Financial ruin lies ahead. A cheek swab sent to an online ancestry service turns up a surprise child: Shelby’s genetic offspring — found in the misty ether of the internet.
The only way Shelby can hang on to her shredding sanity is to take things into her own hands and, once and for all, locate and apprehend Helen Brannon — the woman responsible for hijacking her fertility … and her future.
As Shelby closes in on her target, the stakes get higher and higher. But when Shelby finds Helen Brannon … how far will she go?
The Found Child is available in hardcover, trade paperback, and digital editions. Signed editions are also available.
And for a limited time, get the digital editions of the other books in the “Shelby McDougall” series, Due Date and The Stork, for only 99¢!
We are excited to inform you that we will be (virtually) attending NASFiC 2020 from August 21st through August 23rd.
Visit us in the virtual Dealers Room to meet our authors and receive special deals on our books.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for ongoing updates during the convention!
We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of Grimaulkin Collected by L. A. Jacob.
Mike LeBonte went to prison for summoning demons and using magic. At the age of 18, he is let out for good behavior. Now he’s trying to make a better life for himself.
He’s trying to stay out of trouble. However, trouble finds him, because someone has summoned a demon in a local park, and he is called in to assist the police in figuring out who did it — that is, if he didn’t do it himself.
At the same time, he is attempting to make inroads with a handsome young man in the city, the owner of a New Age store in downtown. Mike also assists his cousin who is being stalked by someone—or a group — while fighting off his new boyfriend’s ex.
And when you think it’s over, someone has summoned Lucifer. But with the help of modern chemistry, Mike doesn’t have magic anymore.
This is just a few of the adventures that befall Mike, also known by his prison name: Grimaulkin.
Grimaulkin Collected is available in digital formats from Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and Apple Books.
Life at sea presents many challenges, and finding (and keeping) love is one of the biggest. Heartwreck: Romantic Disasters at Sea is a collection of true and semi-true stories about love gone wrong on the high seas, curated by Melanie Neale, Emily Greenberg, and Laureen Hudson, and published under our Unruly Voices imprint.
Rough weather, small spaces, long days in the boatyard, and an eclectic mix of personalities make personal relationships among the seafaring community challenging and rife with struggles. We’re looking for personal essays and memoir/creative nonfiction pieces about your experiences. Be real, be honest, be funny, be brave. Maybe a relationship fell apart and you got stuck with a boat you didn’t think you wanted. Maybe, after five days at sea with a partner and five months to go, you realized you can’t possibly live with that person on a small boat. Whatever the disaster, if it happened on or around boats, we want to read about it.
We are seeking submissions for this anthology. Our targeted release date is October 2020. Please carefully read the submission guidelines, as we will only consider submissions that follow the guidelines.
|Open for Submissions:
||January 1, 2020 through July 30, 2020
||2,000 – 5,000 words
||0.02 per word + two (2) contributor copies
You can find our general submission guidelines on our Submissions page.
Please submit your complete story in standard manuscript form in digital format (DOCX, RTF, or ODT) to submissions (at) unrulyvoices.com. (If you want bonus points, also attach a MOBI file; that will help our editorial team be able to read it faster.)
Please include “Heartwreck Anthology” in the subject line of your submission.
Include the following in your cover letter/email:
- Title of your story
- Your real name
- Your physical mail address
- Your preferred email address
- Approximate word count
- Your story can be from whatever genre best fits its theme. However, we are not looking for erotica or stories that contain excessive gore or violence.
- No simultaneous submissions, please. You may submit more than one story, but please send each one as a separate submission.
- We will accept stories that have been previously published. If your story has been published before, please provide proof that you hold the current publishing rights for it when you submit your manuscript.
- We highly recommend that you change any names based on real people in your story to protect the innocent — and to prevent possible further harassment by the guilty.
Check this page for the latest information about the Call for Submissions for this anthology.
We are extremely pleased to be able to announce the immediate availability of our long-awaited anthology Corporate Catharsis.
We’ve all been there: standing behind a desk or a counter for ridiculously long hours, letting the movie of our imagination roll behind our eyes. We’re certain that you can, far too easily, find inspiration from your workplace. Magic, mayhem, revenge — and, yes, perhaps even redemption — can all be found here.
Corporate Catharsis is the anthology we all need — one that can help us survive our corporate servitude with our hearts and souls intact.
With stories by J Dark, Laureen Hudson, L. A. Jacob, Sophie Kearing, Andrea Monticue, Stephen Pimentel, Steven Radecki, Bob Schoonover, Vern Smith, Steve Soult, Ryan Southwick, and Kimberley Wall.
Corporate Catharsis is available in hardcover, trade paperback, and digital editions.
We are extremely pleased to be able to announce the immediate availability of Fruit of the Devil by Mary Flodin.
Ms. Aurora Bourne would do anything to protect her students from harm … even if that means going up against the most powerful corporation on the planet.
While getting her fourth grade classroom ready for Fall, Aurora begins to feel sick, and it’s more than back-to-school blues. Outside her windows next to the playground, strawberry fields have just been fumigated and pesticides are drifting into the classrooms, causing serious health issues for children and adults. When the teenage sister of a migrant student goes missing from the strawberry fields, it becomes clear that pesticide poisoning isn’t the only thing threatening the children’s safety, and Aurora begins to understand why farmworkers call strawberries Fruta del Diablo — the Fruit of the Devil.
Aurora starts asking questions and gets caught in a web of gangs, drugs, trafficking, and high-level corporate crime. When a Catholic priest comes to her aid, she falls in love with him, complicating her life further. She has no idea he’s actually an ancient nature god out of Pacific Coast indigenous legends.
Fruit of the Devil is available in hardcover, trade paperback, and digital editions. Signed editions are also available.
We are extremely pleased to be able to deliver for immediate availability The Stork (A Shelby McDougall Mystery) by Nancy Wood.
Shelby McDougall’s past is behind her. Almost.
It’s been five and a half years since Shelby put her infant twins up for adoption, and she’s finally on track. Back in Santa Cruz, California, she’s sharing an apartment with her brother, Dexter, and in her second year of criminal justice studies. She’s landed her dream job as an intern to local P.I. Kathleen Bennett. And her stone-cold love life is heating up.
Then a late-night phone call puts Shelby’s perfectly ordered life into a tailspin.
One of the twins has been kidnapped, snatched from home in the middle of the night. There are no witnesses — no clues, no trails to follow. After meeting the family, Shelby knows something is off. The adoptive parents tell her the children don’t sleep, they eat constantly, and their IQs are off the charts. Against her better judgment, Shelby agrees to help.
By the time she realizes she’s up against something powerful, something evil, it’s almost too late. As Shelby fights for her life, and that of the kidnapped child, she discovers shocking truths about herself and the children.
The Stork is available in hardcover, trade paperback, and digital editions. Signed editions are also available.