As a postscript to my two posts about getting jiggy with book reviewers, which can be found HERE and HERE. These are a few extra little tips that you should really pay attention to if you want your book to reach the maximum audience.
1. Don't be an arsehole, the internet is full of the graves of authors who have shot themselves in the foot with public meltdowns. Not everyone will like your book. Look at Stephen King considered to be the gold standard of horror writers. Look at any one of his books on Amazon, look at the breakdown of the reviews, all of his books are littered with ratings of 1 - 3 stars. If he can't get all four or five star reviews the chances are you won't either. Even if your book has more 1 star reviews than 4 or 5 then take it on the chin don't engage the reviewer. You'll come off worse. The reviewer has nothing to lose, you do.
2. Don't ever get your family or friends to post favourable reviews of your books. People aren't stupid. When I get a request to review a book from an author that I am unfamiliar with I check the Amazon reviews, especially the 5 star ones. If I see that the only reviews written for your book are the only ones written by them, then I will pass on your book. It's counter productive.
3. All these facebook groups that like to trade likes on Amazon are also counter productive, it's a pyramid scheme, only those at the top ever get any boosts to their Amazon rank.
4. Now look at your cover, are you really, really happy with it? Even in this digital age a cover sells a book. Now I can you saying that a good cover costs money. No it doesn't. In this era of the internet, there are millions of free stock photographs out there. All it takes is a little practice on something like Photo Elements and you can make a brilliant cover. It doesn't have to be a complicated cover, in fact some of the best covers are very understated. Look at this cover.
It's a simple cover, but an extremely effective cover. You know exactly what you are going to get. The Title is simple and prominent and the authors are visible. Now look at this cover
I don't know about you but I can't make out what the book is called, and if I have to put my glasses on just to read the author's name, I'm going to skip right over it when scanning round Amazon. Plus the cover tells me nothing. As for this one
Why waste time and money on getting an image for your cover, just to plaster the books title slap bang in the middle of the image.
What these images suggest to both casual readers and reviewers is if you can't be bothered to take the time to get a decent cover, you probably don't care that much about the contents of the book.
5. Now I know you spent time writing your book, and you think it is brilliant. Full of clever word use, dramatic sentences and amazing imagery. Chances are though that's not the case. You need AN EDITOR, and by editor I don't mean your mom, or a friend who has written a couple of letters to their local newspaper. I mean a proper fully qualified editor with a proven track record. "OH but that costs money!" Trust me if your book is good the cost of an editor is worth it.
6. We've looked at your cover and the contents of the book, lets now look at website. Remember in my first post where I talked about stupid colours and stupid fonts. The same rule applies here. Keep it simple and keep it clean. Have your information ordered in a clean logical fashion. Remember you are a professional now. take your inner child and his pot of art supplies and lock him in the basement.
7. From a reviewer's perspective one that that really annoys and irritates is trying to find contact details for you. How are we supposed to contact you if we can't find your email address. Oh but what about all the spam? Simple get yourself an email address that is just for your writing. If you are really bothered about spambots do something like this
8. And this is my last point here for gods sake put up an author's biography. And please keep it professional, Try and use "Joe Smith started writing at" rather than "I started writing at". And please avoid putting jokes like "in my spare time I Like to wrestle wallabies" However please put in as much real detail as you can. Be interesting without being flip.