22 October, 2012

#SpecialFeature :: #GuestPost - I Heart Reviewers! (And why you should, too...) by Lauren Clark

*** SPECIAL FEATURE - October'12 ***
“The characters in Stay Tuned grab hold and demand you live the story right along side them.” 
- Emlyn Chand, Author, Farsighted

"Loved it and you will too. The book will draw you in and leave you wanting more."
- Anne Richter, WWNY-TV Anchor

Guest Post: I Heart Reviewers!  (And why you should, too...)

In May 2012, when Dancing Naked in Dixie was first released, I contacted a very popular e-reader website that offers free book reviews for Indie Authors. As you can imagine, the competition is fierce, reviewers are swamped, and a reply back can take several weeks.

I was fortunate. Shortly after submitting Dixie, a reviewer offered to read my novel in about eight weeks, meaning sometime in July 2012. I gave an enthusiastic 'yes' and waited for a response.

As it turns out, the reviewer really liked my novel. She wrote an excellent review and cross-posted to other sites. When I inquired about getting a feature on the site, I was told that I needed to speak to the "head" person, as she was JUST a reviewer.

This stopped me cold. Just a reviewer? Aghast, I wrote back..."What do you mean? I value the work and thought you put into the review of Dixie. I really appreciate the extra time and effort it took to post it on Amazon, BN.com, and GoodReads."

Her response?  "You wouldn't believe some authors." 

This really had me thinking. And worried. And wondering. Are Indie Authors being snobs? Divas, even? Is it possible? 

While I am certain that many Indie Authors are sharing the love and paying it forward, I'd love to hear about your experiences -- as readers and bloggers -- when an author approaches you to read her/his book and asks for a review.

What are your thoughts on reviewer etiquette and appreciation? What's okay? What's not? What bugs your or makes your heart sing? 

I'd love to hear what works for you!

Lauren Clark is the author of Stay Tuned and Dancing Naked in Dixie. She writes contemporary novels set in the Deep South; stories sprinkled with sunshine, suspense, and secrets. A former TV news anchor, Lauren adores flavored coffee, local book stores, and anywhere she can stick her toes in the sand. Her big loves are her family, paying it forward, and true-blue friends. 

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Now for the most amazing news! The Giveaway! Ms.Lauren Clark is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card. Yeah I know its amazing & I wish I could enter it myself. The number of books I could get for it!
So,what are you waiting for??? Go Enter NOW!!

1. There's only two compulsory entry to qualify for this Giveaway. 
2. Please provide proper info & links in the Rafflecopter. I will be checking the entries - so no cheating please.
3. The Giveaway is open Internationally.
4. I will select the winner through Random.org on 31st October and will send an e-mail. They have to reply with their mailing address/e-mail id within 48 hours, or I will select another winner.
5. Please do not leave your e-mail id in the comment section.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I'm a reviewer and I've only had awesome experiences with authors. I would hate to be treated like that. Thanks for sharing with us!

    What is your newest release? Can you tell us about it?

    1. Thanks Rhonda! I am so glad that you've had only awesome experiences!!!

      Here's the scoop on my new book (Due out Valentine's Day 2013!!!!!)

      "PIE GIRLS"

      Princess, Southern belle, and spoiled-rotten social climber Searcy Roberts swore on a stack of Bibles she'd never return to Greensboro, Alabama. After eloping with her high school sweetheart and moving to Atlanta, Searcy embraces big city life Carrie Bradshaw-style.

      But now, Searcy has a teeny, tiny problem: Her husband's had a mid-life crisis. He's quit his job, cancelled her platinum American Express, and run off with the "new" love of his life.

      Searcy finds herself back in small-town Alabama with no job, no money, no husband, and no plan. After a frigid welcome home, she finds out that life in the small town Deep South is much harder at 36 than it ever was at sixteen.

      When she's forced to take over her mother's fledgling business, Searcy deals with sullen employees, strange ingredients, and the business owner next door who's made it his mission to make her life miserable.

      Will 'Pie Girls' be an epic failure, or will Searcy find the courage to persevere?

  2. I think an author's behavior sometimes depends on the review. It shouldn't. But it does. Authors are people, and like most people, some of us don't take criticism very well. I am guilty of this as much as anyone, but I also have a degree in communication and a background in marketing. I have a very hard and fast rule that I read every review. (I need to know what people think, because I write for people!) and I always respond to every review.... BUT (and this is a big but) I always respond with a thank you and something positive about their view point. (even if I had to rant and rave for twenty minutes at my computer screen, call my mom and cry, and rave to my dog how "that idiot just doesn't get it!") Then I calmly get on, say thank you for your review, it was an interesting insight. Unfortunately, not everyone responds so calmly. It is to the point where a lot of book reviewers state on their site that if they didn't like a book, then they simply will not review it. I personally would rather have 1,000 three star reviews (or worse even, though I have never gotten such) than to send out 1,000 free copies and only get two or three reviews. But no one likes to be attacked. As much as I feel hurt and angry when I feel like a reviewer is attacking my work (really, it is critiquing, but it feels like an attack sometimes even when it isn't.) I imagine that they feel just as badly when an author attacks their review. It is a shame.

    1. I think you are right. I've cried over a mean review or two, but in the end it is best to move on and (like you said so well above) say thank you for the review, it was an interesting insight!

      Great advice!

  3. I would hate if a write a review and the author would go crazy, sometime you love a book and sometimes you don't. They should't go mad about that.
    (Ileana A.-rafflecopter)

    1. Gisele ~ You definitely have to be honest if you are a reviewer! I always try to find one positive thing about a book I am reviewing, even if I don't care for the story. I think, also, if a book really ISN'T your "cup of tea," there's always the option of not writing a review at all!

      :) Lauren

  4. Hi Lauren!
    wondering what your fave part of the writing process would be...?

  5. ".. hear about your experiences -- as readers and bloggers -- when an author approaches you to read her/his book and asks for a review."

    one author of a book i won asked if i would post a review after reading. i did & notified her which blog post i'd featured her book. she was clearly upset w/ my review which actually was positive but brief - my reviewing instructions from publishers has been to be brief & not retell the story! so this was disappointing to me as i didn't have to write anything! a bit of appreciation goes a loooonnng way!

    also, an author who doesn't turn up to comment on the blogs in the book tour are not appreciated or a disappointment ..
    or when i take xtra time to tweet the reviews/ post on fb, etc and there's no author response is disappointing .. especially when i have stacks of other books i'd luv to be reading & am reading their's to fulfill review commitments..

    thanks, Lauren, for asking and listening!