All in all, I’m pleased with the results of the tour. I got my reviews — more of them than expected, actually, as Goddess Fish promises four reviews and I got six. A couple of reviews were rather slapdash, but others were notably more insightful than the average Goodreads review. The average reviewer, in my experience, takes pride in her work.
Some review sites garnered twenty or more comments, while others had only a few.
(For the record: Other than having been a Goddess Fish customer, I have no connection with the Fish. How could I? I live in the Arizona desert, with rivers, lakes, or streams, hence no fish.)
Was the tour was worthwhile?
Did my sales increase? Not immediately, no. The steady dribble of sales remains a steady dribble. But then, tours aren’t designed to build sales, but provide exposure.
I think the best use of a review tour might be to coincide with the release of a book, but that’s up to the individual author. I have a bad case of marketphobia. That’s a fear of marketing my books. I feel strongly that the syndrome should be included in the next release of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Anything that eases my marketphobia has value.
Some authors feel it’s somehow cheating to pay for reviews, but personally I think that’s silly. Paying to have someone fawn all over a horrendous book is cheating, yes. But paying for an honest review is no more cheating than hiring a publicist.
If you’re a traditionally published author, quite likely your publisher pays for reviews. Indeed, that might be the ONLY marketing they’ll do. If you were reviewed by Romantic Times or Publisher’s Weekly, your publisher (or you!) paid hundreds of dollars for the review, and yet these reviews are considered legitimate.
A Goddess Fish review tour costs exponentially less than a single review in either of those publications. Whether you get what you pay for is beyond my knowing, though I’d love to find out. Do you know? If so, please share your wisdom!
What are review tours?
I don’t know if other book tour companies have review tours. Probably, and maybe they’re as good or better than Goddess Fish. In any case, here’s what Goddess Fish says about their review tours:
This tour must be booked at least eight weeks in advance.
Get reviews for your story, and keep it in front of readers & fans on a regular basis
NOTE: There are a limited number of review tours booked each month. Your start date will be based on availability. We will book you as early as possible, but do not guarantee a start date eight weeks from submission and payment. We strongly recommend booking your tour as far in advance as possible.
Once a week, you’ll have at least one stop each on a genre appropriate blog which will include a review + book cover, blurb, excerpt, author bio and links. Note: while more than 4 reviews are possible, more than 4 reviews are not guaranteed. Additionally, the maximum number that will be booked on this tour is 8.
For more information, see Goddess Fish.
What did the reviews say?
Here are snippets from some of the reviews Idiots garnered:
- “A fun hot book.”
(I don’t think of myself as writing “hot” sex scenes, but okay … I’ll accept the compliment.)
- “All in all a fab easy read.”
(A Flesch-Kincaid readability analysis pegs Idiots’ grade level at 5.6, which is that of an average eleven-year-old.)
- “I have not read anything with a storyline even remotely similar to this and the way the author carried our the story, was also very different. Sometimes, this can result in disaster, as it is too out there, but this book is one of the few that has stepped well outside the envelope and pulled it off very well.”
(I love this comment, because I aim for originality. It hurts my sales, I’m sure, because a “typical” sci fi romance features a kick-ass heroines who can beat up any man ever born. But I’m still going to do my own thing.)
- “A new spin on a science fiction book. Only would the US would think to put aliens on TV.”
(Again with the idea of a ‘new spin’. Thank you!)
- “A good balance of science fiction, romance, action and comedy in this amusing title.”
(Right on! After all, the tagline for my blog is “Science fiction with romance and humor.”)
- “I loved the humor and all the emotion of the drama aka space soap opera.”
(Humor and emotion? Great. But WTF about the last part of this review? While I do have a space opera series — comprising The Guardian Angel of Farflung Station, Escapee, and the recently completed Constellation XXII — Alien Contact is a near future story that takes place on Earth.)
- “Alien Contacts for Idiots was fun, it had a great pace to it, some action with some awesome martial art moves, a love story and some great bad guys.”
(Uh oh. I just said I don’t write kick-ass heroines, yet now the reviewer mentions my made-up martial arts. Oops.)
What about you?
Have you had any success scaring up reviews for your books? Tell me about it in the comments — please, please. I’d love to know.
Get Alien Contact for Idiots on Amazon or find other links.