I wrote and published a book. That should have been enough.
I did this to prove to my competitive brother that I too, could accomplish something important. He finally believed me. That should have been enough.
Other people read my book. They liked it. That should have been enough.
The following is a 19 step game plan you should NEVER use to get lots of book reviews.
- Feel confidant that you are the new Hemingway and the public has waited with bated breath for your book. (Contemplate whether that should be bated or baited? Feel a twinge of regret that you didn’t hire a book editor.)
- Decide that getting one or two online reviews couldn’t hurt.
- Give your best friend (of twenty years) your precious baby and anticipate her gasping at the acknowledgments page. Give her the extra expensive hardcover version with the dust jacket. GIVE. Yes for free.
- Check Amazon every day for two weeks.
- After no book review surfaces, begin to check Goodreads.
- Realize she’s probably a bit miffed that you forgot to sign the book for her. You better get used to jealous fans behaving this way. She’s feeling neglected and of course this prevents her from writing a glowing review like she normally would. Vindictive little thing, isn’t she! Sour grapes much?
- Give another copy of your novel to your mother. Yes, your elderly mother who thinks Amazon is a rainforest in Australia. She’s almost as good at computer technology as she is with geography.
- Wonder how you will tone down the number of times Mom uses her favorite words ‘Spellbinding’ and ‘Genius’ in her book review of your novel on Barnes & Noble. Thank goodness mom HAS heard of Barnes & Noble.
- Meanwhile decide the barter method has merit. That’s where you agree to do something for an individual and in return they’ll write you a book review. It’s such a simple thing to write a book review (really, it is!) so think of small gestures you can do in trade. Let’s see . . . I know! Buy the person a cup of coffee while they get cozy and read your book. Or bake them cookies. Perhaps write a poem on their behalf that they can give to their spouse on Valentines Day, although that seems a bit much for just one book review.
- Draw the line at cleaning their entire house, mowing their lawn, and babysitting their four brats. What do they think the barter method is anyhow, a replacement for Craig’s List?
- Realize that all these years you never knew it, but your entire family and circle of friends are illiterate.
- Answer the phone when your mother calls to ask if you’ll come to her book club and discuss your book? Agree enthusiastically. There are seven little old ladies there and this represents seven potential book reviews. Actually nine, if a few of them forget they already wrote one and do it a second time!
- At the ladies book club, take a sip of water so your throat doesn’t parch after reading twenty chapters aloud. Remind yourself to clarify to your mother that authors make appearances at book clubs AFTER the book has already been read.
- Return to book club a week later with a package of batteries for their hearing aids. Finish reading your book to them and rave about the prune pie the hostess serves. Schedule one last visit with these lovely ladies to answer any questions about the plot so they can go online and write reviews.
- Return to book club for the very last time and act surprised that the common question about the plot seems to be “what happened in this book?” Smile and hand out pre-written, short, flattering, (but all very different!) reviews that they can post online for you.
- Schedule a follow-up visit to teach everyone how to go online and navigate “The Amazon,” as they refer to it. Say (under your breath) that it would be simpler to teach them to navigate the jungle in South America. Be proud of your geography knowledge. Repeat the sarcastic remark again (much louder) when it’s clear nobody has their hearing aid turned on.
- Head over to see your best friend and offer to autograph the title page of your book, especially for her.
- Clean her entire house, mow her lawn, and babysit her four brats.
- Finally discover a handful of book reviews have surfaced online! Here is what they look like:
My sister wrote this book. She didn’t have to prove anything to me. I always knew she had it in her. Therefore I didn’t need to read it, but maybe you should?
Stephanie D. Lewis cleans house fairly well, although she doesn’t do windows. My kids enjoyed their time with her but they are easily amused. Her lawn-mowing skills leave much to be desired. My name was spelled wrong in the acknowledgments page. If she would have hired me (a book editor) to help her, this would have been avoided. Pass on this atrocity!
My daughter (a genius author) and I will be heading to Australia soon. I plan to read her book on the plane and will come back to give my opinion of it right here. My review will be spellbinding. That’s how you’ll know she takes after me.
And then nine short blurbs all thanking me for giving them “Outernet lessons” so patiently because nobody else would. Bless their hearts.
My next book will be an exposé on authors who write their own fake reviews on Amazon. What nerve.
Oh….and this book? Right HERE. But you are forbidden to review it.
20. Resort to reverse psychology with your blog followers.