When you last bought something online, I bet you looked at reviews from other buyers before making your final decision. It’s one of the strengths of the online community, from TripAdvisor to M&S. And for the self-published author (by which I mean me) reviews are extremely important. After all, very few of the people who might stumble across “Fatal Forgery” will have heard of me, and therefore they cannot judge how reliable or talented I am. “FF” is my first novel, so they cannot rely on any previous books by me that they might have enjoyed. (I have written others, but I doubt many of you have taken “The Money Laundering Officer’s Practical Handbook” on holiday with you, for light poolside reading.) And so reviews by other readers are the best indication. Getting such reviews therefore is essential for me. I have mentioned before that I am now quite active on the Goodreads website; I have listed two giveaways, and have been lucky enough to get a review from each. One came out last week, and it’s lovely.
I have also been searching determinedly for appropriate book bloggers. There are thousands of them, and many offer to do reviews, but you have to pick carefully. Some charge for reviewing, and so I disregard them; somehow it loses objectivity if money changes hands. Others refuse to review self-published books, so they’re out too. And of the rest, most specify the types of books that they will review, so there’s no point contacting someone who is not interested in historical fiction. I have finally pinpointed three possible bloggers, and they have all very kindly agreed to take a look at “FF” and, if they like it enough to read it all, to review it. Fingers crossed, and I’ll keep you posted – after all, reviews are meant to be shared.