Young adult romance author racks up 100 reviews with self-published book

If anyone knows about Blog Talk radio, you might have heard a certain British host who loves to talk about books. Not only does he love to talk to authors about their books, he sometimes manages to get a word in edgewise about his terrific young adult romance novel, Across the Pond, on his show called A Book and a Chat.

Across the Pond isn't your ordinary young adult romance novel, although the author, Barry Eva with-the-accent-to-die-for, never gives any airs about it being any different except this particular young adult romance novel has already racked up 100 reviews at Amazon.

As an author myself, I find this incredible. What does it take to get that many and how about those costs of mailing that book out? Who has that kind of money? Being the nosy one, I had to find the answers so I went straight to the horse's mouth and asked him.

The first thing I wanted to know about was one of the services he used, Bostick Communications, "an innovative press release distribution service with value added features that enhance media placement." Barry says he only used Bostick in the last month which cost $75. "They sent me contact where I sent out about 15 books," he says, "of which I have had about 9 reviews."

"I have used Readers Spoils," he continues, "to start with plus a couple of other locations and, of course, I sent copies to bloggers outside of any sources.

"Reader Spoils is $15 a review option and you send a pdf file rather than an actual book, so it's actually cheaper than sending a book, no book cost and no postage."

I had never heard of Reader Spoils, but it was interesting that it was one service that would accept pdfs which would most definitely make it cheaper for the author. So, out of all the services he used and all the bloggers he contacted or who contacted him, how did this compute in terms of percentages of what went where?

"I would say that looking at the reviews I am about 30% from services, 30% bloggers and 40% just people who have enjoyed the book," he says. "I have had to work hard on getting this number of reviews, including adding a thank you letter in sales and asking that if the reader enjoys the book that they provide a review at Amazon. It does not take much and people are normally very helpful in doing this for the author.

"You have to spend to get your name out there, but you can spend wisely. The costs I have made are nothing compared to what many people do getting agents, publicists, and as I have reported on in my Promotion on a Budget blogs. Let's face it when some book publishers are asking hundreds (and in some cases thousands) of dollars for Social network free services. What was it the other day book videos from Amazon for over $2000, people who charge $100 for a blog radio interview. It goes on all the time.

"I will never make the money back and plough all the money from sales back into getting your name out there, but for the next book it will help. And just think, when I am at book events, how good it will look to have "over 100 reviews on Amazon, and the items like compared to..." Also to be able to share some of the better reviews with possible purchasers.

"I did not aim to get reviews at all. It started with trying to get the name and the book name out there, and then the follow up with bloggers asking and being asked for interviews and reviews.

"I know a lot of people believe in book stores, etc., but as I have stated on numerous occasions, interviews, radio programs, etc., one YA blog with 30/40 followers spreads to other blogs and other blogs like a pyramid letter campaign. A book store is a visit, and it's over. Blogs radio shows, reviews, interviews are there forever.

"Going back to something I said before, how many other people when they sell a book, add a thank you note and ask if the person can let you know if they enjoy it? If they do let you know, then normally they will if you ask them do a review. The same goes for bloggers who interview you or who review the book.

"I do not know how much people take note of the Amazon reviews, BUT I know it's something I can use, something that becomes more important as Amazon is now one of if not the main global book seller.

"Don't forget publicity leads to name recognition."

Barry is one smart writer and one smart book promoter. He started out just trying to get his name and book out there and by surprise, he ended up with 100 reviews at Amazon. I am sure if Barry continues with his promotions, by the time you read this, he'll be well on his way to reaping even more positive reviews and that's what the book promotion game is all about.

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