1 (edited by Dirk B. 2022-02-11 19:39:56)

Topic: Ideas for increasing number of reviews/reciprocation

I thought I would start a new thread for this topic since it keeps coming up in threads intended for other purposes. Some of these suggestions have appeared before, but here's a starter list:

(EDIT: This was the initial post on this topic. However, I'm maintaining a copy of this post in the Writing Tips & Site Help group, so be sure to check there for the most recent version.)

- Review, review, review. It's the best way to find reciprocal reviewers.
- Respond to reviews in a timely manner, otherwise reviewers will just move on.
- Read stories in your own genre.
You're more likely to get reciprocal reviewers if they share your interests.
- Post clean chapters to the extent you know how. That means proper punctuation, grammar, and proofreading. If you're still new to writing, ask for help in the Writing Tips & Site Help group. Google for articles on punctuation and grammar, or buy a good book on the subject. You want your reviewers focused on your story, not your writing mechanics.
- Use a picture as a cover page, not just the default red cover. If default covers worked, then there would be no need for real covers on Amazon either. When I look at the home page, it's the pictures that stand out first/most. Free pictures are available from numerous online sites, including from pixabay.com.
- Have a content summary for your book so people know what it's about. This seems like common sense, but I still see books without a summary. Who buys books when they don't know what it's about?
- Try to come up with an interesting book title.
- Keep a clean portfolio. When members go looking for something new to read, if an author has multiple versions of the same book up with the same or similar titles, how is anyone supposed to know which one to read?
- Don't post massive chapters that take six to eight times as long to review as a regular post. If a member has to choose between reviewing the chapters of six people they regularly review vs. reviewing one massive chapter, the former will usually win out since we're trying to maintain as many reciprocal relationships as possible with only a limited amount of time. A good chapter length for the site is perhaps 1500 - 3000 words (costs about 5 to 10 points to post). If you have a much longer chapter, break it up and post it in parts, and clearly identify in the chapter names and chapter notes that it is a multi-part chapter, otherwise you'll get repeated comments about how a chapter seems to end abruptly or has a lousy hook.
- Be patient while waiting for reciprocal reviews. Expect to wait a few days up to a few weeks for people to reciprocate. Most authors write part-time. In my case, I write about one chapter a month, post it, and then catch up on reviews I owe. Some of my reciprocal reviewers do the same thing. If someone has never reviewed you before, try to recip with them more quickly, since it's a chance to acquire a new reviewer.
- If you're not going to reciprocate because the other author's book doesn't interest you, thank them and tell them that it's not something you normally read and/or probably can't be of much help with. The other author can then move on. And don't be offended if someone doesn't want to read your stuff. For example, I don't usually read romance or poetry unless asked to.
- Read the works of new members. There's a points bonus, they'll probably be grateful to you and may read your stuff, and they'll be more likely to join the site permanently if they see they're getting helpful reviews.
- Ask other members about who else is most likely to review your chapters, then check out the posted works of those authors. If someone doesn't reciprocate after two or three attempts, move on. When you review someone new, suggest who else the new member should review in order to increase their chance of gaining more reciprocal reviewers.
- Post in Premium if you have a new work and you're having trouble finding reviewers, but do so in a positive way, asking for reviewers, not by complaining that you can't get any. Be prepared to recip.

- If you don't know how to do some of the things mentioned in this thread, ask in the newly revived Writing Tips & Site Help group (formerly Writing Tips & Advice). For those who can help, join the aforementioned group and help out. You may make a friend or two, and friends are more likely to review each other.

Please add to this list with anything I've forgotten.


Re: Ideas for increasing number of reviews/reciprocation

OR you could just cultivate reading and reviewing relationships with writers in your genre.

Re: Ideas for increasing number of reviews/reciprocation

That alone doesn't seem to work for some members, so these are ideas to increase the chances of snagging long-term reviewers.

4 (edited by Willem Robart 2022-01-19 19:26:09)

Re: Ideas for increasing number of reviews/reciprocation

Dirk: As long as there are but a few active authors (mostly newbees) versus a substantial group of others who have accumulated hundreds of credits, as well as manifold 'retired' (non-paying) writers, nothing's gonna change. Sol used to have interesting, regular writing contests, complete with more or less major price money, but even that's reduced to a few times a year with, what?, a hundred to twenty-five bucks on the line. Also, having noticed it, I wonder how many books people here actually read. Judging by some of the posts, maybe Dr Seuss.
Dagny: Great, but I may very well be the only horror writer here.

5 (edited by Dirk B. 2022-01-19 19:53:36)

Re: Ideas for increasing number of reviews/reciprocation

Actually, Willem, jreid is writing a great vampire story at present. Check it out, if you haven't already done so. He's straddling two sites right now, trying to get more/better reviews.

As for this thread, if no one does the things that might increase the number of reviews they can get, then they won't get as much out of this site, and then, yes, they won't stay. I noticed you don't do a number of these things. Give them a try.

I've revived the old writing tips and advice group (now called Writing Tips & Site Help) to try to help members, especially new ones, become better writers/reviewers and get more out of the site. Please join us and help out.

Re: Ideas for increasing number of reviews/reciprocation

All great tips Dirk, especially - "Keep a clean portfolio. When members go looking for something new to read, if an author has multiple versions of the same book up with the same or similar titles, how is anyone supposed to know which one to read?"

I've passed on a number of books because there were multiple versions or several things with similar titles and I wasn't sure what was going on. If there are multiple in a series, writing "book 1/2/3" is very helpful. If they don't start anywhere in particular, saying that in your profile is also helpful.

Re: Ideas for increasing number of reviews/reciprocation

Thank you for posting everyone. This really helps.

Re: Ideas for increasing number of reviews/reciprocation


Not sure if this belongs here, but...

I've been thinking lately of ways to encourage reviews.

One idea that poppered to mind was maybe two days a month, all reviews earn the reviewer double the credits. What a deluge of reviews that might provoke! Of course, there's no barrier against cheapo reviews, like the fifty-one word regular review with generic platitudes (we've all received them). But that exists today as well. Maybe a cap on the number of reviews might limit the damaging credit-grab. But with more credits, there'd be more posts, so more reviews, etc. That was one thought. *golf clap*

Another was maybe one day a month where posting is free. Something like a Free-Post Friday. One post per person, of course, otherwise we'd get entire novels appearing overnight. I think a slight bump in the number of posts might encourage reviews. Personally, I have posts ready to go up as soon as I earn the required credits. Having that single day to maybe post for free and save my current accumulation would work wonders for my posting frequency--at least in the short term. I know a lot of members here have more credits than they'll ever use. I'm not one, and right now I'm less than halfway to the stash needed to post again. So a free days looks mighty tasty! *golf clap*

Anyhoo, thems a couple of thoughts that've been bobbin about in the mental brew inside my brain bone. Wha'cha all thinks? I think both ideas are frickin brilliant and should be implemented without delay, but maybe I'mma little biased. *raucous cheering*

9 (edited by Randall Krzak 2022-04-01 10:16:57)

Re: Ideas for increasing number of reviews/reciprocation

Many thanks for sharing your thoughts, Dirk.

10 (edited by George FLC 2022-04-01 23:17:26)

Re: Ideas for increasing number of reviews/reciprocation

Yes, indeed! Sage advice Dirk. And I like brainstorming! The ideas that Seabrass suggested are good examples. Experiment with double point Saturday once a month or two months. And Free Post Friday is interesting. I would like to increase regular reviews to 75 words. Thanks all.

Re: Ideas for increasing number of reviews/reciprocation

Something intriguing though it might be too complicated -- don't know, I'm a computer dummy. Anyway, how about the author can designate double or triple points for what they consider an extraordinary review with the caveat it would be anonymous. How to do that you say. Well, the bonus points would only be added after a certain period of time or a certain number of reviews of different authors so that the reviewer would not know from whence the points came so as to minimize the pat my back, I'll pat yours reciprocation for simply saying you really loved it, etc.  Might entice a reviewer to put more into each review, who knows. Just a thought. Take care. Vern

12 (edited by George FLC 2022-04-03 16:53:14)

Re: Ideas for increasing number of reviews/reciprocation

Interesting thought Vern! I've had some reviews that were NEEDED and some that were mediocre. It would be good to reward the people who do well.