1 (edited by Dirk B. 2022-03-04 04:33:17)

Topic: Tips for maximizing reviews you get

Below are some ideas for increasing the number of reviews you get. This is a cross-post from Premium, although this is the thread I plan to maintain.
- Review, review, review. It's the best way to find long-term 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 works in points groups (e.g., Premium). When you do, reviewers are rewarded with points for reviewing your work, which greatly increases the number of reviews. If you're serious about becoming a writer, Premium is where you need to be.
- 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 this 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 online from multiple sites, including 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 will they 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 reciprocate 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 poetry or literature written for women, unless asked.
- 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. A thriving site helps everyone.
- Ask other members about who else is most likely to review your chapters, then check out the latest posted works from 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, don't hesitate to ask in this group or even in Premium. For those who can help, please join this group and take a moment now and then to help out.

Re: Tips for maximizing reviews you get

I’d like to add that for at least the first few reviews you receive from each reviewer, it’s a good idea to reply to the individual comments and engage with the reviewer about what helps, what you do/don't agree with and what you do/don’t understand. This helps to tell the reviewer what you’re looking to focus on and where you stand on certain issues. And if you disagree, having a discussion can help you both to grow. By doing this you save you and your reviewer a lot of time and effort in the long run and you help to foster discussion/a reviewer relationship. I know I’ve quit out on a few books cause it feels like I’m talking to the void. Are these suggestions helpful? Should I continue pointing out these sentence structure things? Do you actually want this character development advice? I like to be helpful, and it’s not rewarding for me if I have no idea if my suggestions are what that person wants. I try to tell people on most of their reviews which suggestions I’m taking and which I’m leaving and sometimes why.

That leads into a second suggestion, which is to be both durable (in receiving reviews) and flexible (in reviewing). Don’t get offended by criticism and don’t get offended if someone doesn’t take your suggestions. You could have the best advice in the world, but that advice isn’t for everyone, even if you think it is. If someone doesn’t like what you’ve written or has a lot of suggestions, it’s not a personal insult, it’s an opinion. It’s nice when people say that they love what you’ve written, gives you all the butterflies, but it doesn’t really help you improve. Better to get the criticism here than to get it in 1-star reviews on Amazon. For me, if I suspect someone is sensitive to criticism, I just don’t review them. I’m honest to a fault and I’m not going to say I like something that I don’t—imo it devalues praise to do so and makes praise untrustworthy. I usually snoop and figure out how they’ve responded to others. Then I test the waters. In my experience of those on this site, the most durable people are also the best writers and I don’t think that’s coincidental. I think they were humble, ready to learn and eager to discuss their views.

Re: Tips for maximizing reviews you get

Further to Apricots' comments, if you don't already know, there is an X-line tab near the top of every review, which you can use to see all reviewer comments at once. Invaluable for reviews with lots of comments. Then, you can click on the highlighted text on which they commented and leave your own follow-up comments as part of your reply to their review. It's a common courtesy to reply to at least some of their comments, especially the feedback you think is important, or when they ask questions. There's no need to reply to every comment, unless the spirit really moves you.