LynneQuisition: A Vine Voice Reviewer

Interviews by Lynne CantwellYou may have seen the “Vine Voice” tag on reviews around Amazon’s website, and wondered what it meant. Here to help us figure it out is Mystery Reviewer, who participates in the Vine Voice program. He has agreed to take a seat in the comfy chair while I ask him a few questions. (He thinks he’s safe because he doesn’t review many books, but just in case, he wishes to remain anonymous…)

Mystery Reviewer (MR), how does the Vine program work, and how did you get into it? Continue reading “LynneQuisition: A Vine Voice Reviewer”

Pitching to the New Gatekeepers, Part III

razor wireTo refresh everyone’s memory, in Part I, I spoke briefly about Paul Drakar’s idea that top ranked Amazon reviewers were the new Gatekeepers of publishing, and his strategy for enlisting their help to promote our books. In Part II, I investigated whether these top ranked reviewers really did influence sales – apparently they do. Now it’s time to look at Drakar’s strategy in detail.

In a nutshell, the strategy is a six-step process that involves a great deal of research, and more than a smidgeon of chutzpah. I’ve provided a bare-bones summary of the steps below, however I recommend reading Drakar’s entire article as it contains a great deal of useful information. Continue reading “Pitching to the New Gatekeepers, Part III”

Pitching to the New Gatekeepers, Part 1

gateNot that long ago, K.P. Ambroziak wrote a guest post for Indies Unlimited entitled, ‘A New Gatekeeper Rising’. That post triggered an interesting discussion about reviews and gatekeepers, however it was the author’s comments about review numbers that really caught my attention. Apparently, BookBub will not accept books for [paid] promotion unless they have a certain number of reviews – i.e. have a track record of popularity with readers.

As Indies, we all know the importance of getting a goodly number of reviews for our books; nothing looks so unloved, and unread, as a book with only a few reviews, or, -shock horror- no reviews at all. Like it or not, Amazon has conditioned us to see reviews as ad hoc indicators of popularity, and being herd animals, we associate popularity with quality.

Whether popularity really does work that way is a moot question, and not one I’m brave enough to tackle here. Nonetheless, I think we can all accept that, as a marketing strategy, popularity begets sales. After all, Amazon doesn’t publish all those best-seller lists for nothing. Each list is a bright, shiny life-raft for customers drowning in the sheer volume of ‘things’ on offer at Amazon.

For us Indies, getting onto one of those life-rafts is tantamount to being given the keys to marketing heaven.

The question then is, how do we squirm our way out of the sea, and onto a life-raft? Is BookBub right? Are reviews the answer? Continue reading “Pitching to the New Gatekeepers, Part 1”

%d bloggers like this: