The Shifting Landscape of Book Reviews

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In this shifting review landscape where a well-read blog can launch an indie bestseller, who needs “The New York Times”?

Homepage Sub  •  Jun 19, 2013

By Sabrina Ricci

With few exceptions, major news publications do not review indie books, even though more than 235,000 titles were self-published as of 2011.

This lack of coverage in traditional media outlets, however, has not stopped indies from their rise.  To the contrary, according to a recent New York Times article, Self-published titles made up roughly one-quarter of the top-selling books on Amazon last year.”

 In May 2013 alone, according to Digital Book World, at least ten self-published books were best sellers, including The Bet by Rachel Van Dyken, Twisted Perfection by Abbi Glines, Real by Katy Evans and Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1–5) by Hugh Howey.  Even after an indie title has reached bestselling status—and sometimes the imprimatur from a traditional publisher—reviews from a bonafide news outlet can be few and far between. 

To fill the gap left by traditional critics, book blogs have become reliable resources for thousands of people looking for up-and-coming indie titles. And nowadays, getting reviews from these online sources can be enough to propel these books onto the best seller lists of the very media outlets that shun them.

One best selling book that was boosted by an online book review was Colleen Hoover’s Hopeless. An Associated Press article wrote that Maryse Black, whose blog reviews mostly indie chick lit and contemporary romance, was one of Hoover’s early fans. Hoover self-published her third book, Hopeless, in December 2012 and it became a New York Times best seller. Black wrote a rave review of Hopeless around the time it was released, and within a few hours over 20 people commented, many saying they had purchased the book and were excited to read it.

For indie books, where word-of-mouth marketing is key, that’s a big deal. Having those early, positive reviews was the first step into making Hopeless a success, since it helped readers find the book so they could post their own reviews, creating a snowball effect that advanced it best seller status.

Although Hoover started her writing career by self-publishing two books, Slammed  and Point of Retreat, they are now in the hands of Atria Books, a traditional publisher. Like Hugh Howey with his Wool series, Hoover has also sold the movie rights to some of her work. The AP wrote that Atria Johanna Castillo, VP and senior editor of Atria, first learned about Hoover from book blogs, which leads to the question: in this shifting review landscape where a well-read blog can launch a bestseller, who needs The New York Times?

Five reviewers from book blogs shared information about their site and how they work with indie authors:Maryse Black, We Fancy Books , Dear Author, Chick Lit Central, and indieBRAG.

Maryse Black

Black said she posts on average three reviews each week and that about 80 percent of the books she reviews are indie. “Likely more,” she said, “as there are so many indie treasures out there.”

However, Black said she is unsure how many of the books she’s reviewed have ended up on best seller lists. “I know that those that I’ve reviewed that end up on best sellers lists get there, first, because of the amazing story in itself that can’t be denied, and from the collaborative reader enthusiasm out there, propelling it to its best seller status,” she said.

Many of the books Black chooses to read come via daily recommendations from readers, she said. “While we don’t always love the same books to the same level, we have very similar reading tastes.”

She said she also reads review copies from authors, Amazon suggestions, and new releases that catch her eye. “How I choose is mostly dependent on my reading mood, or a great synopsis that makes my stomach clench in anticipation,” she said. “And sometimes, a recommendation is so convincing, so obviously honest in its enthusiasm that I don’t even bother with the synopsis. I just start reading it on that reader’s excitement alone.”

We Fancy Books

“We Fancy Books” has five reviewers and focuses on YA fiction, contemporary, sci-fi, and paranormal romance. Approximately 20 percent of the books reviewed on We Fancy Books are indies, and between 30–37,000 readers visit the site each month, Merlino Atanacio Jr., also known as Jay, from We Fancy Books, said.

Jay said that “We Fancy Books” gets review copies from authors and Net Galley, as well as free or discounted books on Kindle. “I review them according to priority,” he said. “Reviews from blog tours have specific dates so I tend to prioritize those. After that I [go] through my Net Galley titles and lastly my own book collection.”

According to Jay, between 20 and 30 percent of books reviewed on “We Fancy Books” make it on to best seller lists. Two of his favorite books he’s reviewed in the past year, The Brightest Kind of Darkness by P.T. Michelle and Crash by Nicole Williams, have gone on to be best sellers.

Dear Author

Jane Litte, the founder of romance review blog “Dear Author”, said her site posts 12 books each week, two per weekday and two on the weekend. “Dear Author” has eight reviewers, over 170,000 visitors each month, and it receives around 300 review requests each month from authors and publishers.

“Each reviewer picks what books they would like to review and it is primarily on blurb, cover, and excerpt,” she said.  The percentage of books reviewed that are indies depends, Litte said.

“Some weeks, there can be a higher percentage of indie books reviewed,” she said. “We’ve encountered some problems in reviewing indie books because some indie authors will be published exclusively at Amazon and we’ve made a pledge in 2013 to review books that are available in more than one format. We don’t think an Amazon monopoly in publishing is good for readers and there are also at least 25 percent of the digital reading market who don’t have Kindles but some other device. We try to be as inclusive as possible.”

Chick Lit Central
Melissa Amster from “Chick Lit Central” said the website usually reviews two to three books per week, and they have a balanced mix of traditionally and self-published books. Ten people work on “Chick Lit Central”, and the site gets around 4,000 monthly visitors.

Authors, publishers, and publicists contact “Chick Lit Central” about new books, Amster said. We also have our fingers on the pulse of the book community and know about publication dates well in advance,” she said. “We review books by well known chick lit authors, as well as ones by indie authors that we think our readers would be interested in knowing about.”

One of Amster’s favorite books from the past year was Neurotically Yours by indie author Bonnie Trachtenberg. The book is a double award winner in the 2013 Indie Excellence Awards for Chick Lit and Romance, as well as a double award winning finalist in the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Chick Lit and Humor/Comedy.

indieBRAG

“IndieBRAG” has a program called B.R.A.G. Medallion that reviews all genres of self-published print and digital books. Geri Clouston, president of “indieBRAG” said the site has over 100 readers in ten different countries. Readers are fluent in English and vetted before becoming members.

It is a diverse group but all of them share a passion for books,” Clouston said. “The total membership varies over time but our turnover is low and we pride ourselves on developing a personal relationship with each reader; they truly seem to care about what we are doing at “indieBRAG” and the part they play in it.”

Readers tell “indieBRAG” their preferred genres and then choose from a short list of titles which books to review. The books on the short list have been screened to ensure they meet “indieBRAG’s” minimum standards of quality, subject matter, genre, content, and editing.

“Before [the readers] choose, we encourage them to sample the books wherever possible at on-line book sellers,” Clouston said. “Then they tell us their choice and we send it to them electronically or, in some cases, in print.” 

Clouston said that over one thousand books have been considered for review since “indieBRAG’s” B.R.A.G. Medallion program began one year ago. There is no set number of books reviewed each week, but about 30 titles are currently out with readers.

Clouston said that “indieBRAG” does not track the sales of the books the site reviews, but several authors featured on the site have subsequently signed contracts with traditional publishers. “We work very hard to bring attention to our medallion-honored books and our authors have told us that they appreciate what we do for them.”

“In this day of Trolls, sock-puppeting, and dubious 5 star reviews, we believe we offer a unique and valuable resource to readers who want to be reassured that the indie book they are considering is well worth their time and money,” Clouston said.

Building Relationships with Book Reviewers

Some book reviewers try to stay in touch with authors after reading their books. Though in a few cases this helps an author get reviews for subsequent books, most reviewers said they decide whether or not to read new books by previously reviewed authors based on the content and quality of the book, and not by their relationship with the author.

“I’ve become friends with some amazing authors, and have discovered that they too, are fellow readers and kindred spirits!” Maryse Black said. “Sometimes I keep in touch because I’m curious about the character of an amazing story, and I just have that ‘need’ to know more. And sometimes it’s just to keep up with what’s next in their book-future.”

Black said she would likely read more books from an author whose work she has enjoyed, but it’s not guaranteed. “I’ve been known to change my ‘to-be-read’ list frequently, depending on my mood, or because of a new release that catches my eye,” she said.

Jay said he keeps in touch with authors as much as possible, especially when he’s read and loved their books. “If I read the first book in the series and love it, I usually ask on when will the next book will come out, etc.,” he said.

Jane Litte said “Dear Author” only reviews an author’s second book if the second book interests them. “A prior positive review, however, is likely an indicator that we will be interested in reading/reviewing the second book,” she said.

Some authors are guaranteed a review from “Chick Lit Central” because the reviewers are fans of their work, Amster said. “If it’s consistent with their first book, all the more power to them,” she said. “There are also times when we’ll like an author’s debut but not be as thrilled with their sophomore piece. In the long run, we’re not out to make a book look bad, so we’d rather find another way to feature it than potentially harm sales.”

Amster said she thinks authors are friendly and accessible, but keeping in touch with them does not affect how “Chick Lit Central” writes their reviews. “They’re like celebrities to us, but better,” she said. “It’s hard to review a book if we become too close with an author, as we worry about forming a bias. However, we know authors trust us to be honest and fair and we give a balanced review, even to our all-time favorite authors.”

All books on the “indieBRAG” site must go through their same review process each time, Clouston said. “Our authors understand and accept this, and there have been a few instances where an author’s second submission was not selected for a medallion.”  But, “indieBRAG” encourages authors to stay active on the site once their book is reviewed.

“All the authors of books honored with a B.R.A.G. Medallion are welcomed into the “indieBRAG family”, and we work with them to ‘shine a light’ on their work,” Clouston said. “We strive to establish a mutually beneficial relationship and most authors actively promote the fact that their book has received a medallion. In addition, we ask them to keep us posted on what they are doing, and to let us know how we can help promote both their book and the B.R.A.G. Medallion.”

Online Book Review Sites
There are a couple sites that list indie book reviewers. One is Blog Nation, though not all the blogs listed necessarily review indie books. A second one is The Indie View, a site with information for 248 book blogs, all of which actively post reviews, review e-books, provide free reviews, are not affiliated with a publisher, and have clear submission guidelines for indie authors.

idreambooks, a year-old discoverability site that aggregates professional book reviews (think Rotten Tomatoes) from both traditional and online sources, has added a list of self-published book reviews–from many of the sources cited above–curated by IndieReaderIn the absence of mainstream book reviews–and those easily manipulated by readers–IR’s curated reviews will make it possible for readers to find a trusted rating system for self-published titles.

Are indie books hurt by the lack of attention by mainstream critics? Perhaps, although not enough to stop them from consistently gaining spots on the big name bestseller lists.  Will the inclusion by idreambooks of reviews by book bloggers make such reviews more credible in the eyes of readers?  Or do they already carry enough weight to turn an indie book into a bestseller? It seems like the response to the last question has already been answered. Just ask Colleen Hoover. 

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Sabrina Ricci is an author, e-book developer, and entrepreneur. Her startup is called Write or Read (http://writeorread.com), a subscription site for e-books that gives readers access to a wide variety of titles and helps writers build their platform by providing metrics and insights to help them become more successful.

  • hb

    Mainstream media has been sidelined and made increasingly irrelevant by internet blogs in term of news.
    Now the publishing industry will risk being made irrelevant by book review blogs if they don’t engage indie authors. It will go from authors to book review blogs to readers, and in that circle the money will remain.

    Follow the money.

    • lol

      The publishing industry has already been sidelined by self-publishing, and is presently circling the drain in a slow death spiral. They had their chance to remain relevant, and, like the music industry, they blew it. They’ll keep piggybacking on the success of self-pub sensations until they’re nothing but a sleazy promoter, unable to cultivate original talent, only skimming off indie authors’ success. Parasites. Good riddance.

      The real tragedy is, as mentioned above, the difficulty of getting non-genre or cross-genre work recognized by book blogs. But I think it’s worth remembering that we are still in the early stages of this publishing revolution, and so it makes sense that communities tend to develop around easily classifiable genres. I think readers will eventually grow tired of the mediocre-to-poor quality of much self-published genre fiction, and will eventually organize to seek out works of higher quality. We’re starting to see that in small ways, but it’s going to take saturation of crappy self-pub titles and reader fatigue to really get that ball rolling.

  • Alan Freed

    So…does this “changing face” include jerk-off scam artists who demand to be paid three figures to get a review? Just curious where your stance is on this, because you guys are unethical as fuck.

    • Amy Edelman

      No one here is demanding, Alan. We rely on you to decide.

      • Alan Freed

        No, it’s demanding. If I send a book in without a hundred dollars, it won’t be reviewed. It’s merely pay-to-play, and it’s extremely unethical. How could one trust the opinions of a publication when you know that the only reason those reviews were purchased, and not on the reviewer’s own volition?

        • Amy Edelman

          Alan, why should IR pay their reviewers to review your book without getting compensation for it? And it is not unethical unless the publication or review source is promising a positive review, which we are not. Another thing to think about that’s often mentioned and that we wrote about awhile back in IR–traditional authors pay for reviews too, except in their case it’s being taken out of their royalty payments. As we stated in our post, Everybody Pays for It! (http://indiereader.com/2012/08/everybody-pays-for-it/ ).

          • wordwan

            Hugh Howey suggested paying a reader ten dollars to read a book. If they couldn’t get through, it, they’d at least, be required to tell you why.

            I know this industry lives on the idea of reviews. I think a ten dollar fee would be a great idea. A form of marketing, better spent than any ad.

            I enjoy commenting on books. Sometimes, I wish I could be compensated for it. Ten dollars? Suits me.

            Just my view.

          • http://www.MarlaMiller.com Marla Miller

            That writers think their books should be reviewed for free speaks to the naivete of many writers in the indie writing movement. I see this way of thinking shared often on LinkedIn–It’s as if writers think their book is so dang good, I should be honored to take my time to read it and critique it for free. Strangers ask me via private messages simply because I’m in this biz. As the movement matures, those who remain after this first wave realizes that writing well enough to get a solid review requires the kind of commitment any craftsman has to make to be at the mastery level. Right now everyone’s giving everyone 5 stars so they can get them back. It will shake out in time and when it does, sites like IndieReader will be among those that we trust simply because these folks have put in their time. My guess? Long before they started getting paid, they all read, critiqued one heck of a lot of books.
            Following you now. This is a very helpful post.
            Thanks Sabrina Ricci & IndieReader!

    • http://www.sailletales.com Richard Sutton

      Alan, I’m curious as to why you would accuse the writer of an ethics breach? Besides, the publishing industry’s stalwart publicists have lived with paid reviews for some time, probably more than 100 years now. Reviewers who develop a name for a balanced approach and honest comments don;’t have unlimited time, and if they have the cred, their reviews are useful to readers.

  • Anne

    Ms. Ricci paints a rosy picture of the trend among self-published and/or ebook authors increasingly bypassing old media critics in favor of new media reviewers. But her article only applies to genre books. The quest for reviews for self-published literary fiction author’s is much, much bleaker. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to get such books reviewed by old media, new media, book blogs, Amazon reviewers, you name it. Why? B/c they’re not set up for it. The overwhelming majority of self-published and/or ebooks are genre books, so book blogs have sprung up to exclusively cater to their readers.
    Even new media websites that purport to be “serious,” (e.g., Salon, The Millions, The Rumpus, Galley Cat, N+1) refuse to consider self-published books for review–even when they receive a thoughtful, well-written review of a literary novel. Don’t they realize that w/o the Internet their reviews would never see the light of day? And yet they snottily refuse to review the very books that the Internet has brought into being. Huh? Instead, they stubbornly cling to the old media publishing industry, which is rapidly dying.
    Therefore, the ONLY avenue left for authors of literary fiction is to bypass ALL reviewers: old media, new media, book blogs, and Amazon, and appeal directly to readers, thereby rendering lit critics obsolete.

    • http://Melindafield.com Melinda Field

      Yes, Anne I agree with you about most indie books that have received attention either reviews or contest winners are usually genre books, it seems to be a trend in our reader’s world to be entertained at all costs..I have no problem with this considering life as we know it. My novel True, which is contemporary literary fiction has been reviewed by some respectful folks..one being IndieReader. Also, goodread’s Sisterhood of the Traveling Book are a group of dedicated readers and reviewers…These sites are out there but soon let’s hope that a good story, exempt of neck biters, dystopias and bodice rippers (these have their place!) will garner the attention that quality fiction deserves.

    • wordwan

      I’m a little confused on the wording of some of the things you said, but I’ve come across just as many literary fiction reviewers as I have genre fiction and I mean, this, across the internet. I haven’t been ‘focusing’ on the traditional industry. If ‘reviewers’ from the traditional publishing industry still expect hardcover books to review, well not much we can do.

      But even in my short time of scanning bloggers–especially even some of the more intelligent and earnest reviewers on Amazon (and they DO exist, lemme tell you)–there are a lot of people reviewing literary fiction. In fact, for their review policies, I’ve even seen a lot who SPECIFY “I will not read genre fiction.”

      And if you’re still looking to someone to review, that person BECOMES a ‘lit critic”. I think it depends on what one is looking for from this process.

      I’ve never believed in professional critics. Are they gonna buy enough books to make me a million-seller?

      No, a million readers are. And I agree with you there. And we should be doing a better job than most of us do, of engaging them.

      Just my view.

    • http://www.MarlaMiller.com Marla Miller

      Literary writers have always had a tougher road-always. They don’t make money-historically-and they don’t write to make money. No doubt some think ‘Ah! but they haven’t read my literary prose yet!’….just part of what makes a literary writer write.

  • http://gradereading.net Darcy Pattison

    For children’s books, we have a suite of book review sites: 2ndgradereading.net, 3rdgradereading.net, 4thgradereading.net and 5thgradereading.net. We’ll add 1st and 6th by the end of the year. We are seeing about 10,000 hits/month and expect that to grow. We can do indie books, but we need a Lexile reading level on your book first.

    Darcy Pattison
    gradereading.net

  • http://www.BarbaraAlfaro.net Barbara Alfaro

    I agree with Anne’s comment (June 19th). The “rosy picture” is specifically for romance, chick lit, and mommy porn — not literary fiction.

  • http://theindieexchange.com Coral Russell

    I totally understand and know why you’re charging, but here’s the problem which surprised me when I got your email because Amazon sent out an email earlier this month and stated clearly:

    Q. Can I pay for someone to write a Customer Review for my book?
    A. No. We do not allow any form of compensation for a Customer Review other than a free copy of the book provided upfront. If you offer a free copy of the book in advance, it must be clear that you welcome all feedback, both positive and negative.

    If you plan on posting your reviews on Amazon and I believe I saw that in the email, then you can’t post them to Amazon. That would get you and the author in trouble. If you want to be the Kirkus reviewers of Indie and use your stamp of approval to weed out great books, which is great and needed, I’m all for it. Authors can definitely use your well-written reviews as front matter or blurb in that space on Amazon, B&N, etc.

    If I was to use you again to review a book, then I’d have to ask that you NOT publish it on Amazon. Thanks!

    • Amy Edelman

      Hi Coral,

      Yes, the thing is that IR is really not a Customer Review any longer (if we ever were). We also never paid for the books that we review, which I believe is also against Amazon’s policies. So perhaps we’ll just send the paid reviews to the author and trust them to post in the appropriate places (keep in mind that authors who enter the IRDAs are also getting reviews as part of their entry. Does that count as a paid review too?). Frankly, not posting on Amazon is one step less that we have to take anyway. Just a little confusing for us moving forward.

      Best,
      Amy
      IndieReader

      • wordwan

        Amy Edelman said:

        “We also never paid for the books that we review, which I believe is also against Amazon’s policies.”

        I’m confused. LOTS of Amazon reviewers are people who ‘bought’ the book. How could this be against Amazon’s ‘policies’? Just because you are ‘labelled’ some kind of ‘professional reviewer’ or something?

        And as we’re talking about Amazon and its policies, why is it okay for you to go to Kirkus and ‘buy’ a review that you can post on the ‘front matter’ of your Amazon account?

        That’s a paid review. I don’t care who Kirkus is; it’s still a paid review. And it’s one of the first things a potential reader sees and bases his reading/buying decisions on.

        My take is if we’re gonna play on a level playing field, let’s do it.

        I am still trying to figure out what Amazon’s game is–besides making money and cornering the market on book publishing. I still sense, in some disruptive way, they are disallowing certain practices to irretrievably aim users at doing something for Amazon.

        They get us busy focusing on ONE thing, while they change the game in something else.

        Just my view. And those of too many people I seem to keep running into on Amazon.

  • http://www.simon-royle.com Simon Royle

    “why should IR pay their reviewers to review your book without getting compensation for it?”

    - There are many good reviewers out there who review for free (as your article pointed out); with your brand it would be easy enough to get them to work with you to produce quality reviews – for free. Don’t insult our intelligence by claiming that the reason you do it is to pay your reviewers – the reason you do it is to make money. Nothing wrong with that; just try and be more honest about your intentions. Now that Amazon forbids such reviews, I expect that side of your business will die a death, albeit perhaps a slow one.

    The Indieview (which was started by me and now run by a fine reviewer, Big Al) promotes free reviews and provides listings of reviewers who review for free. Using the argument that the trade industry has been doing it for years (and continues to do it) is spurious – paid reviews are a waste of time and money, and yes they are unethical.

    • http://sabrinaricci.com Sabrina Ricci

      Hi Simon,

      I think The Indieview is a wonderful resource and I’ve recommended it to at least a few authors. I’m curious though, what’s your opinion of the paid reviews Kirkus and Publishers Weekly offer? From what I understand, a good review from Kirkus can greatly help an author, since Kirkus is considered a reliable source.

      • http://www.bookpromotionservices.com Nikki Leigh

        I own a blog tour company and am an award winning author so I’m always on the lookout for review opportunities. To date I have not paid for any reviews for myself or any of my clients. The only time I would recommend it – is if the company is offering additional exposure, promotion, etc in exchange and still it would depend on where they want to get the review. There are so many wonderful and targeted review options available free online – if you understand and take the time to screen them – you can get substantial exposure for your book(s).

      • http://www.simon-royle.com Simon Royle

        I think PW is disgusting for what it does with indies and Kirkus not much better. The only alleged success with Kirkus for an indie book that I know about is, Darcie Chan’s “The Mill River Recluse”, I say alleged because Kirkus was only one component. Darcie also took out ads on eBook sites and priced at .99 cents any and all of which could have got the sales moving.

        Of the indies who have paid for a Kirkus review (and received a good review) how many have gone on to become best sellers? Both PW and Kirkus are bastions of trad publishing, with an opportunistic indie shingle hung out there. In short I think both PW and Kirkus are expensive and not required in the promotional mix – there are better, cheaper, and, more honorable, alternatives.

  • http://www.marionstein.net Marion Stein

    Joining in with the chorus here, genre fiction like romance was NEVER reviewed in the New York Times Sunday Book Review even when traditionally published. The fans in certain genres have done a great job in somehow creating an online word-of-mouth network, and they support self-published work. There are blogs, fan fiction sites, forums, etc. and the line between readers and writers is sometimes blurred, with writers emerging from reader-communities within specific genres and sub-genres.

    While a very few emerge as winners, most don’t. Even though on a good week you might have 25% indies in the Times combined e-book and paperback bestsellers, when you compare the number of books traditionally published each year, and the number of books self-published each year, you’ll see that the long odds of writing a bestseller, are much, much longer for indies.

    As others have pointed out, the picture is worse for literary fiction and general fiction that doesn’t fit easily into a genre. Because there’s so much stuff out there, it’s much harder to get reviewed by blogs than it used to be. Many writers are paying tons for “services” they think will help them to be competitive, and there are still a high percentage of readers who either won’t go near self-published books or have no idea that anyone is self-publishing anything other than genre fiction.

  • http://www.independent-authors.org Melanie Walsh

    Great post with very helpful, valuable information for independent authors. We’ve shared it on Facebook and Twitter.

    You’ve mentioned some wonderful, supportive bloggers – we’re grateful for them, and the many others, for their willingness to review self-published works.

    Regards
    Mel

    Director, Membership Services
    Association of Independent Authors

    • http://sabrinaricci.com Sabrina Ricci

      Thank you Mel!

      It was wonderful getting to know these bloggers. And I was impressed with how quick they were to respond to my questions and follow up emails–I think indie authors and book bloggers as a whole are a very dedicated and hard working group.

      Best,
      Sabrina

  • Jennifer Lampelli

    DearAuthor is one of the worst examples of a review website that I’ve ever seen in my life. They only publish positive reviews of authors that are friendly to them and anyone they do not like gets a bad review.

    I’m need even going to talk about the websites that charge for reviews. I don’t think blogs are launching these authors books; maybe supplementing their sales, but not providing the initial boost.

    Colleen Hoover was big way before Hopeless and Maryse had little to do with that.

    • Holly

      Maryse reviewed SLAMMED first, not HOPELESS. Colleen Hoover did a blig post a few months ago stating that dhe released SLAMMED and no-one really bought it until Maryse read and rebiewed and then her sales went through the roof. If you’re saying that’s not true then you are saying that Colleen Hoover is a lier. If you go on her blog you will find thid information in the post about a bloggers giveaway that herself and fellow authors put together.

  • http://6497855.bravejournal.com/entry/131239 Sally Ferguson

    Sabrina Ricci has made a great argument for the importance of book reviewers. Who knew a review could be such a game changer?

  • Jennifer

    did I read that right? Dear Author is a legit review source? Are we talking about the same dear author??? That place is just a blog to create drama and rifts in the publishing community. It’s a NIGHTMARE. I used to be a fan of that site but when I saw the vitriol spewed there, I left. I prefer website that stick reviewing books because they love books, not reviewing authors because they love drama. I would be more careful what sites you recommend–look into them so you don’t tarnish your own reputation by affiliating yourself with sites that have already been blasted in the news as places to stay AWAY from. While you are at it, why not recommend Publish America as a reliable publishing source. That’d be about as accurate as calling Dear Author a legit review source.

  • Christi

    I agree. Dear Author is a horrible, horrible example of a legit review site. They slam authors and try to bait them into fights by soliciting reactions to the reviews written on the site. So unprofessional. I can’t believe indiereader cited DA as a review source. Please stay FAR AWAY from DA!