Reviews and Blogs

So. You have a book coming out. That’s a huge achievement, so take a moment to congratulate yourself. But now you want people to actually read your book. How do you get reader visibility and interest? Advanced Review Copies (ARCs) are one way to get excitement around your upcoming release, and many authors have ARC teams and/or marketing groups that distribute ARCs for them.

Another use of ARCs is to submit them to bloggers/reviewers. These folks may post to a web blog, Instagram, Twitter,  and/or Facebook pages. In addition, they may post the review to Amazon, Goodreads, and any publisher pages.

It is critical that you be prepared in advance. Before you contact any review site, you should familiarize yourself with their style and “normal” content. Most review sites require advanced notice and arrangements, and even then there is no guarantee that your book will be reviewed. Check the individual sites for details. Know your release date and the advance notice conditions for each review site you are interested in.

If you have a publisher, check and see where the publisher will be distributing ARCs, as this can be useful for planning purposes. You may still want to contact the same sites, as it may still be helpful to arrange for a promotional spot. Most blogs also offer other opportunities for exposure for an author in addition to a review:

  • Author spotlights
  • Guest Post or Interview
  • Cover Reveal
  • Giveaway (often bundled with the previous options)
  • Note: Keep in mind that many blogs will require exclusive content

Hopefully by the time the book releases you have reviews generating interest and increasing reader visibility. Which is great. But always remember that reviews are not always going to be flattering – don’t assume that just because you send an ARC that the recipient will love your story. Be prepared beforehand for bad reviews.

The key thing to remember is that a bad review is not a personal attack or rejection. The review reflects how the reader felt about what they read and nothing more. Keep a box of tissues handy, but always stay professional and don’t give in to the temptation to engage directly. You don’t want to create a situation that negatively impacts your next book.

I am providing a list of sites I’ve discovered or were provided by my publisher (Dreamspinner). This list is a current snapshot as new sites pop up and some may go on hiatus or disappear. As I mentioned earlier, take a moment to get familiar with a blog site before you contact them.

Blog LinksNotes
Joyfully Jay FacebookLGBTQ romance
Love BytesFacebookLGBTQ blog
My Fiction NookFacebookLGBT romance
Diverse Reader FacebookLGBTQ Blog
Scattered ThoughtsFacebookLGBTQIA books
Alpha Book Club
FacebookAll Romance
Boy Meets BoyFacebookMM Romance
MM Romance Rainbow Book
FacebookGLBTQ-related books
Open Skye
FacebookMostly MM, but all romance
Bayou Book Junkie FacebookGLBT friendly MM Romance
OptimuMM Reads
FacebookMM Romance
Wicked Reviews
FacebookAll Romance
Books Tattoos and Tea FacebookLGBTQ+ Romance
Happily Ever Chapter FacebookAll Romance
MPREG Obsession FacebookMPREG
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books FacebookAll Romance
MM Good Book Reviews Facebook MM Romance
Rainbow Gold Reviews Facebook LGBT review blog
Blogger Girls Facebook All Romance
It’s All About theN Book Facebook All Romance
Book Review Virginia Lee
Facebook All Romance
Amy TasukadaYouTubeMM Romance Video Reviews

And for a slightly different approach to reviews, check out the Big Gay Fiction Podcast.

Note that The Novel Approach is On Hiatus

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