Even The Bookie Monster Has a Soapbox

That's right folks...Even The Bookie Monster Has a Soapbox An effort to raise author awareness on behalf of all reviewers out there.

NOTE: A follow up post has been published. Thank you all for your feedback. http://www.bookie-monster.com/2014/02/sometimes-we-just-get-it-wrong.html

If you have clicked that "Like" button on my Facebook page, then surely you've read the rant I posted Tuesday night by now. 

Immediately after posting, I felt icky. After ruminating a few minutes I decided I should remove it. The last thing I want people to think is that I'm an ungrateful hag. But before I could click delete, people started commenting. My inbox began filling up with notes from other reviewers thanking me for my candid post and expressing the same frustration. This post is for authors who receive reviews, submit interviews, promote their work through the site, or just want to do right in general to the hard working reviewer.

If you haven't seen it, I've pasted it below. 

"So I happen to look at my Amazon reviewer ranking and wondered why I'm not increasing my rank...then I looked at my reviews and noticed so many of them had zero votes/tags for have been helpful. That means that not even the author that submitted their work for review cared enough to take a half a second and click the stupid button??

That's pretty rough...it's not like I get paid to review...all I ask for in return is little things like "like my review on various sites, share the link, etc...trust me, it takes MUCH longer to read and review the book than it would take to make a few clicks of the keyboard...

There's my rant. I'm disappointed for the first time at the lack of reciprocal respect for my time and efforts to support my authors. I shouldn't have looked, because now I feel like shit tonight for trying to do something nice. Good reviews generally equate to sales for a book. The only thing I ask in return is to help me grow my brand...should I possibly rethink things?

To add one more thing...I post all reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Google News, StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious & Pinterest. I don't think it's unreasonable to request at least the authors visit each location and share/like them."

So why are my panties in a  bunch? I devote a lot of time reading submissions and writing quality (I hope) reviews. I can tell you that over 200 books have been purchased by clicking the links in my reviews. I have never asked for compensation, and the thought of doing so turns my stomach. But numbers don't lie. My reviews have helped generate sales for authors. 

Don't get me wrong, it tickles me each time I see that number grow, because I love seeing people succeed. And I suspect other reviewers feel the same pride and success on an author's behalf when they too have aided in the ultimate goal of increasing the reach of a great piece of work.

BUT (you had to know there was a but coming!), there has to be a two-way street. The one thing my rant helped me realize is most authors don't know they should reciprocate, and many reviewers (t least the ones that contacted me after my rant) struggle with the same thing. Or better yet, authors don't know the right avenue to do so. So I have amended my Review Policy and submission notifications with more detailed guidelines on how to appropriately respond to a review. This list is, of course, the bare minimum, and I encourage authors to help add to this list and let me know of any other ways to promote your work.

If you have submitted something in the past or intend on submitting something, I urge you to read the below items carefully and take action. If you haven't submitted to The Bookie Monster, but have been the recipient of love from another reviewer, think about returning the favor for them.

What is expected in return for The Bookie Monsters honest review?

As a reviewer, brand recognition and visibility is the most important thing. (Let’s call it the equivalent to book sales for an author). That being said, in return for my time spent reading and providing a review for your work, I ask that all authors take the few minutes to promote my work as well. Please see the steps below ways to share.

You may not realize this, but reviewer rankings are dependent on the action items below. There needs to be a two way street between reviewers and authors to adequately promote work. Not doing the bare minimum (below) is essentially the same as telling a reviewer you don't view their time and efforts as valuable. I encourage you to be proactive and not wait until your book has been reviewed to perform the below tasks. This can all be done in under ten minutes!
  1. Follow The Bookie Monster
    1. Click http://eepurl.com/Nf81X to receive weekly updates on posts, reviews & free stuff. (If you already receive this, your submission initiated entry into our mailing list)
    2. Encouraging fans to also signup for updates is greatly appreciated.
  2. Amazon.
    1. Most authors don’t realize that Amazon has a credibility ranking system. Your ranking is directly correlated to the number of reviews posted as well as the number of like a review is given.
    2. Visit my Amazon profile at http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A343B32JX1SMDO
    3. On the left side click “Reviews”. Find your book (and any other review you like) and click “Comments”. Scroll up and click the Yes button next to: Was this review helpful to you?
    4. Ask your fans to do the same if they enjoyed the review.
    5. Doing this not only increases my rankings, but also your book’s activity ad sales.
  3. Facebook
    1. If you haven’t done so already, make sure you “Like” The Bookie Monster page.
    2. Visit https://www.facebook.com/thebookiemonster and do this.
    3. Find your post and share it on your personal pages as well as any other groups you belong to.
    4. Adding a note when sharing, or creating a post suggesting fans follow TBM is helpful as well.
  4. Twitter
    1. If you haven’t done so already…Follow TBM on Twitter https://twitter.com/BookieMonsterSF
    2. Your review and/or interview will be tweeted daily for 30 days. Please retweet this as well as suggest your followers also follow TBM.
  5. StumbleUpon
    1. Visit http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/shanafesta and follow TBM.
    2. Click the icons below your post (and others you like) to “Like”, “Share”, “Add to your list” and “Comment.
    3. Note…since I have begun sharing via this site, my traffic has nearly doubled. I suggest signing up for the free account and using it.
    4. If you send me your links, I will also return the courtesy.
  6. Delicious
    1. Click https://delicious.com/bookiemonstersf and follow me.
    2. Like your link (and any others you like) and invite your fans to do the same.
  7. Goodreads
    1. Friend me/Follow my reviews at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/9185553-shana-festa
    2. Be sure to like your review.
  8. Add me to your circles on Google+
    1. Visit https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ShanaFesta/posts/p/pub
    2. +1 your review/posts as well as any other you find helpful and share with your circles.
  9. Follow me on Pinterest
    1. Visit http://www.pinterest.com/shanafesta/
    2. Follow the Author Interview and/or Book review boards
    3. Pin/Like your review/interview as well as any other you find helpful
  10. Feedback
    1. Provide feedback on your experience with The Bookie Monster. 
    2. Visit http://form.jotform.us/form/33365316358154 and answer a few quick questions. 
  11. The Share Button
    1. At the bottom of each post is an area to share. The orange share button contains a list of nearly 300 places you can share the post
    2. Use the share links and share the crap out of yours and any other reviews of your work I have done in the past. Heck, while you're at it, share some other posts as well! Help The Bookie Monster grow!
If you are participating in a giveaway contest:
  1. Your giveaway contest will be included in the Review post as well as added to the FREE STUFF page on the site. 
  2. Once the contest ends, I will select winners at random. You will be emailed a list of all entries and the responsibility to contact winners and award the prizes is yours.
  3. While The Bookie Monster will Tweet the contest daily, the ultimate driver of this raffle is you. It is clearly evident which authors really market their reviews/raffles based on traffic statistics. Should you wish to embed the raffle code on any additional sites of your choosing or email it to fans, you will find the code in your notification of publish email.
    I operate on a Quid Pro Quo system. I will continue to promote authors that do the same for me. Not only that, but the more times promoted, the more buzz you will see. Tweet to your followers, post on Facebook, etc. 

    Adding a permanent link to www.bookie-monster.com will return the same results. The Bookie Monster will add your site to our blogroll, which is visible on every page of the site. (Be sure to inform me when added so I can reciprocate)

    NOTE: A follow up post has been published. Thank you all for your feedback. http://www.bookie-monster.com/2014/02/sometimes-we-just-get-it-wrong.html