Friday, April 25, 2014

Should You Pay for Book Reviews?

I apologize for being MIA both on my personal blog and the blogs I have been following. I must admit that I'm feeling a little burned out from the release of VIOLET STORM on top of my day-to-day job. But no worries, all has been good, wonderful actually! Also, I've been waiting for the A to Z blog challenge to finish since I didn’t' have the bandwidth to participate, and am waiting for a more manageable blog reading list.

 I've been doing a lot of research lately, mostly in the area of editorial reviews, their benefits and whether it outweighs the cost. Here's what I have on my list to consider: 

Plus competitions such as: 

I went ahead and submitted VS to Writer's Digest. I'm on the fence about reviewers like Kirkus, mainly because I think the cost is a little too pricey (standard $425 and express $575). And I need to wait for royalties to come in before I can re-invest it back into the book via events, advertising, and reviews.

Anyhow, I would love to get your thoughts on this! Personally, as a reader, I am compelled to trust reviews for novels I'm on the fence about, and I do believe they can be persuasive, granted that they are honest.
Oh and one other bit of news. VIOLET STORM has been accepted into Hicklebee's Bookstore's Independently  Published Authors Program, and will be carried and sold in their bookstore! VIOLET STORM will be on an actual bookstore shelf! HOORAY! :) I hope this helps pave the way for further bookstore interest. I shall keep you posted! 

If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area (particularly in the South Bay), I encourage you to stop by Hicklebee's located in Willow Glen, San Jose! It's the bookstore where I got my first author autograph from Suzanne Collins for her book tour of Mockingjay in the Hunger Games Trilogy. So as you can imagine, I am very excited to have VIOLET STORM on their bookshelves!

To celebrate this awesome news, I'm giving away a secret, but super cute, prize. Shhhh! Enter via the Rafflecopter below (due to shipping costs, it will be limited to U.S. based entries). I'll announce the prize this weekend!

**UPDATE: Sorry folks, the raffle is currently being reviewed and I should have it reposted in a new blog shortly! :)


  1. Yay on Violet Storm being on bookshelves! It's great that things are changing and self-publishing doesn't mean that books can't make it on shelves. I don't live in the area, but I'm happy for you!

    I think you're right in analyzing the benefit vs. cost on paying for reviews. It seems another form of advertisement, but without any advance money in self-publishing, deciding on where to spend your budget must be tough!

    1. Thank you Genissa! :D It was certainly a huge feeling to drop off the books and know that it would soon be on the shelves of an actual bookstore. Sort of like a dream come true.

      I think the reviews would be a great help. The more reputable reviewers can't guarantee a positive review, but one can always hope that they'll enjoy that book and have insightful points to make. I'll keep you posted! :)

    2. Oh, and I noticed the Rafflecopter didn't take in your entry points (for "liking" the FB page and for commenting). I will make sure to include you when it comes to the raffle drawing! :)

  2. Anna, that's so cool that your book is going to be in a store!!! Serious congratulations!

    1. Thank you Liz!! :) There are a lot of these local bookstores that offer programs to Independently Published Authors. It's worth it to ask and see how they can help/support you (and vice versa). Apparently the key word is "consignment". They do have to approve your book and see if it's a good fit for their store which can take upwards of 3-4 weeks.


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