Get Reviewers!

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

It’s no secret that being an indie author is just as rewarding as it is hard. If you’ve visited my site, you’ve read my posts about the upside of being an indie author…and the ones bemoaning my book marketing journey.

The Downside
The sites that promise to help me reach the bestseller list
The fee-driven promotional opportunities
The herculean effort to get reviews
And on…and on… and on.

But I also promised that if I found something that worked, I’d share it with my fellow authors. And I think I have come to a few conclusions over the course of a year…and that is…REVIEWS REVIEWS REVIEWS are the only thing you should obsessively chase once your book is published. On my sites Marketing Resource Page, there are several sites I have used and they are listed on that page. My newest find is Pubby.co

So why pay for reviews at all and is it ethical?

Yes, it’s ethical if you ask for an honest review. It’s ethical if you don’t violate Amazon’s review rules. And yes, you need to be prepared to pay for a steady stream of reviews so your book doesn’t languish among the millions of books listed on Amazon’s site.

Somewhere I read that out of every 100 people who read your book, only one will leave a review. I’ve come to believe this unverified internet fact to be true enough. It’s not that 99 readers didn’t enjoy your work, it’s that they don’t have time, don’t know how important it is to leave their impressions, or they think they’re not qualified to leave a thoughtful/real review. After all, they’re no judge of literary greatness! They’re just an average person who bought a 2.99 ebook. And the word review conjures up memories of book reports they did back in school. Who has that kind of time?

So yes, YES… YES… YES… !!! If you want to be seen, you need verified book review. If you want to influence potential readers, you need reader feedback. AKA Reviews.

So this is where Pubby comes in.

They’re the new kid on the block and their platform allows indie authors to list their book details and Amazon link for a monthly subscription fee of $29.99. This is a lower price than Dog Eared Review’s $40 (plus cost of ebook) monthly fee for one book review per month.

Pubby’s basic plan works like this… you list your ebook(s) and are given a number of snaps to begin. Snaps are their form of currency. You then spend your snaps every time you press the “get reviewed” button. Depending on what sort of review you are looking for, the amount of snaps it will cost you varies. For instance, a verified review for The Love of Gods by a Pubby reader costs me 2000 snaps. The Fate of Wolves cost me 1930 snaps. When you run out of snaps, you read books by other authors to earn more snaps. Pubby’s algorithm keeps you from reading an author who has read your book which prevents direct review swaps, and that is how they keep Amazon happy.

It’s a pretty simple idea. And is effective thus far. I’ve had my two books listed for six days during their 10-day free trial and have gotten 4 reviews. I also know that 2 more readers are currently reading my books, and they are looking for one more reader. I haven’t even begun to pay the monthly fee yet. That definitely beats Dog Eared Review’s plan.

Of course, you have to set aside time to read yourself in order to earn more snaps. How diligent you work their system is up to you and your schedule. I aim for the longer books who want verified reviews because I can earn over 2000 to 2600 snaps by reading it. I’m a fast reader and can devour a book easily in a day. I’ve listed my ebooks on a site where I know there are readers who are motivated to leave reviews. I’m going to read anyway, so it’s a win-win.

But let’s follow the money to be sure it’s an honest review I’m getting.

Because there aren’t any direct author to author review swaps there is no advantage to being over kind while posting a review. The author that reads your book isn’t an author you will get to read. And by the way, I did get a 3-star view to offset my many 5-star reviews on my book. Just wasn’t that reader’s cup of tea. It happens and you learn not to dwell on it.

Pubby is getting their money through my subscription fee, so there’s no pressure to give any author a five-star review if the book doesn’t deserve it. Pubby got their money. What do they care? By the way, I also gave a 3-star review on a book, though I have to say I am pleasantly pleased with the quality of the majority of the books I’ve read.

You work their system, earning and reading as much or as little as you want while offering your book as often as your snaps earnings will allow. And you can cancel your subscription at any time while not losing the verified reviews on Amazon.

Pretty sweet deal. Even if I only had time to read one book a month and receive one review per month, I’m still doing better than with Dog Eared Review.

If you are interested, give Pubby a try. Click on the referral link. If you sign up, I get a few more snaps.

Good luck out there!