Category Archives: Goodreads

The Review Challenge

As many of you know, I have written and self-published a novel, Island in the Clouds, and a novella, That Last Summer, and I’ve been promoting both through whatever means I can – mainly on social media and by advertising locally on Bequia and in Minden, where the stories are set. But I’ve mainly been depending on word-of-mouth promotion, hoping that readers who enjoy reading what I’ve written will tell their friends about these books, either directly or by reviewing the books and commenting on them on social media, on Amazon, on Goodreads, etc. This has been working well, enabling me to get the word out there much further than if I were to personally contact every person I know.

But I do realize that many, many more people have read my books than are telling me or their friends about having read them. I’ve given away copies in contests, through my blog and on Goodreads, I’ve sent free eBooks to bloggers and travel or book sites, and I’ve gifted many print copies of the novel to many more people – all in the hope that they will not only enjoy reading what I’ve written, but also that they will then take that a step further and review/tell a friend about the books.

I would like to thank those who have taken the time to review online or who have sent me an email with your thoughts about the books. I’ve compiled everything here in an Online Reviews and Comments PDF (scroll down to What Readers are saying about Island in the Clouds!) Your support and enthusiasm has been overwhelming and much appreciated!

However, I would like to throw out a challenge to anyone else who has not yet reviewed either of my books online or by sending me a direct message: Please consider writing something now and posting it. Even if you didn’t enjoy either of the books all that much, tell me why that was the case. Authors just want their work to be read, and we thrive and survive on Readers telling us what we did right or wrong in our writing. If you do not feel comfortable putting your comments out there for all the world to see, I would even appreciate receiving a private email with your thoughts. It all helps me to improve my writing.

And it helps to attract new readers to my writing … so here’s the Review Challenge for you to consider – If you have read my books, please recommend them to another friend who you think will enjoy them. Then ask them to do the same and recommend it to another of their friends. Pass on your copy if you need to do so in order to convince them it’s worth reading. While I’d love it if everyone bought their own copies to read, I completely understand lending as a means of interesting readers who don’t know about me. I’m even willing to send out free eBook copies to anyone who would like to read and review either book. If you, or a friend, are willing to do that, please contact me. susanmtoy (at) gmail.com

I hope this idea doesn’t sound like desperation-for-reviews on my part. What I’m really trying to get across here is how important word-of-mouth promotion is to ALL authors, whether self-or-traditionally published. I know! I was a sales rep for publishers during my career, and the best-selling books were always those that I could personally recommend as having read and enjoyed myself. (Plus, I can be a very convincing sales person at times …) I now very dutifully read and rate/review many books on Goodreads, and I occasionally post a review on Amazon, but I also publish an Author Promotion blog, Reading Recommendations, so I believe I am still doing my bit to get the word out there for my fellow authors.

So, what are you going to do about this? Are you willing to take up my challenge? I would be ecstatic if every reader who has read either of my books were to recommend just one to another reader! And, if each of you were to review those books or send me an email with your comments, as well … You will have made this particular author very, very happy!!

Authors, please feel free to share this blog post and encourage your readers to become part of a challenge to spread the word about your own books – and all authors and their books!

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The Best Way To Thank An Author …

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And, if you enjoyed that book, share the information with fellow Readers: On Goodreads, BookLikes, Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, your blog, my blog (Reading Recommendations), review sites, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, with the staff at your local bookstore (whether indie, chain, or online), with librarians … essentially wherever other Readers congregate and learn about which great books to read next.

I and all of my fellow authors will thank you by continuing to write what you love to read.

And please, Authors and Readers, feel free to reblog and share this message, the importance of which can never be overstated. Word-of-mouth is still our very best promotional tool and the most effective means for other Readers to discover new books. If you get into the habit of reviewing what you read and passing on the information, ALL Authors, and Readers, will thank you in return!

I’m up for the Challenge(s)!!

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I’ve signed up to take part in two different reading challenges throughout 2014! There’s the 52 Books in 52 Weeks 2014 Challenge and the Global Reading Challenge 2014.

I love challenges like this, because they give my reading some much-needed direction and open me up to the possibilities of reading books that are different than those I might normally choose, if left up to my own devices …

This past year, Goodreads ran a Reading Challenge in which we had to create our own goal number of books we would read during 2013. I reached my goal of 150 books by mid-December, so now I’m thinking that, with these two new added reading challenges, if Goodreads holds another challenge this year, I might have to increase my goal number of books I’ll read during 2014 to 175.

Let 2014 begin!!

For Writers – Tips & Gifts

If there is a WRITER on your gift-giving list this season, here are some ideas that will make great gifts! Writing Tips to share that will help those writers with their writing process, and Novelty Gifts that are writer-specific. We all know the best gifts that you could ever give to any writer are: READ THEIR WRITING and SHARE THEIR WRITING WITH OTHER READERS – BUY THEIR BOOKS, HELP TO PROMOTE by spreading the word, and REVIEW wherever you can!

Pay for a Writing Course, Workshop or Conference they’d be interested in attending. Buy them Gift Cards for their favourite Coffee Shop!

“Like” them and share on Facebook; “Follow” them and retweet on Twitter; “Become a Fan” and review their books on Goodreads!

Of course, the three best gifts that anyone who is writing can receive, whether they are a published author or hoping-to-be published, are:
TIME, SPACE, SUPPORT
And none of these costs a cent!

Handy Tips and Information

From Writers Write: Find Your Funny – 11 Tips for Writers by Mia Botha
From wordserve water cooler: My Book is Published, Now What? by Jo Ann Fore
From Catherine, Caffeinated: How To Be A Good Guest Blogger
From io9: 10 Ways to Make Everyone Root for Your Amoral Protagonist
Suggest they subscribe to [placesforwriters] to receive regularly updated information on contests and calls for submissions.
From HuffPost Books: 50 Ways Writers Can Prepare for the New Year by M. Shannon Hernandez

Suggest they subscribe to this blog, my blog, by email! I regularly list lots of information that’s of interest to writers … Subscription sign-up is to the right …images

And Writer-Friendly Gifts

From terribleminds: 25 Gifts for Writers and Ten More Gifts For Writers
From The Literary Gift Company
From BUZZFEED: Affordable And Clever Gifts For Your Writer And Bibliophile Friends
From CafePress

And my personal favourite … A Literary Road Map!

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(If you have a READER on your list …)