If you didn’t open my October newsletter, or you haven’t yet subscribed, let me tell you about Emilie’s Krewe of Review.
At the Novelist’s Inc. conference last month I learned so many exciting ideas. One came from a workshop about review teams. “Street” teams have been around for years. A street team is a group of readers who are excited about helping an author do publicity. They pass out bookmarks, talk up an author’s books, and assist in any way they can. I’ve never felt comfortable asking for that kind of help. But review team? I was immediately enthusiastic.
A review team receives and reads an author’s books before publication–and sometimes after–then reviews them at online bookstores like Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, and at reader websites like Goodreads. If an author has access to advance copies, she passes them on, knowing that these readers will do their best to post reviews wherever they can. Additional help might include suggesting the book for book clubs, asking their local library to order it, or any other way the reader feels comfortable participating.
I’ve just sent out dozens of letters to the readers who saw my request in the newsletter and responded. I explained the concept and then sent a questionnaire. Not everyone will find joining the krewe appealing because it’s a commitment they may not have time to honor, but others will be on board right away.
I love this idea because it’s mutually beneficial. Readers who like the kinds of novels I write get advance access and in return I get more reviews. Quite honestly getting a good number of reviews has become more important as social media expands. Publishers and readers alike check for them. Promotional newsletters like BookBub check the number of reviews a book has received before selling the author advertisement space. Yes, it happens. Trust me.
We needed a name. And since my writing career began in New Orleans, we are now the Krewe of Review. A krewe in New Orleans is a carnival group, often one that parades in the weeks before Mardi Gras. Seen all those Mardi Gras beads being tossed off floats? That’s a krewe behind those masks. Like the traditional krewes of New Orleans, the Krewe of Review is going to have fun together. We’ll even have our own Facebook group.
If you’re interested in learning more and have the time to read and review, you can email me here. I’ll send you more information and a questionnaire. As they say in New Orleans: Laissez les bon temps rouler!
As you read this, I will be in Ohio preparing for the birth of a grandson, a granddaughter’s birthday, and the Buckeye Book Fair on Saturday the 7th. I won’t be able to reply to review emails until I return. But I promise I will reply.
If you’re anywhere near Wooster, Ohio on the 7th, please visit my table. The book fair is an all day event and my friends Serena B. Miller, Casey Daniels/Kylie Logan and Karen Harper will also be signing books. It’s a great time to get a head start on your Christmas shopping. I always do.