I received a mote after last week’s post on reviews. She asked me whether I thought review exchanges would be okay.
To explain, there are writers — usually indie authors — who seek reviews by asking other writers to review their book in exchange for reviewing the other writer’s book.
On the surface, that appears to be a reasonable request, but … and you knew there would be a but.
As a disclaimer, I did some of those exchange requests. Some were successful, other not so much.
As an author, you know the importance of research, making sure your story flows and is time and location appropriate. After you publish, the research for seeking reviews continues. In fact it is just as if not more important.
You have to know who you exchanging with, not necessarily personally, but at least their favored genres and review experience. It’s usually not that hard to find.
The reason for that is you don’t want your review to be mismatched. For example, if you wrote a romance, you might not want it reviewed by a sci-fi, dungeon and dragon writer. And, of course, vice versa. You might not appreciate the fire breathing if you’re partial to hugs and kisses.
Another potential problem is expectation. Chances are review stars will be the same, especially by the second reviewer. If you give a four star review, expect a four star back.
Finally, you probably aren’t going to get everyone to review. Given time restraints and TBR piles, you may not get the reviews you expect.
Bottom line. Each situation is different. If you’re dealing with a group that favors your genre, by all means. But responding to a generic social media might be more dicey. I would avoid that.
If you have any other writing questions, send them in. That’s what Tuesdays are for.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: If your dream only includes you, it’s too small. — Ava Duvernay