The Author CEONaomi is founder of the Goodreads group Sisterhood of the Traveling Books, as well as the Nordic Noir group, dedicated to discussing Scandinavian mysteries. Last year, Goodreads ranked her at #11 on their top reviewer list, in both the U.S. and in the world (based on 2011 rankings).

Don’t miss Naomi’s new tie-in column: Critique Clinic.

The Author CEO: Authors Meet Reviewers

by Naomi Blackburn

In the most recent Critique Clinic I was approached with a very controversial topic. The question focused on whether or not it was appropriate to ask for reviews from giveaway winners. My advice was no. I am sure that I received some questioning glances from that post, but my stance was:

In asking a book reviewer to review your book, you enter into a type of contract with that reviewer. The reviewer is fully aware that you are offering them the book in exchange for an honest review. When a book is won in a giveaway that same contract isn’t implied. Recipients might be offended by the change in request and it isn’t worth it.


Instead, I encouraged writers to strategically look at their review copies and treat them like gold, encouraging the author to focus on Return on Investment (ROI) instead of simply throwing books out there and hoping that one sticks or venturing into the abyss of the unknown and/or trying to guess if a review will come out of it. What do I mean by that? It really is simple math. Let’s say that you have 100 review copies (just an arbitrary number that is some really easy math for me) and you have set aside 10 for giveaways. That would mean that you would have 90 dedicated for review copies. Don’t be hyperventilating now. Finding 90 reviewers is very, very doable!

[Find out how over on Naomi’s own blog…]

Have Your Say

Authors: Which sources do you use to find reviewers? 

Readers: Where do you find your most-trusted reviews?