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Saturday, May 5, 2018

3 Crazy Authors' Statements You Should NOT Repeat

Today's indie authors need to accept that self publishing turned into a multi-million dollars industry. Hundreds of promoters want to have a piece of that, everybody blogs about and advises on an array of topics, including about tasks they themselves don't handle.

Consequently, a lot of nonsense is floating through the self publishing universe.

If you

  • follow advice from people who don't actually don't do the task or 
  • copy people who aren't experts in the field they comment on 

you are probably wasting time and it'll cost you big dollars in the long run.

Unfortunately, misinformation spreads faster and wider. 

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” ― Mark Twain

Here are some crazy statements I see over and over again:


Q: "How do you select books you review?"

Usually, I get this question from authors who seek a review from a top reviewer (me). Most of them seem to believe that this is a professional way to ask.

Newsflash: This question demonstrates total ignorance about what reviewers do.

Book reviewers are NOT some kind of free Kirkus review service, they are people who not only read but ALSO review.

For instance, by his own account, Bill Gates reads at least 50 books per year but he does not review any of them. In contrast, most book reviewers review about 50+% of the books they read.


Asking, "What kind of books do you read?" suggests that the review seeker cares about the reviewer (the person) instead of seeking "just anybody who will review books for free."

Book reviewers do not accept requests "to work for free (all of them know that Kirkus charges $425.00)" but review the books they want read.


"My book is not for everyone, but ..."

Who came up with this silly phrase?

In actuality, this specific wording translates to, "More than a dozen people already told me that they are not interested in reading my book, so I am disclosing this fact..."


Do NOT approach "everyone"! Approaching "everyone" is not a strategy, hence it leads to frustration. Instead: Find your target group!

Example: books related to health topics

On their website, the Alzheimer's organization states that an estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer's dementia in 2018.

It is reasonable to assume that these 5.7 million Americans have 11.4 million relatives who care a lot about this topic. So, authors who wrote a book about Alzheimer's should try to connect with them instead of approaching "everyone."

The "not everyones" are looking for books about what moves them. And, if they write a review, they'll write a passionate review because they really care.

Hint: Worldwide, not one industry markets to "everyone." Facebook was just grilled by the US Senate Judiciary Committee how they collect data and related topics. Everybody knows that marketing to "everyone" does not work and makes no sense.


"I don't understand why people don't review the books they read, 
it only takes a minute."

People who ANNOUNCE PUBLICLY that they are happy with the kind of review that can be written in one minute do irreversible damage to the industry.

Authors who announce that they are happy with a comment like "good book" etc... are literally teaching the public that this kind of review is satisfying, when in reality this kind of review looks suspicious to most potential buyers.

Some enlightening data:

Amazon's top reviewers write reviews that on average are seven paragraphs in length.

Amazon top reviewers get to be top reviewers because Amazon's paying (!!) customers "like/find helpful" their 7-paragraph-reviews more often than other reviews (e.g. 2-word reviews). Hence, the effects of short reviews are totally overrated. Paying customers do NOT appreciate them.

Already in the 2015 edition of my book NAKED TRUTHS About Getting Book Reviews I wrote:

Generally speaking, erotic novels very often receive 5-star reviews that state

loved this book!!! really!
I really enjoyed this book!
This book was well written, I couldn't put it down.

Make no mistake; these are honest and heartfelt reviews, not ‘fakies’.

The obvious reason for the abundance of unspecific 5-star reviews of books of this genre is that many reviewers do NOT want to explain which part of the erotic story they liked best. While that is perfectly understandable, potential buyers do not like this type of ‘exclamation-without-explanation’ review. Nobody appreciates too short 5-star reviews that do not really tell anything.

People who read reviews want to know WHY they should buy the book. “Loved it,” is not enough.

“Couldn't put it down,” is a compliment only if the reviewer describes WHY he could not put down the book. Otherwise, it is a somewhat shallow sentence just like “Have a nice day.” Does anybody believe that everybody who wishes them a nice day really means it?



Authors for whom a "one-minute-review" is good enough should pursue their friends and acquaintances instead of spreading incorrect information on social media platforms.


Summing it up – book marketing, and especially seeking book reviews is all about best communication – writing and saying the right words.

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”― Mark Twain


Gisela Hausmann is a 29 yr. self-publishing industry veteran, an email evangelist and a top reviewer. 

Her work has been featured in regional, national, and international publications 
including Success magazine (print) and Entrepreneur, on Bloomberg, The Innovation Show  a show for Square Pegs in Round Holes, "The Brutal Truth about Sales & Selling"-podcast, and Austria's Der Standard and Das Wirtschaftsblatt. 

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Gisela tweets @Naked_Determina

© 2018 by Gisela Hausmann 

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