My first novel, a romantic suspense story called A Champion for Tinker Creek, is scheduled to hit bookstores and online booksellers in July.
That means now is the best time to establish a "review team" for the book - a group of people who would be willing and able to read a review copy of the novel and to give it an honest review.
There are two types of reviews, editorial, and consumer.
Editorial reviews are those from other authors in your genre or from other authorities who might be familiar to people who might read your book. They get posted to your book's listing on Amazon, and obtaining them is primarily, but not entirely, the publishers' responsibility. Readers' or consumers' reviews are those from people who buy the book and then feel moved to say something about it (ideally something kind, but not always.) The reviewers add these to your book's Amazon listing themselves. The responsibility for obtaining these reviews largely falls on you, the author, so it is wise to assemble a team of people willing to read and review your book well before publication.
"Well, that's simple," I can hear your mind whirring. "I can get my Aunt Louise, whose always reading books on her Kindle. She'll be glad to read and review my book. She'll gush about it, too."
Uh, nope. Amazon has rules against reviews being posted by relatives or close friends, and, more importantly, the company uses sophisticated algorithms to identify and pull down reviews from those folks. They also have rules and algorithms against reviews you pay for, reviews you swap for (I'll give your book a good review if you give mine one), and appraisals you reward with things like free copies of your book (review my book and keep the copy for free).
So how do you go about getting people to review your book? I don't know yet. This post is named the Hunt for Reviewers, not Reviewers Found. Part of my effort is this blog post, letting my readers know that I am looking for folks who would be willing to be part of my review team. It would help if you were a reader of genre books and, in particular, books in the suspense, mystery, or romance genres. If you are interested, the timelines are that the Advanced Review Copy would become available in the first week of June, and the review would need to go up sometime after the book goes live on Amazon and other booksellers in July. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.