I’m so happy to have you join us!
Essentially, the purpose of the Review Crew is to post reviews of my books on launch day and in the first few days after the launch. By getting a critical mass of reviews in all the big places (Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, BookBub), and then reposting them to smaller places (your social media pages, book groups you belong to, independent bookstore blogs, library blogs and such), it creates buzz.
As more people read and pick up on your reviews and posts, it continues to generate buzz, which is what Amazon likes to see. And when Amazon likes something, it starts tossing out treats … giving me better placement on their website, adding me to their newsletters, using me in their Also Buys (“if you liked such-and-such, you’ll like Becky Clark’s book.”). And when there are more treats, there are more sales and reviews, and then even MORE treats, which means I can afford to write more books, tossing YOU the treat of more advanced reading copies!
By the time you get your copy of my book, it’s in mostly final form. I don’t need any proofreading or other editing from you. (That said, if you find typos, please contact me directly and let me know. I may or may not have time to fix them, depending on who the publisher is.)
Your job as a Review Crew member is simply to read, enjoy, and tell other people about it. (Of course if you didn’t enjoy it, I’d prefer you tell me that privately.)
For each book, you’ll know when the launch date is (that will be your deadline) and all you have to do is post your reviews and send me a copy of it. If you do that, you stay on the Review Crew and will get the advanced reading copy of my next book.
I publish books in two different ways—through a traditional publisher (like Kensington for my Crossword Series), and independently under my own name (like my Mystery Writer’s Mysteries).
If it’s an independent book, everything’s easy peasy … I send you a digital Advance Reading Copy (ARC) of my book through BookFunnel and you can choose whatever format you want to read it in.
But traditional publishers use a service called NetGalley to send out digital ARCs. They also call them “eGalleys.” Here’s the link to NetGalley so you can get familiar with it, if you’re not already.
You can register and become a member on NetGalley for free. The benefit to you is that I will give your email address and name (make sure it’s the same one you use when you sign up on NetGalley) to my publicist at Kensington which means you’ll be on the “pre-approved” list to get the downloads. Not everyone is approved. But the likelihood of you becoming a trusted reviewer with a good rating on NetGalley means you’re more likely to get approved for other Kensington titles, not just mine. Since they publish scads of excellent cozy mysteries, you’ll be in book heaven!
If you absolutely don’t want to be on NetGalley, just tell me (you can still be on my Review Crew for my independent books). Otherwise, I will be passing along your email address with the name I have for you listed above. If you need to change it, let me know.
The other thing to know about NetGalley is that the books are only available for a certain amount of time, usually they disappear a few days after the launch date. My advice would be to grab it and read it as soon as I tell you it’s available, then write your reviews immediately afterward while it’s fresh in your mind. You won’t be able to post them on Amazon until the launch date, so you’ll have to write yourself a reminder to get it uploaded there on launch day.
And let’s talk about those reviews for a sec. First, nevernevernever give a spoiler! Second, they’re not book reports and I don’t want you to think of them as homework. It’s just whatever you would say to a friend if you were talking about the book. It only needs to be a paragraph or so. Pop on to Amazon for a bit and read some reviews at random. See which ones resonate with you. They’re probably not the long ones that dissect every character and scene. They’re more likely to be the ones that are more informal and say things like, “This book was so much fun to read! The characters made me laugh, but they also made me cry.” Or, “If you like [insert other author’s name], you’re definitely going to like Becky Clark because…” Or, “If I could only have three books with me on a desert island, I’d want a bible, a dictionary, and Becky’s book.” Okay, maybe not that last one, but you get the idea.
We’re not curing cancer here, just helping people find books they might like. Oh, and you can write one review and cross-post it everywhere if you want. Or you can write different reviews for different platforms, completely up to you.
One caveat about deadlines, but it’s pretty simple … if you don’t get your reviews posted on time and the links emailed to me, you’ll be removed from the Review Crew. In exchange for getting to read the book early—and for free—you need to hold up your end of the bargain. I mean, I’m nice, but I’m not that nice!
That was a lot of info, so feel free to digest it at your leisure.
If you still want to join, you need to email me through my contact form, confirm you want to join my Review Crew and tell me:
- Are you/do you want to be on NetGalley?
- Do I have the right email address/name for you if you’re already on NetGalley?
- Do you have an e-reader, and if so, what kind?
- Give me your postal mailing address so I can send thank you notes and little gifts.
As soon as you tell me those four things, I’ll email you and tell you I’ve put you on the Review Crew list.
Thanks again for wanting to do this. Word of mouth is the very best way to sell books. Think about how you hear about books and authors … you find them because people talk about them either in person or in writing. And now you’re going to be that trusted source for other people!