Whether you ask for a free review or opt to pay for one, three, or five, the blurb you submit is vital. Most authors whose books are already published upload their Amazon book description. Those who want a pre-publication review/s must write one. Obvious, yes? Easy-peasy?
Apparently not, and to a degree I sympathise. I hate writing blurbs, but there are plenty of sources of help, from articles and books to having friends read your effort and make suggestions. What is avoidable for all are grammar errors – not the “am I a fan of the Oxford comma” kind – the blatantly obviously careless sort and – wait for it – typos.
If you pay for a review you will almost certainly get one – money is sometimes refunded. How good your reviewer will be depends on your blurb. If he/she doesn’t notice your errors, or ignores them, can he/she write a review you can copy or quote from with pride even if he/she rates your book 5 stars?
Reviews are edited, but this is a quote from the editor. “Sometimes, I just get the gist of what a reviewer is trying to say and do my best.” I’m sure she does, but she’s working under pressure, so forget time spent on the exact phrasing used about a book she hasn’t read; she may even miss the best points for that reason.
If you don’t believe people could make such appalling mistakes, read these sentences taken from a selection of books made available to reviewers on the same day. (Please note: titles and character names have been replaced by XXX to retain anonymity.)
This novel would be best understood by someone who had already read XXX XXX XXX Book 1. However, I understanding if that is not possible.
XXX’s contempt for women, after his failed marriage, and XXX’s skittishness after here brutal attack, leave them both wary of the opposite sex.
He still has to deal with hardship‘ like catching his only girl, Gabriel getting screwed by the school’s quarterback.
This book will make you chuckle, but probably won’t have much more of an effect than a chuckle. (Part of the blurb for a comedy.)
Watch this space for more tips; the pitfalls are numerous.