Debra E. Marvin – Reviewers Needed Please! (book giveaway)

DM_headshot (1)Today Author Debra E. Marvin is visiting our blog and giving away a copy of her new book. Here’s a little about her.

Debra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, and serves on the board of Bridges Ministry in Seneca Falls, NY. She’s released “Alarmingly Charming” in Austen in Austen Vol 1 from WhiteFire Publishing, and “Desert Duet” and “Starlight Serenade” from Forget Me Not Romances, after many unpublished contest successes including two finals for the Daphne DuMaurier award. Debra works as a program assistant at Cornell University, and enjoys her family and grandchildren, obsessively buying fabric, watching British programming and traveling with her childhood friends.


Reviewers Needed Please!

by Debra E. Marvin

Thank you for inviting me to your blog, Tamera! I enjoyed learning more about you and your recent release at our recent online event with Colonial Quills.

Here’s what’s on my heart: Reviewers. Reviewers are so very important to an author’s success, and yet actually enlisting reviewers was one of the last things I thought of through many years of writing.  I was thrilled to become part of a group blog (Inkwell Inspirations) about six years ago, and would have given up long ago without their collective guidance and encouragement. They are a major part of my writing journey.

Sadly, after I’d begun to sell books, I still didn’t understand the importance of reviewers. I’d heard about “tribes” and I’d watched authors worry and work their way through marketing, but when my first book went up on Amazon, I held my breath waiting for the magic to begin. Surprise. Nothing happened.  I did some marketing (not a lot!) and I asked a few people to read my book. I sent out a couple digital copies.  But it seemed to be dead in the water. People I’d asked to read and review weren’t quite getting to the point of actually reviewing it. Or, worse… I thought they didn’t like it.  (Ahhh. The worries when the new books exists in a vacuum!)

Book two: I was ready! I marketed all over the place. Gave away books, asked for reviews, went from blog to blog to blog. I begged people to review.  I had a bit more success, but not much.  Amazon supposedly has an average of 500 new books a day.  To get noticed, one has to work hard, have incredibly good luck or get arrested—preferably in an international incident.  Hard work was my option, so I spent six weeks marketing my book. Sadly, over half the people who say they will read and review don’t.  I understand that in a way. I’ve accepted books I never got around to reviewing. Sometimes it’s because I lost interest, but mostly it’s a matter of time.

DM bookBook three: I came out of the gate with blazing marketing and blatant begging. I’d read everything I could on marketing, watched webinars and spent every spare minute wondering how I could better market my books.

And somewhere, things started to click. I’ve made more connections and readers who are willing to review. They won’t all review, and they won’t all love my books. But it’s a slow and steady growth. For each person who actually reviews, I want to jump up and down and send them chocolates and flowers.  Review writing can be simple (the way I do it) or classy (the way I wish I could do it.)  Both kinds of reviews make me happy!

SS CoverStarlight Serenade

The Englishman would look back one day and blame it all on Jazz…
Flagstaff, Arizona 1930. Full-time Astronomer, and part-time sharp dresser Julian Dyson didn’t discover Pluto but he does discover a nasty case of self-righteousness when a former Ziegfeld Girl’s folly threatens his good name.

Broadway understudy Clara Longworth and her peculiar younger brother are on their way to a new life in Hollywood when they are stranded along Route 66. Clara is asked to fill in as nightclub entertainment, but her good intentions set her up as accomplice in the blackmailing of a government man who makes the real thugs look classy.
Until Julian and Clara put their heads together for more than dancing the Black Bottom, their big-as-the-night-sky dreams are on target to fail. Maybe they need a telescope to see what’s right in front of their starry eyes.

You can buy Starlight Serenade at this link.

Debra is giving away an eBook copy of Starlight Serenade next Thursday. To be entered in the drawing, comment answering this question: Readers, do you take the time to review books? Do you feel confident about it? What kind of encouragement would help you make that step? (Please let me know if I might add you to my newsletter list. It only goes out when I have a new release.)

This entry was posted in Guest Authors, Sharpening Our Reading, Sharpening Our Writing by Tamera Lynn Kraft. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tamera Lynn Kraft

Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures and writes Christian historical fiction set in America because there are so many adventures in American history. She is married to the love of her life, has two grown children, and lives in Akron, Ohio. Soldier’s Heart and A Christmas Promise are two of her historical novellas that have been published. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest.

10 thoughts on “Debra E. Marvin – Reviewers Needed Please! (book giveaway)

  1. Yes, I love to read and review books. I often read the reviews that other people have written and that helps me decide whether or not to purchase a book. I hope that my reviews will help others choose a book to read. Yes, please add me to your newsletter list. 🙂 ahenderson312(at)gmail(dot)com

    • Mimionlife, thank you for commenting on Debra’s post. I totally agree, and anytime you want to review one of mine, let me know! 🙂

    • thanks so much for the offer! YAY! I agree 100%. To tell you the truth, I often read the 3 star reviews first. Five stars are great. I’d love to have all fives, but some people save them for the exceptional book and that’s great. What bothers me is when someone gives a very low rating because of something silly… like the book got lost in the mail! ugh!

  2. i absolutely write reviews and have a feature on my blog, Tuesday Reviews-Day! i don’t review every book i read nor do i post a review every week. i’d love a copy of your book, and yes, i will write a review—but i’m booked through november! i’d love to receive your newsletter

    • Thank you so much! Newsletters started to worry me, as it was one of the things that was expected as a writer. Write blog posts everyday, and market yourself on social media and write newsletters. Made me wonder if some publishers thought writers had been able to clone themselves! Many work full time. There has to be a balance. I just started the newsletter myself (stopped fighting it!) and I decided to just do it when I had a new release. Thanks so much Robin! Blogs like yours are so important to writers like me!

    • Thanks so much, Ann! I know I recognize your name, so we’ve probably crossed paths somewhere! This might help me get this current novella done… I can look forward to adding names to the newsletter list as well. I’ll feel quite accomplished!

  3. I do like to write reviews. I used to write nasty reviews a lot. B/c there are a lot of terrible self-published books out there lol. However, ever since I started blogging I choose to only write positive reviews on my blog. They’re very focused in their genre and quality HOPEFULLY allowing me to target a specific audience. Here’s hoping. However, on Amazon I write book reviews a lot good or bad, (not so nasty anymore haha) and I am ANONYMOUS. which I think helps me not feel self-conscious about authors who know me or know my name.

    • I have to give you a lot of credit. I find reviews hard to write. I have so many well-intentioned books that failed to hold my interest. But books are so subjective that two people can hate or love the same book. I think it’s a matter of trust for readers to follow certain reviews. The problem is that we all have this human tendency to remark on what we don’t like rather than what we do like. IF we like something ( a product, a hotel) we go along our merry way, but if something about it bothers us, we feel the need to let others know. A true reviewer though, becomes a trusted voice once the reader feels they’ve agreed with the reviewer. I don’t read five star reviews for books. I tend to read the middle ground 3s to 4s. 1s and 2s don’t usually tell me much about the book because those tend to just be very negative, or something dumb like ‘the book was late’….like it’s the author’s fault that UPS lost the package!
      Thanks for chiming in! I appreciate your thoughts on this subject. What genre do you prefer to read and review in?

      • That’s very interesting and good advice. I have noticed that 5 star reviews are like “the book was so amazing.’ but have very little depth. I read a TERRIBLE book (just chock full of the most basic of editing mistakes) and it had tons of 5 star reviews. I don’t understand lol….it baffles me. I think that the quality of the writing should be judged as well as the overall story and characters etc. As for books I read and review. I tend to read a lot of YA. Dystopian, fantasy, YA romance, Christian spec YA. But I also love romance of all age ranges and historical fiction. Sometimes, I’ll read fantasy… The books I tend to write REVIEWS for. I try to stick to reviewing books in the genre I hope to publish in which is Christian/inspirational romance. Or Christian fiction in general.

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