Posts Tagged ‘Reviews’

The Nicest Thing…

The first Wednesday of each month I participate in the Insecure Writers Support Group #IWSG

If you are a writer or blogger you are more than welcome to join us. No matter where we are in our writing careers there are times we could all uses a bit of support and there are times when we feel we have support to give to those in need.

To sign up or for more information on this fabulous group:

IWSG badge 2016

This month we were asked to answer a question.

Q-What was the nicest thing anyone ever said about your writing?

Read the rest of this entry »

More on Reviews, bad reviews…

Every Wednesday I share some of the things I have found that worked well for me and some that didn’t work so well on my journey to publication, marketing and publishing again.  The sort of stuff I wish somebody would have told me back then…

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

Last week I wrote, How To Get Reviews for your Book

You can read that post here:

I first wrote this post for David Abram’s, The Quivering Pen and this week I wanted to share it with you. The first time my book received a bad review…

There it was; that one yellow star shining like a fiery beacon shot straight out of every author’s private hell. I felt dizzy, nauseous and had trouble focusing on the words that followed that one lonely star. I held my breath and began to read my first-ever one-star review. Star yellow As I read the words, a hard, dry lump formed in my throat and my eyes filled with tears, making it that much harder to read.  It said something to the effect of, I was a psycho and should not be trusted with children, my book was full of grammatical errors and more…ouch and ouch.  What on earth did me being a psycho have to do with my story, anyway?  And of course, I am not a psycho, I hope.  “Grammatical errors, seriously,” I shouted at my computer monitor.  I spent hours upon hours working with an editor and then many more hours with my publisher’s editor and then a conceptual editor.  I knew the book was NOT full of grammatical errors, but still those words stung. My first instinct was to comment on the review, typing in all caps, calling the bully a liar and many other choice words.  I was however, strongly urged to keep my revenge-happy typing fingers to myself. sword pen My writer friends shared their own review horror stories with me, and they all agreed, I must not respond. I hated that advice but they were right. While writing that first book I never thought about people reviewing it, especially the murderers and their families, the ones I wrote about. I did have the dream all authors have of a great New York Times review. New York Times Book Review I had no idea how much weight reviews carried, How many people wrote them and certainly had no idea how much anxiety they caused and how sharply they could attack and damage our sensitive writer egos.

Once I had taken all the good advice to heart, and was ready to put it all behind me and move on, I had to read the words one more time.  Yep, they were still there with that damn one star shining brighter than ever.  I noticed there were comments after the review.  I was filled with anxiety all over again, but as I read those comments, I was overcome with relief and so grateful.  People who actually read the book took the time to come to my defense.

I now read and write reviews for everything from restaurants, toys, cars, doctors and pet products.  If I bought it, used it or read it, chances are I am reviewing.

My marketing rep told me great sales figures will trump any review, good or bad, every time. One day, I would love to say that bad reviews do not bother me but I doubt that will ever be true.  I am human and I am sensitive writer.

I will continue to work at fine-tuning my writing and hope the good reviews will always outnumber the bad ones.

Happy Writing,


Quote writer quote about haters

How to get reviews for your book…

The first Wednesday of every month I participate in The Insecure Writer’s Support Group. This is one AMAZING group of talented, beginners, and professional authors. One of the many things we all have in common is our moments of extreme insecurity about our craft. Another is our gratitude and our pay it forward attitudes when our confidence is soaring.

To find out more about the #IWSG or to join us, visit:

This month we are supposed to introduce ourselves, so here is my bio:

I am a freelance journalist, blogger, content writer, ghostwriter and an author. She works part-time as a caregiver for the elderly most of whom are in Hospice Care.

My first book, Bristol boyz Stomp is the true story of the random road rage murder of my brother, musician David Albert.

My second book, The Stranger In My Recliner will be out later this year. It is the true story of a homeless woman, Sophie, that my husband brought home one night. She stayed with us for 2+ years.

An active member of and sit on the board of The Press Club of Pa.,(w/National Press Club affiliation), the chairperson and facilitator of the Press Club Professional Development Workshop Series, a member of the Military Writers Society of America, the Nonfiction Authors Association, Lower Bucks Creative Writers, Hot Penz (a pool of authors, speakers, experts for radio and T.V. appearances,) Bucks County Speaker’s Bureau and an instructor at Delaware County Community College (Marketing, Social Media, Writing, Publishing)

I am co-owner of a marketing company, Intrepid Marketing, Inc.

I am an outspoken advocate for the elderly who are often victimized and too embarrassed to report the crime, an advocate for all victims of crime (former board member for the Network of Victims Assistance [NOVA,] Pennsylvania’s largest comprehensive victim service organization. I do my best to raise awareness of and to end the stigma surrounding mental illness, suicide and homelessness.

I live in Delaware County, Pa. just south of Philadelphia with my husband John.

We have 5 grown children (2 more in heaven) and 13 grand children (our own little cult).

My life is not ever boring.



Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

Every Wednesday I share some of the things I have found that worked well for me and some that didn’t work so well on my journey to publication, marketing and publishing again.  The sort of stuff I wish somebody would have told me back then…

Book Reviews

What is a book review, how do you get them and why is it important to you and your book?

A book review is a form of criticism based on story originality, writing style and the ‘taste’ of the reviewer. Good reviews done by reputable reviewers, immediately add credibility to your book and to you as an author.

How do you get reviews? It can be time consuming so I suggest starting with a plan. Professional reviewers are busy so it is important that they receive your request along with a galley copy at least four months prior to your release date. 

Create a list of possible reviewers.

Keep track of your requests, their responses and scheduled review dates.

Why not start at the top! Every author dreams of a good review in the New York Times.

Newspaper photo

To have your book considered for review by the New York Times it must be published in the United States and it must be available for sale in general interest, brick and mortar bookstores. All publishers are welcome to send galleys for consideration but they only review a small portion of the books they receive. Before sending your request, familiarize yourself with the types of books they review. Chances of having yours accepted are slim but not impossible.

Galleys cannot be returned and they will not respond to queries regarding the status of a review being considered or not considered.

Editor The New York Times Book Review 620 Eighth Avenue, 5th Floor New York, NY 10018

If you are sending a children’s book, please send it to the attention of the Children’s Book Editor.

[The best seller list is based on the sales at 4000 bookstores and wholesalers that serve 50,000 other retailers, gift stores, department stores, newsstands etc… that are weighted to represent all outlets nationwide.]

Amazon Reviews: research Amazon’s top reviewer list and pitch the ones that are right for your book.

Logo Amazon

Goodreads: offers a giveaway program where in exchange for a free book, the winners are encouraged to post reviews.

Book Bloggers: Do a Google search for book bloggers that review your genre. If they accept your book for review, request that they also post their review on Amazon and Goodreads.

Newspapers: most newspapers have eliminated reviews. Start with your local publications, read them and get to know which reporters write about your topic. I will share more on pitching the media in an upcoming post.

It’s also a good idea for you to read and review books.

Waiting for reviews can be uncomfortable, just more fuel for our insecurities. Good reviews are like gold but bad reviews can be devastating to our confidence.

Quote Writing Ann Rice Make a fool

Do you read reviews before choosing a book?

Next week: Bad Reviews

Happy writing,



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Realize Your Writing Dreams by Doreen McGettigan
The Stranger In My Recliner by Doreen McGettigan
Book - Bristol Boyz Stomp by Doreen McGettigan
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