Sound Advice When Dealing With Book Reviewers…Guide For Indie Authors.

Guest Post By LaFifeReviews  Ms.  Latoya Fife ~ September 5, 2017 by 

Book Blogger Confessions: Tips for Indie Authors

Book reviews have become a valuable marketing tool for commercial and indie writers. When I look at the top selling books on Amazon and Goodreads, I realize they usually have a ton of reviews. The modern writer’s job does not end when they hit submit and send their creative babies off to publishers. As the publishing world evolves the lines between publisher, author and publicist blur. One powerful tool that can make or break an author is the book review.

Popular book sites like Kirkus and Indiereader know the importance of a professional book review. Authors pay $250-$500 to get a review that will hopefully give them access to an audience that will buy their books. Kirkus and Indiereader both go a step further than the professional review, offering publishing services such as editing and marketing. There is a debate in the publishing industry about the value of a paid review. With the rise of blogging, more book lovers from different careers and backgrounds have brought to life the freelance occupation called the “Book Blogger”.

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Book Bloggers are book lovers
who offer free, honest and in-depth book reviews. Successful book bloggers make money through advertising on their blogs and other freelance opportunities. Book Bloggers, unlike a paid review service, have nothing to gain from giving a positive review. This article will help writers get the most out of the writer blogger relationship to improve craft and to gain exposure. After reviewing other book blogger’s review policies and my experience as a book blogger and a lover of books, here are some tips for indie authors to create a positive blogger-writer relationship.

Submit a finished product.

I cringe when authors submit a book filled with errors, some authors would even let you know ahead of time that it’s not the finished product. Book bloggers introduce books to their audience of readers, putting your best foot forward is best when you want to potentially grow your readership. Some authors confuse beta readers and book reviewers. Beta readers are readers that read mostly fiction to correct errors and to add suggestions in regards to character development, plot etc. Book reviewers are book lovers who read for enjoyment, they are giving you a sneak peek into the thoughts of your reading audience. Book reviewers critique the finished product, beta readers’ help with the development of your product. As a book lover with a lot of books to read and very little time, a book that’s has been thoroughly edited has a better chance of getting a review.

Read Book Blogger’s review policies and submission guidelines thoroughly before submitting a book.

Policies and submission guidelines are created to ensure a smooth process. Book lovers/ book bloggers create policies and submissions based on preference and experience. For example not reading submission guidelines an author might submit their nonfiction book to a fiction reviewer’s blog. Also, some bloggers request books or galleys in formats that support their devices. Sending the wrong format may delay your review and as an indie writer, your time means everything.

Remember to never lose your cool.

Most professional readers are readers who study the craft of fiction or literature. Writing a book is not an easy task, as a literature student, I understand the complexity of creating complex characters and making sure my plot is well-developed and consistent. As a book blogger to give a constructive review, one must separate those feelings of understanding and critique a book based on the product that is presented. One important piece of advice I received from a mentor is as a writer you must listen to all feedback and apply constructive advice based on your style. When I go on sites like Amazon and Goodreads and I see some authors respond negatively to unfavorable reviews, it deters me from reading that book. As an Indie Author creating a good positive image helps build a good brand and it lets the reader feel safe, to be honest with their favorite writers. Book Bloggers don’t enjoy giving unfavorable reviews but giving constructive criticism helps writers write better books.

You can get a list of book bloggers that you can contact to review your books from sites like “The Book Blogger List and The Book Review Directory. Book Bloggers can help indie authors grow readership and improve on your craft...

Submitting a book to a book blogger is an opportunity to get unbiased feedback on your book without the conflict of interest when purchasing critique. So go check out The Book Blogger List Authors  and Today!

Book BLogger list 250

About the Author (@marvelustalent)

Writing and literature student and Book Blogger at LaFifeReviews. Ms. Fife has posted reviews online and an article on school readiness on her school’s website. Latoya Fife is a life long learner with a great passion for reading books and connecting readers to her favorites.


“CAT LYON’S Reading & Writers Den” ~ Author, Catherine Lyon

Why Should Authors and Readers Engage & Connect With Each Other?

 Hello Readers, Authors, and New Friends,

Why should authors and readers connect? There are many reasons why for both sides of this topic. As a book promoter, I know how important it is for an author to interact and engage with their reader fans. It creates more excitement for the reader to know an author is “touchable” and they can learn more about their favorite writers, which helps authors with book sales and gaining more book reviews for books. And it seems I am not the only book promoter, social media PR firm and book marketing site that feels this way.

Here are two articles I came across this week that can give insights as to why authors need and should interact and engage with readers throughout social media and many book sites are exclusively for this purpose like Goodreads. I will share snippets as I would like you to visit and join free so you can be “In The Know” with many tips and advice on book promoting  . . .


“This morning I received three emails.”

One was from a lady in Scotland who read one of my books and joined my fan page. She wanted me to know how much she appreciated waking up and finding that I had responded to her messages.

The second was from a man in Australia who sent me a list of things he liked about Silent Witness. He highlighted sentences that he particularly liked, but at the end of his note, he said, “thank you for making Hannah so intelligent.”

The third was from the very first fan I ever had. We’ve been pen pals for 28 years. Now we communicate on the computer but every once in a while we still send one another a card, remember birthdays, the holidays and share information on grandchildren (hers since I only have a grand dog).

The point of all this is that what authors do is extremely personal. It begins with our characters. If we don’t feel them in our souls and translate that feeling into words on the page, our books will be enjoyed but not treasured. When we do make that magic happen and a reader reaches out, opening a personal dialogue with them will make a reader into a fan. In some wonderful instances, it also creates a friend.

Here are my top five rules of engagement:

1) Know thou characters: Know the personal history and habits of every character in your book and write as if you live and die with them. If you do this, real people will reach out to you . . .

Please stop by the link above to see all of Rebecca’s rules of engagement.
–   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –


austin and olive (2)
OUR SECOND is by Marsha Friedman CEO & Founder, of EMSI PR Firm

No one really needs to convince me how great social media is for connecting you to your customers (Readers)  – and keeping you connected – but the point was reinforced perhaps better than ever this week when I was chatting with Jay York, our senior social media strategist.

Jay was telling me about Datz, a restaurant near his home in Tampa, that has impressed him with its excellent use of social media as a marketing tool.
Talk about connecting! Datz has more than 12,000 followers on Twitter. It has nearly 8,000 on Instagram. It has 1,280 mostly positive reviews on Yelp. And, perhaps most impressive of all, more than 40,000 people “like” Datz on Facebook.
Those are remarkable numbers for any business. But especially when you consider that Datz is a local restaurant and not a recognizable brand name like McDonald’s!
So why am I telling you this? Because this social media success story prompted me to have Jay share tips on how small businesses ( and authors promoting their books) can make the most out of their social media to keep customers and potential customers thinking about them.

Here’s what Jay had to say:

  • Interact with customers. Engage your customers inside your business as well as outside it. Some of the most successful restaurant owners have mastered this, Jay says. They take the time to chat with and get to know their customers when they are dining at the restaurant, and they also interact with them on social media. Here’s where it’s worth remembering the “social” part of social media. These sites are all about having a conversation and people expect you to be involved in that conversation – or else they’ll be discouraged from interacting with you in the future.
  • Use undivided attention opportunities to promote your social media. There are a few ways to do this, Jay says. In-store signage that encourages you to follow the business on social media is the most obvious. Restaurants, such as, might drive visiting customers to their social media sites by giving 10 percent off an entrĂ©e if they follow them right at that moment on Twitter. Professional speakers can use the same strategy when they’re in front of a large audience by posting their Twitter handle on the screen behind them. The point is to take advantage of the attention of hundreds or thousands of people – all with mobile devices – who can start following you immediately .  .  .

    .Again, please visit the link above to read the Tips to use social media to promote your books and small business. No matter the product, readers want to interact with you and this is a crucial part of your book promoting efforts. I hope you find these articles helpful. 🙂

    *Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon of Lyon Book & Social Media Promotions*



Wishing All My Friends & Readers A Happy New Year!

OH MY . . . . Poor Kitty’s!  LOL.



funny animal gif of cats after new years

Via: SheepFilms

YES, another New Years Eve has come and gone!

I Wish All My Friends, Readers & Authors many New Year blessings and Success in 2016!


((Yes I know, many of you no I live in recovery, so this was NOT me New Years Eve!! LOL.))




“We have many new books and more fine authors this year! We even have expanded into promoting some children’s authors and their ‘Adorable’ reads for the little ones in your house! So go stop by our “Jan Hot Book Picks” page to all them all. ”


Kangaroo joey at bedtime
“Let’s Read More Books in 2016 Shall We!!”

Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
“Lyon Book and Social Media Promotions”  🙂  🙂

“A Spotlight On O.M. & A Tip For My Author Friends Who Are Bloggers, By My Pal Opinionated Man”

Ok authors, this special spotlight re-share blog post is all yours!

Now one of my pet peeves, and now obviously I’m not the only one who complains, about the topic of using blog post TAGS. My good friend OM also seems to be agitated about this topic as well. So when I read his blog post today, I dropped everything to come share his post here on my book promotions blog.


Because I tell many of my author clients who also blog and by way of me twisting their arms to do so, that we need to make sure you use tags so readers and other bloggers will be able to see your posts.
Now I think that OM has done a fine job in his post about driving this point home, Because we all know he is really good at doing this in his own special, sweet and polite way right?

But? “We Gotta Love Him!” And many do! Her we go!


You all still suck at tagging

Do You Know What Day Today Is In History? Let Me Tell You With A Fantastic Suggested Read By: Author, Carl Baker


14 Days in July ~ by Carl Baker and Marc Heberden

About This Day In Our History . . .  On the 14th day of July in 1789, French revolutionaries storm Bastille.

Parisian revolutionaries and mutinous troops storm and dismantle the Bastille, a royal fortress that had come to symbolize the tyranny of the Bourbon monarchs. This dramatic action signaled the beginning of the French Revolution, a decade of political turmoil and terror in which King Louis XVI was overthrown and tens of thousands of people, including the king and his wife Marie Antoinette, were executed.

The Bastille was originally constructed in 1370 as a bastide, or “fortification,” to protect the walled city of Paris from English attack. It was later made into an independent stronghold, and its name–bastide–was corrupted to Bastille. The Bastille was first used as a state prison in the 17th century, and its cells were reserved for upper-class felons, political troublemakers, and spies. Most prisoners there were imprisoned without a trial under direct orders of the king. Standing 100 feet tall and surrounded by a moat more than 80 feet wide, the Bastille was an imposing structure in the Parisian landscape.

By the summer of 1789, France was moving quickly toward revolution. There were severe food shortages in France that year, and popular resentment against the rule of King Louis XVI was turning to fury. In June, the Third Estate, which represented commoners and the lower clergy, declared itself the National Assembly and called for the drafting of a constitution. Initially seeming to yield, Louis legalized the National Assembly but then surrounded Paris with troops and dismissed Jacques Necker, a popular minister of state who had supported reforms. In response, mobs began rioting in Paris at the instigation of revolutionary leaders.

Bernard-Jordan de Launay, the military governor of the Bastille, feared that his fortress would be a target for the revolutionaries and so requested reinforcements. A company of Swiss mercenary soldiers arrived on July 7 to bolster his garrison of 82 soldiers. The Marquis de Sade, one of the few prisoners in the Bastille at the time, was transferred to an insane asylum after he attempted to incite a crowd outside his window by yelling: “They are massacring the prisoners; you must come and free them.” On July 12, royal authorities transferred 250 barrels of gunpowder to the Bastille from the Paris Arsenal, which was more vulnerable to attack. Launay brought his men into the Bastille and raised its two drawbridges.

On July 13, revolutionaries with muskets began firing at soldiers standing guard on the Bastille’s towers and then took cover in the Bastille’s courtyard when Launay’s men fired back. That evening, mobs stormed the Paris Arsenal and another armory and acquired thousands of muskets. At dawn on July 14, a great crowd armed with muskets, swords, and various makeshift weapons began to gather around the Bastille.

Launay received a delegation of revolutionary leaders but refused to surrender the fortress and its munitions as they requested. He later received a second delegation and promised he would not open fire on the crowd. To convince the revolutionaries, he showed them that his cannons were not loaded. Instead of calming the agitated crowd, news of the unloaded cannons emboldened a group of men to climb over the outer wall of the courtyard and lower a drawbridge. Three hundred revolutionaries rushed in, and Launay’s men took up a defensive position. When the mob outside began trying to lower the second drawbridge, Launay ordered his men to open fire. One hundred rioters were killed or wounded.

Launay’s men were able to hold the mob back, but more and more Parisians were converging on the Bastille. Around 3 p.m., a company of deserters from the French army arrived. The soldiers, hidden by smoke from fires set by the mob, dragged five cannons into the courtyard and aimed them at the Bastille. Launay raised a white flag of surrender over the fortress. Launay and his men were taken into custody, the gunpowder and cannons were seized, and the seven prisoners of the Bastille were freed. Upon arriving at the Hotel de Ville, where Launay was to be arrested by a revolutionary council, the governor was pulled away from his escort by a mob and murdered.

The capture of the Bastille symbolized the end of the ancien regime and provided the French revolutionary cause with an irresistible momentum. Joined by four-fifths of the French army, the revolutionaries seized control of Paris and then the French countryside, forcing King Louis XVI to accept a constitutional government. In 1792, the monarchy was abolished and Louis and his wife Marie-Antoinette were sent to the guillotine for treason in 1793.

By order of the new revolutionary government, the Bastille was torn down. On February 6, 1790, the last stone of the hated prison-fortress was presented to the National Assembly. Today, July 14–Bastille Day–is celebrated as a national holiday in France.

Product Details
Now, the rest of the story of  “14 Days In July” written in novel form by Authors Carl Baker and Marc Heberden. It has more twists and turns and inside secrets then you will ever read about in any history book. Here is what readers have said about this well written historical novel in currently 100 % all 5 Star Amazon book reviews:

14 Days in July Book Reviews:

A Best Seller For Sure!
“A page turner from the first to the last page.  An absolutely outstanding read! Carl and Marc have in my opinion, have a #1 Best Seller on their hands!”


Truly Amazing!
“This novel was truly amazing! I have never been to Paris, but the author describes it in such a manner, that I could picture it clearly. It was as if I were really there. The fourteen days leading up to the French Revolution are depicted vividly. The characters were all so well described and skillfully developed. The plot thickens and there are so many twists, turns, and chases throughout the streets of Paris, and also beneath the city in the forgotten catacombs. There is also another storyline about what happened 100 years before, involving a family secret that has been passed down through generations. This secret is the very core of the present day story. This novel is full of action and suspense. The reader is surprised by who turns out to be friend or foe. The romance is tender yet sizzling! It is indeed hard to put this book down once you begin to read it. I absolutely can’t wait to read the sequel!”

“This is a superb novel. It weaves together the French Revolution with the excesses of Louis XIV, the mystery of the Man In The Iron Mask, and even the Three Musketeers. I was fortunate enough to be in Paris on vacation while reading this book, and it made several of the places there come alive for me. Like the fiction of Philippa Gregory, the authors take known historical fact and fill in the unknown gaps with a plausible historical narrative. But there is a twist–for within that plausible historical narrative, there is a fascinating palace intrigue that forms a mystery in the genre of the DaVinci Code. I was especially impressed at the great care the authors took to describe the intimate details (including some steamy love scenes) seldom explored about French life before the revolution–the pathos of the proletariat and the peasants, the dissolving middle class, and the widening chasm between these classes and the insatiable appetites of the French aristocracy. I found the book riveting. It would make a great movie. Like other reviewers, I can’t wait for the sequel.!”



1 July 1789, Paris — Two weeks before the Revolution
France is undergoing a political upheaval unlike anything it has known before. Louis XVI is using savage mercenary forces and food blockages, to bring the people to heel. The country is a powder keg, and Paris is the fuse. In the midst of what could become bloody chaos, shadowy people— including the sinister and brutal chief of the Paris police—discover that a young Parisian laundress, MichĂšle Duvallier, whose fiancĂ© is imprisoned for his political activities, knows a deadly, ancient secret that could shake France’s monarchy to its core. MichĂšle finds herself the object of a murderous manhunt. Her imprisoned fiancé’s citizen’s group, now led by his brother, is being chased from one hiding place to another. It is only during the fall of the Bastille that she learns why so many powerful people are hunting for her, but as well the shocking identity of who has been betraying them 
September 1654, Burgundy — 135 years before the Revolution
A good-natured young man, an orphan, is mysteriously imprisoned with grotesque instructions to conceal his identity in such as way as to ensure he is to be forgotten for all time 
The man in the iron mask was not a pure invention of Alexandre Dumas. The rumor of the existence of twin boys being switched, one of whom was to become Louis XIV, had been speculated on for well over a hundred years by many high sources— including Voltaire, who secretly told friends he had seen the man unmasked, and saw he was the king’s twin. But what Dumas, and no one else, wrote about, was the even more dangerous rumor that there was not only a switch, but as well … another lineage 


Carl Baker  Carl Baker, Author/Writer

Raised in the Midwest, and educated at the University of Oklahoma. Carl Baker has published numerous articles/case studies in Medicine, and lectured world-wide. Now he lives and writes in Monte Carlo, Monaco and Slidell, Louisiana, USA. This man of mystery is currently working on several novel projects.

So I am suggesting Carl’s novel to all my readers. I have not been a huge fan of historical novels, but after I read this one I enjoy them much more. I can tell you that knowing Carl Baker personally, he is a perfectionist when it comes to research and all the historical facts and locations in his novels. It’s what I feel you’ll enjoy the most about his writing, and other book readers do mention this fact in their book reviews.

One reader mentioned in his book review;  By Michael Gibson  “It weaves together the French Revolution with the excesses of Louis XIV, the mystery of the Man In The Iron Mask, and even the Three Musketeers. I was fortunate enough to be in Paris on vacation while reading this book, and it made several of the places there come alive for me.”

So grab your copy to read today,  this week, or this weekend. It also makes a great summer vacation read as well.

Lyon Book Promotions By Author, Catherine Lyon

Lyon Book Promos


Literature Blogs
blog directory

Wait! Hold Up! Pay Hundreds of Dollars for a REVIEW? WHAT?

Hello Authors, Writers, Readers, and Visitors,


Now I won’t be a bad book promoter and name names, but I happen to come across a website while book promoting for one of my clients, and I happen to came across this:


How to Get Your Book Reviewed


  • Request a review by simply clicking the Get Started link. You’ll provide as much information as possible about your book, choose whether you want to send us a printed (mailed) or digital (uploaded) submission, select either standard service (7-9 weeks) or express service (4-6 weeks) and pay for your review (standard service $425, express service $575). When you submit your order, you’ll get a response from the BLANK Indie team confirming receipt of your request.

Now why
would you go and pay that kind of money to have a company read and do a review for your book? Man, I could be out promoting your book, do a review, and post the reviews on all the sites your book is for sale on for 6 times over for that price! Authors, there are plenty of FREE places to get your books reviewed. Many book bloggers will read and post a fabulous review on their book blog, and like myself, as part of any purchased book promoting plan, I offer reviews as part of the package.

Then I also go place your review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, GoodReads, and any other place you’d like that your book is for purchase. If your going to pay good money like this amount above? They better give you a Gold Plated Certificate Book Review for that price!
Now I don’t mean any disrespect to this service, but my own personal feeling is you can get more out of book promoting for that kind of money spent then just one book review.

I am putting together a promo page here on my book blog that will list many free services offered to help get reviews for your books, free promo sites you can list your books, free press releases, and much more on how to help you promote your books. And yes, I have gotten very good results with all the ones I’ll have listed. There are a few place that may cost a small investment, but those sites will help with wonderful results and exposure of your books.

My page should be up in few more days, but until then, here is a great place to start for free if you “Click Here On My Invite Link to . . .

This website has a great community of Authors, Writers, Book Bloggers, and most importantly, readers! Readers come to look for new authors and their books! You can make a beautiful Author/Book Bio page using your book cover as your background, a little photo of yourself, and a full “Edit” page to make an easy page with colors, fonts, and tools to show off your books! It is also a Global Community, so even better exposure! Here is my other business page I made for my book promoting:

You can click on either link and get your page free! They also have social media sharing links to add all your social media link address to all your sites, and you can even link your own Author Website or Blog Feed to your page, so when you post an update?, it will show up on your page feed automatically! All these tools for FREE.

So please, don’t waste money like the above example for one paid review! Come back and visit my soon to be live “Book Promoting & Social Media Tips” page and learn how you can find your readership and Book Reviewers at NO COST to you.

Lyon Book Promotions ~ Author, Catherine Lyon