The voracious, prolific, knowledgable, opinionated and sassy Erin Davies inspired us on so many levels. For those who missed her at the recent chapter meeting, these are my rough notes. Please add your takeaway.
* She reads about 200 books a year. And Erin is a young mother, so I am definitely upping my reading game. Working in IT, Erin uses Kindle’s text-to-speech function. Kindle books get reviewed faster, but Erin also reads hard covers and prefers print.
* Her attitude is welcoming, open, encouraging.
Erin said those in attendance are invited to Guest Post.
When approaching Erin or another Reviewer,
-Read the guidelines. For instance, know that historical fiction happens prior to 1950.
-Contribute to conversations on social media, not just promoting your own books. A reviewer who knows you is more likely to review you. General promo suits Instagram. Deeper discussions suit Facebook. YouTube and podcasting are largely untapped markets. Author Chats are Tweeted back and forth. Create personal relationships.
-Character Interviews are fun to read and write.
* She doesn’t like everything she reads and says so. Erin is passionate about historical fiction. Nobody pays her to read and review, and her favor is not bought. As she reads Erin forms her review, jotting in a notebook what she likes and doesn’t. She’s partial to themes, prose (often overlooked), and relevancy.
Books and writers referenced in discussion:
C. W. Gortner, Marlene, Mademoiselle Chanel
Suzan Tisdale, many titles, and her live chats about literary events
Melanie Benjamin, The Aviator’s Wife, The Girls in the Picture
Eliza Knight – historical romance (dang! Look at the abs on those covers!)
Erin referenced the following blogs, reviewers, etc.:
Meg Wessel – A bookish Affair http://abookishaffair.blogspot.com/
Magdalena Johansson – A Bookaholic Swede http://bookaholicswede.blogspot.com/
Jenny Quinlan – Historical Editorial http://historicaleditorial.blogspot.com/
Amy Bruno – Passages to the Past http://www.passagestothepast.com/
Also a digital tour host who will link the author to 10 – 15 bloggers.
An aside: (10 – 15 blogs is a good number for a tour. Beware the dying interest at the end of a long blog tour.)
Colleen Turner – A Literary Vacation – https://aliteraryvacation.blogspot.com/
Reviewers talk to each other, have their own forums! So don’t bag on one and expect the others to welcome your submission.
goodreads: Reviewers look there for material.
Find similar titles to yours and identify the reviewers.
Ask: “Do you know someone who might like my book?”
The Historical Fiction Release List https://www.goodreads.com/list/tag/historical-fiction (time the announcement of your title strategically.)
Friend a goodreads Librarian (Erin happens to be one) They can help set up a page.
Submit your work to a reviewer, even if they are not exactly your type. Admit that up front and ask anyway. Sometimes Erin will cleanse her palette by reading outside the historical fiction genre.
Helpful sites from Erin:
Ribbet Photo Editor:
3-D Book Cover Mock-Up Maker:
Stunning Free Images: