Today we have author Tina Folsom!
Is there something specific you look for in a review? If so what?
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I love it when a reviewer loves my book, but really, what’s nice is when I find out specifically what they liked or didn’t like about it. I look for some feedback. Did they connect with the characters? Did they fall in love with the hero? Did the heroine have any too-stupid-to-live moments? All these things help me see my book more from the reader’s point of view and hopefully make the next one better. I also like to see reviews that give a good recap of the story with words different from my own. After all, a review is there to give other readers an idea about the book, what it’s about and whether it’s any good and why.
If you send your books to a book review blog is there something specific you look for when you’re looking at their blog?
I try to figure out whether the blog reviews books in my genre and sub-genre. There’s no point of sending an erotic romance to a blog that mostly reviews Christian fiction. You know they’re going to hate it.
What type of review do you like best: short or long?
Long - for sure. I like it when the reviewer took the time to analyze the good and the bad of a book. Frankly, that can really help an author figure out what to do better next time.
What do you think about spoilers in reviews?
Hate them. It’s not fair to the reader. Some of the plot devices are really crucial to suspense, and while I don’t write romantic suspense, I do have some important things that do get revealed later in the book. To let the potential reader know about these events, I think, takes away from the suspense I’m trying to create in my books. Nobody wants to know the end of a movie, the same goes for a book. Of course, we all know that the hero and the heroine will end up together, but what happens on this journey should be between the reader and the author.
Now, let’s talk about rating systems. On a scale of 1-5 stars, what would be your opinion of the ratings? Starting with the lowest at one first.
1. Absolutely hated it, had to force myself to finish it. How did this get published?
2. Major flaws in the plot. Choppy writing, had its moments, but was a disappointment.
3. Decent read, good writing. Story maybe a little predictable and not new.
4. Good book. Had a few little flaws, but nothing major.
5. Loved it! Will re-read it.
What do you think about sexual ratings? Some reviewers use them.
I really appreciate the sexual ratings in reviews, particularly since I write very erotic books. It’s important, because sometimes a reader really doesn’t know what to expect if they don’t know the author. I received a few very stinging 1-star-reviews because readers were appalled by the explicitness of my sex scenes. I think it’s only right for a review to mention the level of sexual content of a book.
Dinging me for things I mentioned ahead of time. What do I mean by that? If I say that this is a short story of 60 pages, don’t give me a one-star review with your only complaint being it was short. And believe me, I’ve gotten reviews like that even though I clearly mark my short stories as such.
What do you think about awards given to books by a review blogger?
It’s a nice touch. Whether it ultimately means anything in the long run, I’m not sure. But considering how many books many reviewers read, it’s always nice to find out you made it into their top.
As readers/reviewers we love book giveaways. How do you feel about them?
I love doing giveaways. It really doesn’t cost much. In the case of e-books it really doesn’t cost the author anything at all. It’s not a lost sale, it’s a reader gained. And hopefully one who will recommend my books to her friends.
What would be your best piece of advice for a book blogger/reviewer?
Be honest about your review. If you love every single book you review, nobody will believe you’re telling the truth. Most books have flaws, some tiny, some huge. The question is, can the reader live with them?
What’s the turnaround time expected when you give a reviewer a book to review?
Ideally around 2 - 3 weeks.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’ve been quite lucky with review blogs, and I owe much to a couple of blog who’ve really gone out of their way to review my books and help me get word out there. Thanks!