As a story-teller, it's hard for me to change my focus and spend time marketing my books, but as an independent author and self-publisher, that's part of the business of writing as well.

As an author, I live and die by book reviews.

If there are no reviews for my book(s) on a book seller's website, then I am just another unknown quantity among the millions of other new writers taking advantage of the power of self-publishing that we have today.

Though buying a book from a known publishing house does not guarantee that it will be a quality book, that you will enjoy the story, or that the writer will ever finish the next book in the series - many buyers will still stay loyal to a publisher because they are comfortable.

Recently I read an article about reviews, where one well-known and very successful author paid to have over 100 reviews posted on his Amazon account for his book.  The strategy was simple. He ran a few banner ads on the Internet and offered to pay anyone who would post a positive review on his book on Amazon. They needed to supply him a copy of the review and prove it came from them, then he would send them some amount of money via PayPal.

He received 100, 4-5 star reviews, a few people actually bought the book - probably felt a little guilty - and before too long he was in the top 10 in his category at Amazon.

Ethical?  Not in my book.

Economically practical?  More than that - he made a lot of money on that book once he reached the first page in his category in the Amazon search engine.

Is his book any good?  So-so.  Yes, I bought a copy and read it.  Not my favorite genre, but the copy editing mistakes alone filled one page of my notepad. Yes, I told him what they were: It's when it should have been its; Their, there and they're mixed up seemingly at random; capitalization at a whim rather than where it made sense; incorrect words, correctly spelled but not the write word fore the sentence.

He updated the eBook, but never even thanked me for the email with the errors listed.  I suspect he was out enjoying his money...

So as a writer, looking for ways to get my books in front of more readers, I am reading everything I can about marketing my books.  It seems that the most important thing I can do is to get you, my readers, to write reviews.

Please, when you have read my book(s) let other people know about it by writing a short review. You don't have to be a nobel laureate to write a review. English doesn't need to be your first language. It's enough to post a rating and simply say "I loved this book and can't wait to read the next one," or maybe "I hated the way that the dark wizard treated the dragon," or maybe "my new favorite fantasy characters are the Tellum."  It doesn't matter. Say what you feel in as few or as many words as you wish.  It's all good.

If you don't like my books, that's OK too. Tell people what you don't like about them. I will learn something from your review as well. Maybe my next book will be even better as a result.

Post them on the bookstore where you bought my book, or on this website, or at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, Smashwords, wherever you are most comfortable. It's OK to post the same review on multiple sites as well.

I have to run now.  Princess Rozlynn is currently a little out of control in Prophecy's Queen, and I need to get her back in line if the story is going to wrap up in the next several chapters.  These characters!  They do have minds of their owns.

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