Do you NEED Reviews?
Whether you need reviews in order to launch a new book … boost your rankings in the first few month of being published, or to keep adding new reviews to your back list books BookSirens‘ ARC reviews should be one of the services you take a serious look at!
With reviews and endorsements from happy authors, self-publishers, publishing houses, book promoters and book readers/reviewers, BookSirens is an ARC (Advance Review Copy) service that can give you a steady stream of reviews on Amazon, Goodreads and BookBub.
I’m going to look at five main considerations in this article:
- A Potential Stumbling Block
- Reader-Reviewer Experience
I’m not going to repeat what you can see for yourself on BookSirens‘ home page.
What I am going to do is comment from two points-of-view: an author and a book reviewer.
As an author the reason I would look at this service is to GET REVIEWS! And yes you will get them. The kinds of reviews and the numbers of reviews you get depends on YOUR book. IF your book has not been properly edited and is filled with grammar errors … you will definitely hear about that … in fact if there are too many errors BookSirens will not accept your book. If your plot is flat or your non-fiction information is boring you will definitely hear about that too. However if your books sizzles and sparks you will receive generous accolades and “must reads.” Make sure your book is “review worthy,” before you post it.
Reader-Reviewers can post their reviews in several places, depending on the reviewer and when (ie before or after publication) you post it: Amazon, Goodreads or BookBub. The Amazon reviews may or may not be a “verified purchase.”
From an author-publisher point of view, one of the things I like about this service is that you can send your book to your own list of reviewers for FREE. Your book files are copyright protected and cannot be shared with others.
Another really important part of the BookSirens‘ service is the fact that you can collect reviewer names and email addresses. This means that over time you could build a loyal following of reader-reviewers who are happy to see your next book.
To me, those three things alone, together with the price (see below) are good reasons to consider this service.
A Potential Stumbling Block?
The one thing I see as a potential stumbling block for some authors is the fact that BookSirens (and their readers) prefer books that are about to be published or books that have been published for 30 days or less.
With that said, BookSirens states that they will “consider” older books BUT there is no guarantee they will accept them. They specifically state that their readers PREFER advance copy reading.
IF you have a book that doesn’t fit into the pre-published or 30-days or less category, you really need to check with the service desk first.
In the book results section (below) I found one author who mentioned that she is able to promote her back-list books. I also saw several authors with back-list books on the book listing pages.
Just be aware that this “might” be an issue and don’t assume your five year old book will be accepted for promotion.
Take a look at the book acceptance policies HERE.
BookSirens indicates that on average, 75% of the books that are downloaded are reviewed. What they don’t tell us is the average time for these reviews to come trickling in.
As a book buyer, reader and promoter I see many reviews that have disclaimer statements such as “I received a free copy of this book. This in no way has influenced my review.”
If I see dozens of reviews with similar disclaimers I find it somewhat off putting … I’m not sure why maybe it is just me. How do YOU react? In the end is the only thing that counts, is the fact that your book HAS reviews and that there are a fair number of them?
On the BookSirens‘ home page I tracked down authors who had posted reviews FOR BookSirens. When I checked out the reviews each of these authors were getting, many of their reviews did not have disclaimers on them.
This could mean that the authors are actively getting reviews from other sources and/or some of the BookSirens‘ reader-reviewers don’t add that statement to their reviews.
For illustration purposes I tracked down TWO of the authors who have testimonials/reviews ON the BookSirens home page. I found their author page and their book(s) and took a look. It’s actually VERY impressive. Take a look below and see what YOU think.
Would you like reviews like the ones I found for the following books?
I looked at one of her current books Where Evil Hides: A Bridget Bishop FBI Mystery Thriller Book published July 8, 2022 and with over 80 reviews. If you look down the list you will see reviews that mention BookSirens or free ARCs and reviews that don’t have any disclaimers. I am writing this article on July 26rd, so 109 reviews is very remarkable for such a short time frame! I suspect there will be more by the time you click on the link.
Tracy Sumner is a popular author with several series. Most of her books have hundreds of reviews which is due to hard and diligent work not just BookSirens.
Here is one of her current books The Wicked Wallflower (The Duchess Society Book 3) published on April 21, 2022. Over 725 reviews! I did a search and over 45 reviews mentioned ARCs in one way or another. I suspect that many reviews originating from BookSirens don’t mention ARCs.
The aspect of Tracy’s review that I noticed the most was her mention of backlist books. This indicates that BookSirens definitely does allow “some” back dated books into their review invitations. When I looked up the submission guidelines they specifically mention “series.”
From a reader/reviewer point of view my experience was quick and easy. All I needed to sign-up was my email address. I was also asked to choose my preferences from a list of book niches.
One day after I signed up as a reader I got an invitation for a book download. Unfortunately I didn’t move fast enough and by the time I clicked, all the available copies had been distributed. Two days later I saw another book I was interested in and clicked right away. I have now read the book and did a review. It was an easy process.
When I first signed up I was worried that I would be inundated by too many emails both from BookSirens and from a growing list of authors. So far I have recieved 2 – 4 emails a week, but I suspect this depends on the book niches you choose and how many. I just chose my two top favorites.
I suspect that as I review more books I will start to see emails from the authors whose lists I am now on.
How Do Reader-Reviewers FIND Your Book?
There are three ways reader-reviewers can find your book:
1. Once a week registered readers get BookSirens‘ newsletter with a curated selection of suggestions.
2. Personalized Alerts. Depending on the genres readers select, they will get an email alert when there is a new book match.
3. Browse the Book Niche Pages. Readers can choose from a broad genres, eg. Mystery or Romance, or they can narrow it down to a narrow genre such as “Paranormal Mysteries.” Readers can narrow down their selections even further from the sidebar on each of the book selection pages. For example if readers want only newly published books or books published within the last 90 days there is a checklist they can pick from. Readers can also drill down to the exact specifications for books (including length or series) they are interested in.
The following image is from my selection of Paranormal Mysteries. I first searched for Mysteries and then narrowed down my selection to Paranormal Mysteries. Take a look at the live page here.
BookSirens has one of the best pricing structures I’ve seen. The prices are beyond FAIR and are affordable to most authors especially if they have (or will have) more than one book that needs reviews.
ONE BOOK at a time:
First, there is a fixed $10.00 fee for listing your book. Then add on a $2 fee for each time your book is downloaded. YOU can determine how many downloads you want so at the end of the day/week you are not looking at unexpected charges.
For example, IF your budget is $40 you would pay $10 for listing your book. Next is $2 for each download .. for $30.00 you would get: $30 /2 = 15 downloads.
BookSirens‘ stats show that approximately 75% of the books downloaded will be reviewed … so in the example above, that means you “may” get up to 11 reviews. HOWEVER 75% is only an estimate and is NOT guaranteed. My suggestion is to “hope” for 50% (7 reviews) and be thrilled if you get more. NOTE: there are NO guarantees regarding the number of reviews you will actually get since BookSirens has NO control over this.
If you want more downloads the price adds up quickly so my suggestion is: IF you plan on getting reviews for two or more books in the next year, your budget-wise choice would be to purchase an annual subscription.
BookSirens Annual Subscription
A one year BookSirens subscription costs ONLY $100. It includes 2 author pen names, priority positioning in Group Promotions and unlimited books promotions. Each promotion can last up to 3 months.
As I’m writing this, I am rolling my eyes and thinking “what’s NOT to like about this?”
BOTTOM LINE on BookSirens?
I highly endorse this service.
Do your due diligence. Look at reviews from several authors and check out the content of the reviews. Run YOUR numbers. Look at your publishing plans for the next year and decide whether you prefer the one-at-a-time service or the annual service. IF you choose a one book promotion, be careful of your budget and set your download limit.
#1 BookSirens can NOT control what kinds of reviews you get.
#2 BookSirens can NOT guarantee how many reviews you get.
I hope you found this article to be of use. If you are a BookSirens‘ customer, leave a comment about your experience and yes … include a link to your book!