Read and Review Program Success via Choosy Bookworm

by Julie Frayn on September 13, 2014 in  Writing

As one of the authors of Enovelauthorsatwork, I was lucky to be part of a pilot Read and Review program through Choosy Bookworm. The premise, conjured up by Jackie Weger, founder of enovelauthors, and Jay Lee (aka Kevin), the guy behind Choosy Bookworm, is simple. And perhaps a touch of genius. It works like this:

  • Author signs up to take part in the read/review program and pays a small fee per book for Choosy Bookworm’s time and effort
  • When approved, Choosy Bookworm presents the author’s book to readers who sign up to receive free ebooks from authors seeking reviews, and commit to reading and posting an honest review on Amazon.com within two to three weeks. Note that reviewers are not paid, and all reviews are to reflect their honest opinion of the chosen book.
  • Choosy sends author a list of email addresses of readers who have asked for their book.
  • Author gifts their book via Amazon, or sends a mobi file by email (author’s choice. I picked gifting because those gifts go toward your sales stats, you get a third of it back in royalties (or 70% depending on the price of your book – I dropped mine to 99 cents for the period I was gifting it), and the reader can only receive your book onto their Kindle, not have a file they can share).

Simple, right? Yes!

I had 34 readers request Mazie Baby. I gifted the book to them via Amazon and tracked who claimed the gift. When a few days passed and some had not claimed it, I sent a reminder email (a lovely little feature in Amazon in the ‘track my digital orders’ section). In the end, all 34 readers claimed the book – a 100% claim rate. I like that number.

Then I waited. Didn’t have to wait long. The first review came in within 24 hours of the reader accepting her gifted book!

“OMG what a wonderful book!!! I started it this morning and could not stop reading it until finished. This book should be read by every woman and teen age girl alive. So many women live this life and put up with abuse on a daily basis. This book sucked me into the lives of the characters and had me crying and cheering for justice to be served.

Julie, I lived some of this and thank you for the way you told and handled this story. Wish I had been able to read it 40 years ago!

This is a must read!!!!!

What a wonderful review! The author of that review even sent me a personal email (more than just the confirmation that the review was posted as requested by Choosy Bookworm).

With a little prodding from Jay when reviews were slow or not forthcoming, 22 readers posted reviews – a 65% review rate. I’d say that’s a win. Especially since they were all 4 and 5 stars. Maybe the other 12 readers will get to it one day.

I’m so enamoured with the program, I signed up my other novels. They are both scheduled to be presented to readers in September. I can’t wait to send out the stories and reap those reviews!

Thank you Jay and Jackie! Colour me appreciative.

Authors, sign your books up here.

Readers, sign up to read and review here.

 

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

mary September 13, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Great success rate, Julie.

Reply

Julie Frayn September 13, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Thanks, Mary!

Dale Furse September 13, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Wow, that is fantastic, Julie. It’s a great program.

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Julie Frayn September 13, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Thanks, Dale. I agree, great program.

Jackie Weger September 13, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Julie! What a terrific success story. We indie authors needed a R&R program that fit our pocketbooks. Jay Lee listened to my plea. I cannot tell you how many promo site owners did not–or liked the idea, but wanted to gouge the author. I recently heard from an indie author who forked out big $$$ for NetGalley. In six months the author counted seven reviews! What is working so well for indie authors are Choosy’s subscribers love ebooks. And, they are savvy. The know a finely-wrought book when the read it. Mazie Baby deserves every four and five star review it earns. I, too read the book in one sitting. I was utterly enthralled. 5 Stars!
JackieWeger

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Julie Frayn September 13, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Thank you Jackie, for the program and your support in all things indie. I’ve not been to NetGalley. Think I’ll just stay away! I’m thrilled you were enthralled with Mazie Baby :)

Pete Barber September 13, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Terrific results, Julie. Thanks for sharing. I have one book in the program right now. I’m at about 60% returns (reviews to claimed), and I’m delighted with that. Like you, I’ve enrolled my next novel also. I’ve shared your story, hopefully a few more willing customers will come Jay’s way–he deserves a lot of credit and support.

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Julie Frayn September 14, 2014 at 8:10 am

Jay is doing a great job, not only with R&R but with his whole site. I agree, he deserves support. Thanks, Pete!

Dianne Greenlay September 13, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Julie, congratulations, and thank you for sharing your results. Those request numbers are fantastic, and so are your review results, but that only goes to show that you have written a fantastic book that really resonates with readers! It’s on my TBR list on my Kindle, but I think I’ll dive into it this weekend. Cheers! – Dianne

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Julie Frayn September 14, 2014 at 8:12 am

Thanks, Dianne! I hope it resonates with you too :). Some of the reviews are humbling. A couple don’t like the foul language, but I can’t take that out. It fits the story. What I can (and will) do is put in a warning for language, violence, and sex. That’s another part of this program I’m liking – learning a better way to position my book so people aren’t put off by the contents so much they can’t see the purpose and the story.

Linda Lee Williams September 13, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Julie, what a wonderful success story! I am having fun with the Read & Review program, too, and have even picked up a few new fans. Authors have Jackie Weger and Jay Lee (Kevin) to thank for making this opportunity available to us. Congrats and best wishes!

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Julie Frayn September 14, 2014 at 8:13 am

I have fans too! And not just the electric whirring kind :). Still feels odd to think, as I sit in my office and count beans, that I have fans.

KJD September 14, 2014 at 12:41 am

Excellent results Julie, thanks for sharing.

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Julie Frayn September 14, 2014 at 8:14 am

Thanks Kerry! I hope you get good results too.

Amy September 14, 2014 at 3:00 am

Hope I’m as lucky! I was out of town the day my book when live and managed to get a few tweets in a bout it but I just feel like the whole thing sneaked up on me. Hoping I didn’t forget to do something that would have helped me get more reviews. Haven’t heard how many I got yet (it was yesterday.) I assume they will contact me?

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Julie Frayn September 14, 2014 at 8:15 am

Yes, Jay will send you an email with all of their info. And then the reviewers are to advise you by email when they post a review. Not all do, and I’ve 3 or 4 I can’t match up to the list. But I know they are R&R folks because of the disclaimer.

Laurie Boris September 14, 2014 at 6:33 am

Great success rate, Julie, congratulations! I’m psyched that I’ll be running one in a couple of weeks. (Crosses fingers!)

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Julie Frayn September 14, 2014 at 8:18 am

That’s great! Which book did you put in? The other great thing about this program is you can get reviews on books that are on pre-order. Playing Charlie Cool perhaps? :)

Amy September 14, 2014 at 8:26 am

That’s so funny what you said about the “foul language.” I literally had the “f” word twice in my book – both uttered by the same character who was a rough and tumble type guy. Had a lady review it and really like the book, but knock it down a star b/c she “didn’t see why people needed to curse.” It’s great practice for remember you can’t please everyone! If she could hear how I talk around my own house… :)

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Julie Frayn September 14, 2014 at 8:33 am

I have the F word a lot. And one C word. And a lot of bitch. Because they are spoken by an abusive husband. Abusive husband’s swear. Trust me… But yeah, around the house? Me too. :)

Jay Lee September 14, 2014 at 10:34 am

Hi Julie,

thank you for the fantastic article! So glad to hear that you had a good experience with the R&R program! :o)

Your book was one of our readers’ very favorite books! And it was a pleasure having you in the program. Can’t wait to feature your others as well!

All my best,
– Jay

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Julie Frayn September 14, 2014 at 11:03 am

Woohoo! That’s lovely to hear :). I am looking forward to seeing what comments the other two books bring. Thanks, Jay!

Lorrie Farrelly September 15, 2014 at 9:02 pm

I really appreciate you sharing your results, Julie. I had a very good response with the R&R for my Western historical romance; the sci fi romance is going slower, but I expected that. I’ve signed up to do another in Nov. Overall, it’s a real help!

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Julie Frayn September 16, 2014 at 7:45 am

I agree, Lorrie. I guess the response depends on genre. Though I was surprised by how many requested Mazie. Suicide City is up this Friday! It’s been sitting at 8 reviews for months now. Fingers crossed…

Marcia @ Menopausal Mother September 19, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Congrats—awesome success story!

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Julie Frayn September 20, 2014 at 8:19 am

Thanks so much, Marcia! :)

Linda Lee Williams September 14, 2014 at 9:02 am

Ha ha! I’m laughing, too. I write the way people talk…and yes, someone occasionally uses the “F word.” It’s offensive to some readers–but hey, we’re recreating life on our pages, and we can’t sanitize our work just to please everyone.

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Linda Lee Williams September 14, 2014 at 9:05 am

Me too, Julie. That someone wrote “I really like your style” and “Thanks for writing this book” blew me away. Of course, I did have a few detractors as well. Just being honest! Not everyone is going to like our stories.

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Julie Frayn September 14, 2014 at 9:09 am

Exactly. It would make no sense to sanitize it, then you’d get comments that it wasn’t realistic. Every book I write has gritty stuff, drug use, homelessness, murder, abuse. There is foul language there. Hell, the language is the tamest part sometimes! 😀

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Lorrie Farrelly September 16, 2014 at 10:22 am

Got my fingers crossed too, Julie! I hope you get a bunch of great reviews!!

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Julie Frayn September 20, 2014 at 8:19 am

Thanks, Lorrie!

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