Tuesday 3 April 2018

Reviewing Books Before They're Released

On 9 February 2018, I sent out an e-mail to everyone who had expressed interest in my upcoming book, Memoirs of a Guardian Angel. In that e-mail was a link to download the book, and a request to read it and write a review. The intention was for them not to post the review anywhere yet, but keep it safe on their computer, and post it on Goodreads and at least one retailer on release day, 6 April 2018.

The pre-order went live two weeks later, on 23 February, and the book was available on Kobo, Amazon, and Google Play Books. Meanwhile, one of my ARC readers, Milan Watson, had finished her copy already and, deciding she couldn't wait, posted a 5-star review on Goodreads!

Well, I wasn't exactly going to ask her take it down, now, was I? So I sent an e-mail to my ARC list, letting them know of the pre-order, and including links to Goodreads and those three retailers. I said that, while there was no rush, they could post their reviews so long if they had them.

Three more people posted reviews on Goodreads. One lady posted hers on Google Play as well, and another e-mailed me to let me know that she wanted to post it on Amazon but couldn't because it wasn't released yet.

So Amazon doesn't allow you to post reviews for pre-release books.

Okay, I guess that's not a huge shocker. It makes sense. Goodreads does, but that also kind of makes sense, since their primary purpose is for people to write reviews, and they understand the concept of Advanced Review Copies.

Google Play Books also does, though, and they're a retailer in direct competition with Amazon.

So what do you think? Do you think it's a good idea for retailers to allow people to review books before they're released? Why or why not?

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