In an interview with author Uwe Krauser, learn his secret tips for a successful reader round on the “Lovelybooks” platform. The bitterly nasty cookery novel “Tunten-Toast” is his latest prank and will be published by Kampenwand Verlag on 11.10.2022.
How did you find out about LovelyBooks?
As a diligent reader, I had been aware of Lovelybooks for quite some time. After the publication of my first novel, a particularly active book blogger drew my attention to the possibility of starting a reading circle on Lovelybooks in order to receive a few additional (and hopefully positive) reviews.
How does such a reading circle work?
First, I as the author (or the publisher) provide a certain number of books to be offered for a reading circle. Readers can apply for a copy over a period of time determined by me, and after the participants have been selected, the fun can begin. The book will be “worked through” by reading sections and then commented on Lovelybooks, where the most interesting discussions can occur.
How did you manage to find many participants?
Whew … it was a very long way to get to that.
For my first novel “Phoebe – Eine Straßenhündin checkt ein”, almost no one applied, and so I was only able to place my ten offered copies by the skin of my teeth.
For the follow-up book, things looked completely different, so that I was able to increase the number of participants to twenty.
In the meantime, I no longer seem to be completely unknown as an author, and I’m happy about the countless applications that come in for every reading round I start.
Do all participants reliably participate, give you feedback and write reviews?
Again and again I read in various forums that there seem to be a lot of readers on Lovelybooks who just want to get a free book without actively participating in the corresponding reading circle. Fortunately, I have rarely had this experience. Almost without exception, the participants have written a few comments or at least left a short review. I can count on one hand the number of books that were “given away” without any reaction.
How do you deal with negative feedback?
Ouch – at first, negative feedback hurts a lot. But of course every criticism is also a chance to learn from mistakes … as long as this criticism is expressed fairly and constructively.
Since I personally accompany each of my reading circles, I naturally also respond to negative comments and have even received one or two valuable tips in the process.
Have you ever started a raffle?
I haven’t started a raffle on Lovelybooks yet, but I have planned to do one for my current project “Tunten-Toast: Alles, nur kein anständiges Kochbuch”.
What has changed since your first reading circle?
Fortunately, the number of readers who apply for one of my books gets bigger every time, otherwise nothing has really changed for me. As an author, I still have a lot of fun with every single reading circle and I’m looking forward to getting started again soon.
Do you use other reading circles besides LovelyBooks?
So far, I have only offered my reading circles on Lovelybooks, as this platform is the best known and therefore promises the greatest benefit for me.
Do you have any tips for authors who are planning a reading circle on Lovelybooks for the first time?
In any case, you shouldn’t be disappointed if readers don’t knock on your door right on from the first book. If you don’t get rid of all the books (which can happen) you can always adjust the number of copies downwards.
When selecting the “candidates” (if you and not the publisher is allowed to make this choice), take a closer look at the profiles:
Does your book match their reading interests?
How many reading circles have they participated in?
How many reviews were actually written in relation to the books provided?
I would recommend that every author participates in the reading circle in person and is actively involved. It’s a huge time commitment, but it puts you in touch with readers and book bloggers who are engaged with your work, which fills me personally with a lot of pride 🙂
What is your conclusion? Are reading circles worth it?
Reading circles are worthwhile, especially for newcomers without a large advertising budget, in any case.
Since there are countless books on the market, every single review is enormously important for the visibility of one’s own work. Often enough, the reviews are not only posted on Lovelybooks, but also find their way to other platforms, or in the best case, are even posted on Amazon. Many reading circle participants even have their own book blog, where the books they read are additionally recommended. It’s not uncommon for the reviews to appear on the corresponding blog on Facebook and Instagram, which is of course worth its weight in gold.