Author Topic: Hidden Gems ARC Service  (Read 4055 times)  

Offline N. D. Iverson

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #50 on: July 18, 2017, 01:24:31 PM »
I've just used this company for the first time. They said 35 people signed up to receive my new UF book.

The book was just released today (finally!) and so far I've gotten 6 ARC reviews directly from their service. Almost all good, except for the one just posted. It's for a completely different book! The reviewer must have so many ARC reviews going that she posted it to the wrong book :( I've reported it to Amazon, but I have a feeling they won't be removing it...

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Offline Tstarnes

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #51 on: July 18, 2017, 01:49:27 PM »
A person can remove their own review.  Couldn't you contact Hidden Gems, and have them reach out to the person and fix it?

Offline N. D. Iverson

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #52 on: July 18, 2017, 02:01:38 PM »
A person can remove their own review.  Couldn't you contact Hidden Gems, and have them reach out to the person and fix it?

I just contacted them now, but that's a lot of reviewers to sift through to find one person.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 02:03:21 PM by N. D. Iverson »

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Offline Tstarnes

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #53 on: July 18, 2017, 02:11:27 PM »
They have the reviewers log the reviews with them so they know how many submitted, so I bet they'll be able to track it down.  And my experience with them so far was a fairly quick and responsive customer service.  I guarantee you'll have better luck going through them than Amazon, who rarely ever get back to anyone for anything.

Offline N. D. Iverson

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #54 on: July 18, 2017, 02:22:43 PM »
They have the reviewers log the reviews with them so they know how many submitted, so I bet they'll be able to track it down.  And my experience with them so far was a fairly quick and responsive customer service.  I guarantee you'll have better luck going through them than Amazon, who rarely ever get back to anyone for anything.

You are 100% right. Hidden Gems has already replied and will send off an email to the reviewer asking them to remove their review and put it on the correct book. Great customer service!

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Offline HiddenGems

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #55 on: July 19, 2017, 02:34:17 PM »
You are 100% right. Hidden Gems has already replied and will send off an email to the reviewer asking them to remove their review and put it on the correct book. Great customer service!

Did they end up fixing the review?  If not I'll reach out to them again.  They never responded to me but they may have gone back and removed or fixed it.

Offline N. D. Iverson

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #56 on: July 19, 2017, 03:27:01 PM »
Did they end up fixing the review?  If not I'll reach out to them again.  They never responded to me but they may have gone back and removed or fixed it.

They did, thank you.

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Offline Laura Rae Amos

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #57 on: July 19, 2017, 03:54:05 PM »
Is this only for pre-published books? I am interested in finding reviewers for my most recent novel, but it's been published for a few months now.

Also, for your women's literature genre, would that be closer to literary fiction or chick lit?

Laura Rae Amos writes kooky and emotional relationship dramas, stories that are usually witty, sometimes poignant, and a little bit crass. Visit me at LauraRaeAmos.com // Tweets @LauraRaeAmos // Or chat on Facebook

Offline HiddenGems

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #58 on: July 19, 2017, 08:58:59 PM »
Is this only for pre-published books? I am interested in finding reviewers for my most recent novel, but it's been published for a few months now.

Also, for your women's literature genre, would that be closer to literary fiction or chick lit?

We do prepublished or already published, completely up to you.  Some authors just like to get more reviews for a book that is already published.  It's very common.

As to the genre - we can always send it to more than one list if it fits in more than one. People that are interested will sign up.  So it could go to both - just mention that in your order or shoot us an email after ordering or something and we'll make it happen.

Thanks!

Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #59 on: August 02, 2017, 08:00:03 AM »
I've been very satisfied with my Hidden Gems run on an already published book. The most important things about review services are honesty and productivity. HG scores well on both.

HG reviewers seem to be reacting honestly and definitely produce a range of rankings rather than an artificial looking five-star clump. Some of them are very brief, but others take the time to explain their reasoning. They have about the same variety I've seen in  organic reviews for high-selling books.

HG reviewers also do produce reviews. Every single potential reviewer who asked for a copy hasn't left a review so far, but that's never going to be the case with an honest operation. I started with 22 reviews and now, with reviews still trickling in, I have 45. Considering that HG is still building its reviewer list in fantasy, that isn't bad! It's also possible that more will come in over time.

I've tried other review services. There are some other honest ones, but in recent times (after the $50 purchase before reviewing requirement), others haven't been producing very well. I suspect a lot of the people in their review pools were people who interacted with Amazon primarily by posting reviews on books for which they'd received free copies. (These days, it doesn't take that much to hit $50 in total purchases.) Obviously, HG has managed to pull in reviewers who are also regular Amazon customers.


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Offline DougLawless

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #60 on: August 02, 2017, 08:39:09 AM »
It is inspiring to me that competitors of this company stepped in to offer words of encouragement. That is the kind of "rising tide lifts all boats" philosophy that pops up every now and then and reminds me that not all people are terrible monsters.

I'm just getting my feet wet in self-publishing and have not considered spending money on these kinds of services. I'm getting a little impatient with the organic approach however, so I expect I'll give these folks a try soon.
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Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #61 on: August 02, 2017, 10:08:10 AM »
It is inspiring to me that competitors of this company stepped in to offer words of encouragement. That is the kind of "rising tide lifts all boats" philosophy that pops up every now and then and reminds me that not all people are terrible monsters.

I'm just getting my feet wet in self-publishing and have not considered spending money on these kinds of services. I'm getting a little impatient with the organic approach however, so I expect I'll give these folks a try soon.
Reviews are kind of a chicken-egg problem. In my limited experience, organic reviews accumulate fast when a book is selling well. If a book is selling slowly, as most of them do, reviews tend to accumulate much more slowly. My first book had ten reviews after its first year. My most recent novel had 22 after three months--because it was selling much more quickly.  The problem is that readers are more likely to take a serious look if the book has some reviews. That's not necessarily true of new books, but if a book has been sitting there for two years and has none, that does send a message.

That said, on a limited budget, the first priority is book quality: editing, cover design, that kind of thing. Second is advertising, of which review accumulation is only one component. If you have the money to encourage reviews through an ethical middleman, it's definitely worthwhile, but with a very limited budget, it's not the first place to start.


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Offline DougLawless

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #62 on: August 02, 2017, 11:22:32 AM »
Excellent advice, I've no doubt. Thanks Bill!
"If it's not keeping you up nights then what's the point?"

Offline skylarker1

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #63 on: August 02, 2017, 02:26:43 PM »
I sent my latest young YA fantasy book to Hidden Gems. It's not one of the popular categories, so they only found 10 reviewers for me, but nine out of ten have already posted reviews! A better proportion than I'd dared anticipate.


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Offline Brian Tormanen

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #64 on: August 02, 2017, 10:05:01 PM »
Anyone do zompoc with HG? Get many reviews?

Offline HiddenGems

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #65 on: August 03, 2017, 11:34:31 AM »
Anyone do zompoc with HG? Get many reviews?

Hi Brian - So I can answer that, since I've seen all the books that have come through.  We've actually never had a Zombie Apocalypse book offered before. 

I would say, though, that the way our service works the number of reviews you get back should still fall within the same general percentages that we usually get - on average, which is around 80%.  So even if we only sent it out to 10, that would hopefully get you back at least 8 reviews.  The question is - how many could we find for it??

That I can't answer. But on the positive side, there's really not much risk for you.  Even if you book the minimum of 50 readers - if only 10 sign up, that's all you pay for. So really, it's just figuring out which book genre to offer the book to.  My guess would be something like Science Fiction?  Or maybe Thriller?  Both?  I mean, as long as your description of the book is obvious what it's about, even if the genre list we send it to isn't exactly perfect, only people that are interested in it will sign up - so it shouldn't matter that much.

Anyway - let me know if you have any other questions.  Happy to help, and always interested to try out a new type of book on our readers!

HG

Offline Brian Tormanen

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #66 on: August 03, 2017, 12:27:35 PM »
Hi Brian - So I can answer that, since I've seen all the books that have come through.  We've actually never had a Zombie Apocalypse book offered before. 

I would say, though, that the way our service works the number of reviews you get back should still fall within the same general percentages that we usually get - on average, which is around 80%.  So even if we only sent it out to 10, that would hopefully get you back at least 8 reviews.  The question is - how many could we find for it??

That I can't answer. But on the positive side, there's really not much risk for you.  Even if you book the minimum of 50 readers - if only 10 sign up, that's all you pay for. So really, it's just figuring out which book genre to offer the book to.  My guess would be something like Science Fiction?  Or maybe Thriller?  Both?  I mean, as long as your description of the book is obvious what it's about, even if the genre list we send it to isn't exactly perfect, only people that are interested in it will sign up - so it shouldn't matter that much.

Anyway - let me know if you have any other questions.  Happy to help, and always interested to try out a new type of book on our readers!

HG


Thank you. Good to know and will keep you in mind.

Offline Kay7979

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #67 on: August 09, 2017, 05:02:31 AM »
Could someone describe the mechanics of how this works? I understand Hidden Gems hosts the file on their site and then distributes the book to potential reviewers. In what format does one submit the book? PDF? MOBI? etc. Do they convert it to other formats according to what the reviewers need?

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Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #68 on: August 09, 2017, 08:18:45 AM »
Could someone describe the mechanics of how this works? I understand Hidden Gems hosts the file on their site and then distributes the book to potential reviewers. In what format does one submit the book? PDF? MOBI? etc. Do they convert it to other formats according to what the reviewers need?
You upload a PDF and a mobi. They also ask for an epub if you have it. They don't do conversions, which kind of makes sense, because checking that the file converted correctly creates a whole extra process.

For the PDF, I just used the one I used for my paperback. For the mobi, I used the file I downloaded during the preview process on KDP. For the epub, I created one via Vellum. Scrivener also does flawless epub conversions. If you have neither, there seem to be online mobi to epub conversion services for free, but I'd check the output before uploading to Hidden Gems. You can open epubs in the free Adobe Digital Editions.

Apparently, mobi and PDF are there most popular requests, but not having an epub might eliminate a few potential readers.


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Offline Kay7979

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #69 on: August 09, 2017, 03:10:19 PM »
You upload a PDF and a mobi. They also ask for an epub if you have it. They don't do conversions, which kind of makes sense, because checking that the file converted correctly creates a whole extra process.

For the PDF, I just used the one I used for my paperback. For the mobi, I used the file I downloaded during the preview process on KDP. For the epub, I created one via Vellum. Scrivener also does flawless epub conversions. If you have neither, there seem to be online mobi to epub conversion services for free, but I'd check the output before uploading to Hidden Gems. You can open epubs in the free Adobe Digital Editions.

Apparently, mobi and PDF are there most popular requests, but not having an epub might eliminate a few potential readers.

Thanks so much. That's exactly what I needed to know. I'm considering doing this but I'm not sure which book. Book 2 only has a dozen reviews and book 1 has 35.

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Offline HiddenGems

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #70 on: August 11, 2017, 02:08:42 PM »
Thanks so much. That's exactly what I needed to know. I'm considering doing this but I'm not sure which book. Book 2 only has a dozen reviews and book 1 has 35.

Hi Kay - if you only want to ARC one of the two, and they're standalone (despite being a series), then I would probably go with book 2 for a variety of reasons.  PM me if you'd like to discuss more, I'd be happy to give you some more indepth reasoning or answer any other questions you have.  Thanks!

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #71 on: August 11, 2017, 02:29:45 PM »
In January or February, I'm planning on launching the first three books of a series on the same day. It's a series of standalone novels in the same small town with overlapping characters. If I wanted to use Hidden Gems for all three books, would it be better to schedule them as close to possible? Perhaps the same day if possible, or schedule them with a little bit of a break in between? I'd imagine the first two will appeal to a broader audience and the third, being M/M would appeal to a slightly different audience with overlap.

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Offline HiddenGems

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #72 on: August 11, 2017, 08:41:41 PM »
In January or February, I'm planning on launching the first three books of a series on the same day. It's a series of standalone novels in the same small town with overlapping characters. If I wanted to use Hidden Gems for all three books, would it be better to schedule them as close to possible? Perhaps the same day if possible, or schedule them with a little bit of a break in between? I'd imagine the first two will appeal to a broader audience and the third, being M/M would appeal to a slightly different audience with overlap.

I take it you aren't releasing them as a bundle, right?  If you were, that would be easiest - just 1 ARC for the whole bundle.  If not, then it's hard to say as I haven't done something like that before - I can see pros and cons with doing them close and spreading them out.  First of all, all on the same day won't work as we generally only schedule 1 book per genre per day.  On rare occasions we may run 2 if there is enough disparity between them (like one is MM and one is contemporary, for example), but I try not to do that very often and even less now that we are running so many genres (because it means we're already doing more than 1 book a day and a lot of people are in multiple genres, so I don't want to split the audiences too much so that we have enough readers for everyone's book).

So if you were to do them all on successive days, for example, I can see that being ideal because you want all your reviews as close to publication date as possible, but the problem with that is that not everyone reads that fast, so will some people just not sign up for all 3 because they don't think they can read the whole set that quickly and all at once?   Ideally, I would say you wait at least 4 or 5 days in between, but then that means by book 3 your reviews won't come in until almost a couple weeks after publication (if people wait until the due date).

And if people miss the first book, will they want to read the 2nd or 3rd?  Depends on if they're stand alone or not.  If not, what I sometimes suggest is that people include the earlier books in the same file with the later ones, for people coming into the ARC midway through the series.  So the ARC for book 2 would include book 1, and the ARC for book 3 would include books 1 and 2.  Just for people to catch up.  Less important if they're standalone, though.

Anyway, if you want to PM or email me and discuss further, I'd be happy to.  Thanks!


Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #73 on: August 12, 2017, 10:08:43 AM »
Thanks so much. That's exactly what I needed to know. I'm considering doing this but I'm not sure which book. Book 2 only has a dozen reviews and book 1 has 35.
If it were me, I would do both. I'd do book 1 first, even though it has more reviews, and then do book 2. I say this because I've done something similar with other services. Books in an even remotely sequential series benefit from having reviewers who've read the first book as reviewers of the second. Running both books through the service increases the possibility of book 2 reviews from people who've read book 1. (That also reduces the chance of those "I didn't understand what was going on," kind of book 2 reviews.) Readers who liked book 1 are particularly likely to request book 2 when it comes up.


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Offline JsFan

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Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« Reply #74 on: August 12, 2017, 11:02:01 AM »
They'd have to, but I can't think of any ethical way to get around that. One of the review services I used in the past allowed Amazon gifting as an option for giving reviewers their free copy, but those don't show as verified purchase, either.

Is it unethical to make a book free and then direct interested reviewers to its Amazon page? I don't like having to click two or more times to read unverified reviews.