Using Reviews as Promotional Tools - Andrew Crofts

Faithful followers of Electric Authors may remember that I talked a year or two ago about my novella “Secrets of the Italian Gardener”. 

To recap; I launched it on Amazon through their White Glove service, with the help of United Agents. That sold a good few copies via Kindle and print-on-demand - and garnered some good Amazon reviews.

I then produced a hardback edition through Red Door Publishing, with the aim of getting non-Amazon reviews, with the help of Midas PR.

When Red Door suggested that the time might be right for a paperback, I realised that we had managed to collect quite a few good endorsements from these previous two incarnations and it might indeed be worth producing something for the bookshops.

Red Door commissioned a redesign of the cover and we included flaps back and front so that we could smother them with lavish third-party praise and on July 4th the paperback will be making its way out into the world, supported by PR from Bookollective's Esther Harris, one of this year's "rising stars" in The Bookseller. 

(This illustration does not get close to showing how sumptuously colourful and glittery it actually is).

I have taken the liberty of reproducing the reviews that will be appearing on the flaps below, which seems horribly unsubtle and immodest but unavoidable if I want to convince more people that it might be worth giving the book a go.

“…the characters are so carefully created and multi-layered, and the storyline so involving that we are led into contemplating the banality of evil and the complexity of the human psyche almost without realizing it. …
             – Vulpes Libris

 “Write about what you know – good advice, which Andrew Crofts has wisely followed in this novella, whose narrator is, like the author, a leading ghostwriter …. a story of personal tragedy with an intriguing glimpse behind the scenes of dictatorial power.”
                                  – Mail Online. Literary Fiction

“This fast-paced narrative will have you gripped from start to finish.”
                                  – The Lady

“Robert Harris meets Paulo Coelho in a thoughtful, intelligent story”
                                 – Words-in-Jam

“A contemporary re-casting of Ecclesiastes, this story is about the vanity associated with the desire for power and possessions and ultimately about the cycle of birth, growth, death and re-birth”
– Robert Kirby, United Agents

“One of the most compelling, intelligent and emotional books I have read in a long time …. It speaks volumes of the world we live in today and I can’t remember ever being this excited about a work”
–Wattpad  review 

Reviews on Amazon.

“This is not a long book, but it is a classic piece of well-written, thoughtful and worthwhile fiction. Despite the lightness of touch some very serious issues are touched upon, and dealt with in a satisfying way. This is the sort of book that people who read a lot of books are happy to recommend. “

“… it has really left a deep and thoughtful impact. Andrew Crofts’ story is a beautiful look at what it is like having to view the world changing around you, both personally and globally, and having no real way to affect the outcomes in it. The characters are complex, the imagery of scenes vivid and beautiful, and it allows us to explore the ideas of who ,or what, is considered wrong and right. Will the choices of our past and present really represent how we are viewed in the future? Or can the carefully crafted words of a witness to a key moment in history change the outlook for the entire world? I feel my review may not accurately capture the jewel that this small story is, and I encourage anyone to read it and discover what the secrets are, both in the gardens and in your own life.”

“A philosophical yet unnerving look at power, tyranny and fear through the eyes of a ghostwriter and a worldly gardener who turns out to be anything but the man he appears.”

“Delightfully unexpected, this novella is an excellent read.”

“The story is quite fascinating and the thoughtful nature of the prose allows remarkable insight into the greed and corruption which lies at the heart of a fraudulent regime.”

“Coelho with cojones …”

“Secrets of the Italian Gardener is an original, well written story, and a thoroughly good read.”

“A fast-paced political thriller.”

“Packed with drama and political intrigue, the story draws you in from the first page.”


Good luck Andrew! Looks like we all have book reviews on our mind now...your book looks great :)
Umberto Tosi said…
A fine collection of reviews: good luck with the paperback.

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