How to Do An Author’s Peer Review

business people

A group of people that I as a self-published author need to study are other writers and publishers who write and publish books like I write. I need to understand not only those who are doing well, but also those who are doing poorly. The difference would indicate what I need to focus on doing to improve my own writing business.This isn’t to say that I should copy this other author’s approach to book marketing, but it does give me an idea of where to start using my own creative talents to develop my own strategies at least in marketing my books.


Knowing My Peers Helps Me

  • price my books competitively
  • gauge how other authors, and publishers are reacting to the publishing market so I can adjust my own business accorndingly
  • Understand how I rank with other authors/publishers

Remembering I have a Business

As an author/publisher analyzing my peers, I have to remember that I am a business person. In addition, I also have think like my target customer. I need to ask questions about my peers and relate them to the facts that I am in business and I want to appeal to my readers.


Branding-What makes my books unique and memorable

What makes readers come back to read my books time after time? The reason people keep coming back to read The Locket Saga series is because they have identified with the characters and they care what happen to them. When I subsequent books in the series, I have a built in readership who want to read this next installment. The reason people want to buy my gardening book: Simply Vegetable Gardening is because they want to discover to make their gardens as fruitful as mine have been. I have identified my niche by studying these competitors and determining how I am like them and how I am different.

What Should I Learn about Author/Publisher Peers?

Does my peers have mission statements? If so what are they and how do they compare to mine? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What is their customer base? How does it compare to mine? What are their promotional and marketing strategies? Do they use contests or coupons? Have I been to their websites?  Do they have a Facebook fan page? What does it look like? Have I read their books? Have I been to their book signings? What did I like about them, or not like about them? How are my books different? What do I know about their goals? How are their goals different. Do their customers prefer to buy e-books or paperback printed books?

Are my prices reasonable and comparative to other author/publishers? How do my books appeal to my target audience. compared to my peers? Am I as likable as my competition online and in person? Just as important as knowing what I do like about my peers, I also need to know what I don’t like about my peers. How is their customer service? Is their product of high quality? Are their books well formatted and proofread? What do I like and dislike about their covers. How can I improve my books and marketing to improve my overall reputation online and in person?


Using Social Media

I can get to know my peers who are authors/publishers through social media and their readers as well. Since I have identified my target reader, I can find these readers when engaged with my peers. I am not stealing customers from them because one of that author’s readers are likely to want to read what I write because it is similar to what they write. However, what I have written is different enough to engage the reader as well.

Creating and Implementing Strategies Based on Peer Review

Once I have reviewed where my customers are doing well or not doing so well, It is time for my to implement what I have discovered by creating and implementing strategies in my business both online and in face-to-face encounters. As I am doing this, I not only need to remember what my peers are doing and not doing, but also I need to remember the goals that I am trying to accomplish, who my readers are. I need to make my plans achievable and have created backup plans in case the ones I have do not work as I expect them to work. In addition,While knowing my peers helps me stay in touch with trends in the author/publishing industry,  I need to remain focused on my uniqueness as an author and a publisher. It is after all what keeps my readers coming back for more of what I have to offer.

Cygnet’s Local Book Signing!

Launching August 31, 2015: Book III of the Locket Saga: A Coward's Solace.

Launching August 31, 2015: Book III of the Locket Saga: A Coward’s Solace.

Tomorrow Saturday, October 10,  I will be having a book signing at The Book Nook in West Plains, Missouri  from 11-2 pm . I will be signing copies of my latest book A Coward’s Solace which will be on sale for 14.95. I am also offering a special deal where I will sell all three books in the Locke Saga together for $39.95. a savings of 10%. Would make a unique Christmas gift for the reader in your family.



IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her books, check out her website at .

  1. All great points here Donna! I hope people are reading these posts and learning from them because they are valuable for any writer.

    • 1authorcygnetbrown said:

      Yeah, I’m thinking that I am going to have to turn this information into a book!

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