Indie authors review swap book pool discussion

The Best Year Of Our Lives: Growing up in the 1970s, a group of young people ride the age and reach for the stars
This topic is about The Best Year Of Our Lives
memoir > Looking for 1976s Fans and Nostalgics to Review Novel

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message 1: by Phil (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments Hi

My debut novel The Best Year Of Our Lives is set in the glorious year that was 1976 and I'm looking for honest reviewers who either remember the year or are otherwise interested in it from a historical perspective.

It is a fictional work but based heavily upon my own youth and the experience I had of growing up in and around that year.

Any help would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

message 2: by Susan (last edited Oct 07, 2017 10:18AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Susan Stewart (susanlstewart) | 28 comments My husband and I got married in 1974 and I remember 1976 very well, and we're still married! Can you tell me how long the book is and a little about your writing career and what you are looking for as far as a reviewer goes? General review, editorial...?

message 3: by Phil (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments Hi Susan

Thanks for the reply. My writing career, in terms of creative fiction, so far begins and ends with this book, although writing content for web owners has helped me to scratch a living for some time.

The book is 400 pages long and divided into 61 short chapters - 63 if you count the Prologue and Epilogue, which are both vitally important to the story.

I think in terms of any review it would be a case of where you think it fits best. Obviously I'm looking for reviews on Amazon and have nine there at the moment (seven 5-star and two 4-star), but I'd like to broaden it (as you may have seen I have one over here too).

I was honoured recently to have received a letter from the singer-songwriter Steve Harley, of Cockney Rebel fame, praising me for my work. The name of the book is of course a play on that of his LP and title track The Best Years Of Our Lives, which I intended as a kind of tribute as his music was an inspiration to me in my youth.

Susan Stewart (susanlstewart) | 28 comments I'm willing to read your book as long as you understand that as a professional writer and editor, I will be completely honest. I will be happy to post it to Amazon and Goodreads, as is my custom.


message 5: by Phil (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments I wouldn't expect anything else Susan, many thanks.

Susan Stewart (susanlstewart) | 28 comments I look forward to reading it.

Susan Stewart (susanlstewart) | 28 comments How do I access the book? I normally download from Amazon to my iPad.

message 8: by Phil (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments Apologies Susan, I'm new to this and am not quite sure how it usually works. The link to the ebook at Amazon is here.

Susan Stewart (susanlstewart) | 28 comments Hi Phil,

I'm new at this, too. I went to the link, which took me to a British page - the price was in pounds. I know there is a way to give people a free copy to read (I've read one or two books to review that way) but I have no idea how to do it. You might want to check this link to Author Central. Also, if you haven't created your author page, you should.

message 10: by Phil (last edited Oct 09, 2017 02:37PM) (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments Hi Susan

Yes, these are my author pages: (my e-book is available in the US from this one).

message 11: by Phil (last edited Oct 09, 2017 02:33PM) (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments As far as I can see Susan the only way you can acquire a free copy through Amazon would be if you are a member of Kindle Unlimited. It occurs to me that the sale has to be to you and through Amazon or else you will not be able to place a review there as a verified purchaser, so in other words me posting you a copy would not be any good.

If you want the ebook one possible way around this would be for me to send you a gift voucher by e-mail. If we could agree for the purchase to be at a specific exact time I could temporarily drop the price. Sorry if all this sounds a bit cloak and dagger, if there is an easier way then hopefully I'll find it. Thanks for your patience on this, I'm very appreciative.

message 12: by Phil (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments Or I could run a Free Book Promotion for five days, which I've been toying with doing anyway?

Susan Stewart (susanlstewart) | 28 comments You certainly could run a free book promotion. I don't believe you have to run it for the full five days - did you list the book with KDP so you have the option of free days and discount days promotions? That's how I've done mine although I've never tried the free days yet.

You are right. For it to be a Verified Purchase, I do need to order it - free or not - on Amazon. The link you sent gave me the book's page in British pounds. I wouldn't mind paying 99¢ for it. That's what I try to pay for unknown authors. Once you change a price I think they require a 48 hour window to make the change but I could be wrong on that.

message 14: by Phil (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments Hi Susan

I have just configured my page to run a free promotion for three days beginning Pacific Time tomorrow (13/10). I'll post again when it's up and running. Many thanks.

Susan Stewart (susanlstewart) | 28 comments I'll look for it tomorrow.

Would you be willing to read my book, "Unjustly Accused: An American man's experience in a Dominican Republic prison"? It's the true story of Corey and a friend of his from work's experience in the Dominican Republic when a taxi they are riding in is pulled over and they are arrested for drug trafficking and sentenced to 1-3 years in Najayo prison. Their daring escape from the country is particularly riveting.

The short link is: and I would be willing to set it up as a three-day free promotion.


message 16: by Phil (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments Yes of course Susan.

Susan Stewart (susanlstewart) | 28 comments Hi Phil,

I downloaded your book this evening. I will get started on it in the next day or two. I'm just finishing up another book.

Hopefully, I'll have time to figure out how to put my book out for free. Will let you know when it's set.

Thanks, Phil. I'm looking forward to reading your book.

message 18: by Phil (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments Thank you Susan. If you have any problems finding the info you need let me know, it's actually pretty straightforward once you get into the Bookshelf section of your KDP Terms of Service.

I seem to have made the UK Top 100 Free Books list for the Coming of Age genre this evening! "Sales" of the ebook have already increased exponentially since the promotion began...

Susan Stewart (susanlstewart) | 28 comments That is wonderful, Phil! The Top 100 of anything is very good news, indeed.

I spent a few hours yesterday reading your book and got a good start. You write really, really well. I've been making a living with my writing and editing for nearly 30 years and rarely have I seen a first novel this polished and well-written. Congratulations on that accomplishment as well.

I will let you know how I'm getting along in a few days.

All the best,

message 20: by Phil (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments That's a really nice thing to say, and encouraging. Thank you very much.

It seems I am now #4 (four) in the Coming of Age category (in the UK) and #61 in Contemporary Fiction, and I've had nearly 100 orders since the free promo began, so hopefully that will generate some reviews and maybe one or two word-of-mouth sales too.

Please let me know when you are ready to roll with yours, I look forward to reading it.

Susan Stewart (susanlstewart) | 28 comments Hi Phil,

I was wondering how you advertised your free days to get that kind of response.


message 22: by Phil (last edited Oct 15, 2017 10:22AM) (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments Largely Facebook Susan. I am a member of about 250 groups with direct relevance to the various themes of the book, and I posted on them to let people know (and got myself a seven-day ban for spamming!).

Also though, and importantly, it becomes self-perpetuating. Once you begin to rise up through the sales list that raises your profile which in turn generates more sales.

message 23: by Phil (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments Hi Susan

Just wondered how you were getting on with your free promotion?


Susan Stewart (susanlstewart) | 28 comments Hi Phil,

I just finished posting my review of "The Best Year of Our Lives" on Amazon. My reviews there appear under the name "Savannah." Then I posted it to Goodreads and finally, scheduled it to post on my writing website,, on Nov. 2; I have a few posts scheduled before it.

It was a really great book, Phil. You did an incredible job. Wishing you all the best,


message 25: by Phil (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments Thanks for that Susan, I very much look forward to reading it.

Is there any news on your own book? I'd love to return the compliment.

Susan Stewart (susanlstewart) | 28 comments I have a client I write for who is based in London. Sometimes I don't hear from him for weeks and then he pops up with work. Right now he has me writing Amazon listings for his oil paint sets. Once I finish that, I am going to get my book listed for free.

message 27: by Phil (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments Okay, no problem - just let me know when you're ready.

I was wondering if I could just take one small liberty, if you don't mind? Would it be possible please for you also to post it to Amazon's UK site? It's the same company but reviews are not synchronised between the two, however it is okay just to cut and paste. The URL is

Thanks for that. I loved the review and I'll be quoting it on my own blog and Facebook page.

Susan Stewart (susanlstewart) | 28 comments No problem at all. I wrote the review in Word so I can just copy/paste.

message 29: by Phil (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments Thanks Susan.

Susan Stewart (susanlstewart) | 28 comments I've posted it. Let me know if it doesn't show up.

message 31: by Phil (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments It's there, thanks again.

message 32: by Hayley (new)

Hayley Shaver | 3 comments I would love to read it on pdf. I will probably be able to r ead it by the end of January, as I am backed up in the book situation. If interested, mail me a copy to
hkshaver2 at hotmail dot com

message 33: by Phil (last edited Oct 21, 2017 03:52PM) (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments I can certainly send you a .pdf Hayley. Or, if you prefer, I will be running another brief free promotion shortly, probably this Monday and Tuesday. If you download it from Amazon you will automatically become a verified purchaser which would qualify you to leave a review there (provided you meet the other criteria as a customer).

Please let me know which you would prefer and I'll organise it.

Thanks for your kind interest Hayley and I look forward to reading your comments in January.

message 34: by Hayley (new)

Hayley Shaver | 3 comments okay - - amazon it is (we don't want any snafus for your review) Thanks.

message 35: by Phil (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments Snafus?

Susan Stewart (susanlstewart) | 28 comments Seriously, Phil, is "snafu" not a term used in GB? I believe it originated in 1941 when the US entered WWII although some references place it at the turn of the century during the Indian wars in the western US. It stands for "Situation Normal: All F****ed Up!" or "All Fouled Up!" and was used by our soldiers out of frustration. My father was an officer in the Army during the Vietnam War and I was raised on Army posts. Just grew up knowing the term in its military context.

message 37: by Phil (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments Lol, thanks for the explanation Susan but no, never heard it. As far as I'm aware it isn't used here, so I've learned something :)

message 38: by Phil (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments Hayley, the ebook is available free of charge today and for most of tomorrow so please download and then read at your own leisure. Thanks.

message 39: by Hayley (new)

Hayley Shaver | 3 comments thanks

Susan Stewart (susanlstewart) | 28 comments Hi Phil,

After I read and reviewed "The Best Year of Our Lives," you said you would be willing to read my book and post a review on Amazon (Goodreads, too, I hope). I wanted to let you know that my novel, "Unjustly Accused" is finally re-edited and available in a ".doc" or "PDF" format. Will one of these formats work?

Looking forward to hearing from you,

message 41: by Phil (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments Hi Susan

I did respond to your message, what I basically said was that I could receive either of these formats so please whichever is more convenient. Did you want to e-mail it to me?

Incidentally, I won't be allowed to post a review on Amazon unless I am a verified purchaser of the book from that site. Did you plan to release it from there as a free offer at some point?

Best wishes

Susan Stewart (susanlstewart) | 28 comments Sorry about your earlier emails, somehow I lost a lot of them.

I've posted reviews from books I've gotten from the library. I just think it's more powerful if it comes from a verified purchaser.

I am waiting on the final version of the new cover. When I get that, I will post it on Amazon for free and send you an email that it's available.

I'm hoping to get this wrapped up next week.


message 43: by Phil (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments Okay, will look out for it Susan and will get to work on it.


message 44: by Phil (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments Hi Susan, any news on this?

Susan Stewart (susanlstewart) | 28 comments Hi Phil,

What a stressful four months! As far as "Unjustly Accused" is concerned, I did one last thorough edit and formatted it as a paperback. Fiverr has already created a cover and I'm done editing it. My review/proof copy was supposed to be here days ago. I'm going to check on it.

I'm waiting to run the free days until the paperback is listed as an option. Hopefully, that will be next week.

I'll keep you posted

message 46: by Phil (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments Not a problem Susan, was just wondering whether I'd missed something myself :)

Susan Stewart (susanlstewart) | 28 comments Hi Phil,

My book is available as a FREE e-book on Saturday, Nov. 16 and Sunday, Nov 17. It's also now available as a paperback. I am very excited! I hope you enjoy it.


message 48: by Phil (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments Assume you mean December Susan? Are we talking Amazon?

Susan Stewart (susanlstewart) | 28 comments I am so glad you caught that!! Yes, December. Now I need to go back and change the other places I wrote Nov. And, yes, we are talking about Amazon. This is the first time I've tried to promote a book and I have a lot to learn!


message 50: by Phil (new)

Phil Andrews | 37 comments No probs, I look forward to reading it.

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