Last time I mentioned that we were in the process of getting a second print run of Zeke’s Arcana made. I’m happy to report that that’s happened now! When our deck first came out, we got a slew of awesome reviews and I wanted to share those here today. It’s first and foremost just meant as a bit of a thank you to all the great people who took time out of their day to showcase our deck, but it might also convince you to grab a copy if you haven’t already ;)
After that, I’ll dedicate the rest of this blog post to some tips and pointers on how to get your own indie tarot deck reviewed!
Zeke’s Arcana Reviews
“Zeke’s Arcana succeeds at being wildly trippy and colourful while also being very readable and easy to work with.
The artwork, done by Julia of Zeke’s Lunchbox, is fascinating and sometimes bizarre, which really shakes your intuition awake and makes you look at the images, instead of just going through the motions of a reading.”
- Daily Tarot Girl
“The use of color contrast to create eye-popping, memorable illustrations is just incredible. Details throughout the deck– like the swan as the boat in the Six of Swords, or the bird of prey in the Eight of Swords wearing blinders– demonstrate the depth of thought that went into designing the compositions for each card.”
- Benebell Wen
“I remember the first time I saw the bubblegum pink and electric blues of this delicious deck. The Sun, The Star and The High Priestess were so different than anything I’d ever worked with.
- @saltandshadowtarot via Indie Deck Reviews
“You know how sometimes you’ll take a deck out and you’re like “Yes! Yes.” That’s this deck.”
- Astro Tarot_P
Reviewers and you
In Part two I spoke about advocates in a general sense. There are all sorts of advocates that you will come across during your tarot journey. Reviewers are a very special kind of advocate because of the extra amount of effort they put into presenting your work to others. It’s not a small task to showcase a deck to others. A lot of time and effort goes into making that piece of content, be it a video, written content, or a beautiful photo shoot. So, I’m going to give some advice on how to approach reviewers and how to engage with them. I’ll also share my personal opinions on paid reviews.
How to approach and engage reviewers
The most important thing to remember is that you should treat all reviewers with respect. Even if you’re giving them a free deck for review, the relationship is still reciprocal and I would argue that really the reviewer is the one doing you a favor. Sure, it’s nice to get free tarot decks, but in return they are creating content. You are the one who ultimately benefits from that content!
It should go without saying, but don’t get salty if you get a negative review. Honestly, most reviewers are very friendly and won’t come after your deck. But we all have different levels of sensitivity when it comes to criticism, and some of us find it hard to take any sort of feedback. If you count yourself in that group, be extra conscious of taking feedback with grace.
Also, be clear about timelines. If you have a certain date that you plan on launching the deck and you want the review to be posted by then, then specify that. But also remember that reviewers won’t always be able to totally accommodate your timeline. It’s reasonable to ask a reviewer to not post a review *before* a certain date. But it’s not necessarily reasonable to ask for a post *on* a certain date. You can ask nicely and they may do it. And they are more likely to do it if you give them a nice big time buffer (so send decks as early as possible!)
The next thing you might be wondering is how to actually get in touch with reviewers. More often than not, reviewers will have a contact method listed in their about. But if you can’t see anything like that it’s also fine to just message them on social. Some deck makers ask for their deck to be returned post-review. But I would recommend you offer a free review deck that they can keep (as I’ve already said that’s the least you can do for them). This means you may be limited in how many decks you can send out. So how do you prioritise?
You have to weigh off two factors: reach and fit. There are some fairly large tarot pages out there. Of course it probably makes sense to prioritise those pages. That said, you should also think about fit. E.g. if you have a super-masculine deck, perhaps you want to priortise reviewers who will resonate with that, even though they have less reach. The same goes for having a niche theme for your deck–let’s say a fanart deck for example. In that case I would definitely try to at least get it out to a few fans of whatever it is you’re referencing. Maybe they don’t even need to be tarot reviewers! People who don’t usually buy a tarot deck may decide to do so if it’s a theme that resonates with them.
On paid reviews and content
Another question I get sometimes is what about paid reviews and content? In principle I’m not against this sort of thing, as long as the creator is clear about the fact that they’ve been paid for it. But I would say that you need to just keep an eye on your own marketing budget. My experience has been that reviews are more of an awareness play than a conversion play. But the conversions you do get will be rock solid.
A list of our reviewers
The following list is first and foremost meant as a thank you to all the people who reviewed us (particularly the many people who took the initiative to review us without us even reaching out!).
But you may also find it useful as a starting point for getting your own deck reviewed.
LarkandLegend Great voice! Thank you for reading the box copy. I spent ages on that ha!
KiddoMoon Lovely aesthetics! I’m glad you liked the guidebook. We absolutely had to print it in colour.
Gabrielle ASMR Oh, we love a bit of ASMR. And yes, that is Julia’s face on the Knight of Cups.
Lunaria33 Sorry again that it took so long to get the deck to you!
Divining Perspective Short and puncy. I love it! I chose the two of swords
Time Out With Leo I’m glad you appreciated the discussion of numbers! I felt that learning the numbers gives you a good overarching understanding of each suit.
DivinationDragon A silent flip through? Very relaxing.
Ellie the Moonchild Glad you liked how sturdy the box was haha. We wanted it to feel nice and solid. The music that kicked in when you started the flip through was a vibe.
Mumeanha DivineStarseed Your nails match the deck so well! I’m glad that the stickers are getting good use. And yes, the foam keeps the cards nice and cosy.
chaming the song choice is so on point. Like the deck, it came from the land down under!
Ravin Wormwood thank you for all of your support! Zeke will love to hear what you have to say about her art. Glad the cat made a cameo too :3
Astro Tarot_P Haha yes, there sure was a bit of a wait on the Kickstarter batch! We’ve ironed out those issues since, and decks should arrive within c.a. 2 weeks of being ordered now. Thank you for waiting, and we’re so glad that the final product resonated with you!
Tarot Oracle of Light Sophie Souyet wow thank you for translating what we wrote in real time!
Juan Negrrete Thank you for another foreign language review. You are introducing our work to a whole new international audience <3
Daily Tarot Girl A really great review, and I love that Kate drew the High Priestess!
Unfortunately I can’t link directly to the stories, so I’ve just linked to people’s accounts. Note, a lot more people tagged us, but I’ve stuck to people who are in the business of tarot in one way or another!
Starryskies4steed one of the first readings we got on instagram. Thank you!
Tarottidbits78 love the tune you set your flick through to!
Senoritochka1902777 So glad you like it! I love positive feedback from practitioners.
Tarot_aesthetic Thank you, we love how you frame your card shoots!
Skelleycat Again, thank you. I love seeing practitioners using our deck!
Mattatarot new favorite deck?! That’s high praise!
Ojos.lentos Thank you, and amazing to see our deck all the way in Uruguay 🙂
TanithNZ I love seeing the unique reads of our cards that people come up with. Thank you!
Viribus____ the matching nails were perfect!
Theprismtarot I loved the reading, and I loved the old school Troll doll!
Indie Deck Review you have all been such massive supporters of this deck. Can’t recommend sharing your deck with these people enough. And of course thank you for writing the review @saltandshadowtarot we’re told our deck caused a “tarot-gasm” XD
Benebell Wen This is one of the most in depth and thoughtful reviews we got! Benebell is a very prolific and knowledgeable reviewer. Definitely check her out.
Again, a massive thank you to everyone who reviewed us. I hope I didn’t forget anyone. If I did please message me, so I can post you here as well!