Let’s face it, waiting for book reviews can seem to take a lifetime. These all important book reviews are a necessity in getting your book viewed and purchased by more readers. Without them, you’re screwed.
Waiting for Book Reviews?
While your waiting for your book reviews to increase in number you can begin a campaign that will help them do just that.
Ask for reviews: There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for reviews. In fact, you can send out a newsletter to your subscribers advertising your new book and ask for reviews.
Query book reviewers: You don’t need to pay for this service, although you can. I recommend you get real reviews, because paid ones stand out from the rest, they’re a bit obvious. Start assembling your list of book reviewers well before your publication date. This is something you want to be prepared for so that when your book is released, it has a large amount of reviews to go with it. Book bloggers are the best people to reach out to for this purpose. There are several other places to find reviewers as well.
- Book Blogger Directory – a comprehensive, alphabetical listing of book blogs, organized by genre.
- The Book Blogger List – a database of book bloggers organized by genre of interest.
- YA Book Blog Directory – a listing of young adult book review blogs.
- Story Cartel – all books on Story Cartel are free in exchange for honest book reviews.
- Directory of Book Bloggers on Pinterest – a curated list of book bloggers using Pinterest by Mandy Boles.
- Kate Tilton’s Book Bloggers – a smaller listing of book bloggers that provide reviews.
- The Indie View – huge listing of Indie reviewers.
- Step-by-Step Self-Publishing Reviewers List – another comprehensive list of active book bloggers.
Be sure to check out the etiquette for this process later in this post.
Offer prizes: You can offer up prizes for your reviews in the form of author swag. People love free stuff and they love to win prizes. You could have anyone who purchases your book write a review and be automatically entered into a drawing that shows your appreciation. You can give out bookmarks, playing cards, coffee mugs, water bottles, sweatshirts, tote bags, and more.
Give your book away: Take advantage of the three days Amazon gives you to give your book away for free. When you are doing your promotions you can mention it’s in exchange for a review.
Ask friends and family: You can amass quite a few reviews just by asking friends, family, and coworkers. These people like you, chances are they are willing to read your book. Ask them to leave you a review, heck, offer them prizes too if you want. Just be sure to mention that they shouldn’t refer to you as if they know you when writing their review. The review will sound more convincing that way and help to draw new readers into buying your book.
Be proactive: What’s important when seeking reviews is to be proactive. Talk about it on your social networks. Use a book teaser to help gain interest in your book through your marketing. But always mention that you would appreciate reviews. Do a blog tour and ask for reviews there.
A Few Words On Etiquette
Some may not know this, but there is actually etiquette that goes into asking a reviewer to read your book. Reviewers are not obligated to read your book, and they certainly aren’t required to like your book, so here are a couple of pieces of advice for the author who is looking to get their book reviewed.
- Take the time to establish a relationship with your book bloggers.
- Take into consideration what the reviewer likes to read.
- Give a synopsis of your book in the query email.
- Don’t hound the reviewer.
- Don’t get upset if the reviewer doesn’t like your book.
- Don’t expect the reviewer to search out the book.
- Show gratitude.
- Make it personal.
How to get high ranking reviews
Amazon Top Reviewers: Garnering a positive review from one of Amazon’s top customer reviewers is not only a great endorsement for your book, it’s often perceived as a more meaningful, and especially helpful, review due to the criteria that Amazon uses to qualify those that have achieved this ranking.
Their higher profile and credibility, plus the competition for their in-depth, quality reviews makes it tough to catch this group’s attention. But the rewards are often worth the extra effort. In many cases, reviews from top Amazon reviewers can generate enough momentum to create a cascade of additional reviews and book sales.
Another strategy for finding high quality reviewers on Amazon:
- Go to your personal Author Page on Amazon and locate the “Customers Also Bought Items By” section on the right. This section provides a list of authors whose topic or genre is similar to your own.
- Clicking on an author name will bring you to their author page, which will include a listing of their books. Choose a book, then click on a review for that book. This will take you to the Customer Reviews page.
- Click on the name of a reviewer to get to that reviewer’s Amazon profile (which lists books or items that they’ve reviewed).
- Look for contact info like an email address or a link to their website.
- Send them a query via email, referencing that you noticed they reviewed book XYZ by John Doe and you are wondering if they would be interested in reviewing your book on a similar topic, and that you’d be happy to send them a free copy if they’re interested.
- Remember, you can go through the “Customers Also Bought Items By” section on each author’s page, not just your own.
- No spam! Make it personal and be authentic.
Publishers Weekly: BookLife is PW’s new site dedicated to the world of Self-Publishing. It’s packed with tips, reviews, profiles and destinations for authors and readers!
It’s also the new home of PW Select, their marketing program for self-published authors and the place where indie authors can now submit their books for PW Review consideration FOR FREE!
10 places that review self-published books
9. The Indie Reviewer List — (not a review site itself, but a great resource with links and contacts for book reviewers and blogs that highlight self-published literature)
10. Book Blogger Directory — (similarly, a “comprehensive listing of book blogs”)
What advice can you give for getting more reviews?