Book Reviews: How To Get Book Reviews For Your Book
Book reviews are crucial to the success of your book. Book reviews are the social proof that prove to potential readers they should buy your book. Ten or twenty book reviews isn’t enough on Amazon these days. You need to reach the 30+ mark ideally. We wrote a post here which explains the results when you achieve a strong number of book reviews here.
We will take you through the process step by step from research to securing the review. This is a time consuming process which is why many authors ask us to do it for them and you can read more here.
1. Respect. Remember to be respectful to book reviewers. Seems obvious but we have seen many authors pester and harass reviewers to hurry up. You aren’t paying them and they are doing this in their spare time so remember to give them plenty of time and don’t nag them. Nothing will turn them off faster. They have loyal audiences that they have invested a great deal of time into and they won’t rush things.
2. Patience. This follows the point above. Always allow plenty of time. As reviewers aren’t being paid to do this other items often get in the way. Such as their job, family, friends and other unpredictable occurrences. Give them time and they will become a powerful ally.
3. Finding reviewers. So how do you locate relevant reviewers? This is tough and time consuming. There are a number of great resources to do this such as BookBlogging.net which is one our favourites and BookBloggerList.com. However they aren’t always kept up to date so you need to check they are still blogging and reviewing. Often reviewers are quite general on these forms so always visit the site and check out their latest articles.
4. Research. So once you’ve found your reviewers you need to check your facts. Are they still reviewing the same genres? What have they been focusing on recently? What dig they enjoy reading? What didn’t they like? The more data you can gather the more effective your pitch will be.
5. The pitch; approaching reviewers. Your success with securing reviews all starts in the pitch. Were you extremely diligent in your research? Well this is where it pays off. Start by showing them you have been to their site. Read their recent book reviews. Mention a recent article. For bonus points raise a question about the book reviews that shows you read the reviews or articles. Don’t let it be a generic pitch. That won’t get you any results.
6. Receiving No. This is going to happen more than a yes. Reviewers and bloggers get bombarded by authors and publishers looking for coverage. Book reviewers get many excellent opportunities and often have very large TBR (To Be Read) piles sat waiting for their attention. Be gracious and make a note. You can always come back to them later or for another release.
7. Bargaining with a guest post. So you didn’t get the review you hoped for from that reviewed. That doesn’t mean you can’t still secure promotion through their blog and social platforms. Offer them a valuable guest post about your book, writing process or inspiration. Make sure it aligns with their audience and give value. The more value you give the more you will receive. With something you have written all they have to do is post it.
8. Review secured! What next? The book reviewer kindly replied and said they are happy to review your book. Excellent! You nailed the research and the pitch. Pat yourself on the back. Give them a good month to read and review the book unless they give you a different date. Don’t bother them too much. If you think it has been a little too long then touch base with them. Ask them if they are enjoying the book. Don’t ask when they will be finished. Ask them to kindly send you a link when the book review goes live on their site. Ask them to post a summary of their review on Amazon. Share with your audience and share all of their social posts.
9. Keep in touch! Keep a record of who reviewed your book. We recently worked with an author who had stored this data and had 50 book reviews already secured for when she launched her second book.
A book review is like gold but very difficult to secure in the current newspaper publishing climate. Don't forget small reviews in industry newsletters. The author can write the review themselves and more often than not, they are published if the book is directly related to the newsletter readership. Some health newsletters have readerships in the thousands and four such newsletters relating to hearing loss published short reviews of my new book, a medical biography entitled, 'Bill Gibson: pioneering bionic ear surgeon'. I hope this tip is helpful.
This is a GREAT guide! You have no idea how many generic requests I get that I ignore because they're not even in a genre that I read. And guest posts are AMAZING. I Will always say yes to those as long as the book is semi-related to my content. Based on my stats I get a lot of clicks on the book links and author websites for guest posts, so I think it's definetly helpful
Thank you, Joce! Please share with your followers and other in the industry :)
Great info. Thank you. Maggie
A True Story by real PEOPLE.... THE UNNOTICED by Dennis Jones. From Amazon Kindle
Book reviews are the most important and valuable tool for self published authors to address an audience and interest readers. I am not only a writer but also an avid reader - one comes with the other; the time a writer spends on reviewing a book has my greatest appreciation. After all, writers write to be read. There is no greater joy for a writer to receive (positive) feedback for their work.
Another tip; ALWAYS read the review policy and show the reviewer/blogger that you have read it. As a book blogger and reviewer I receive a good amount of review requests. Unfortunately 9 out of 10 times the authors or publishers haven't read my review policy - which is easily found on my blog. 8 out of those 9 times I have to turn them down. Please respect our policies!
Great tips on a difficult part of the process!! Thank You for sharing!!