The dawn of social media platforms, book review sites, and online retail stores like Amazon have drastically changed the book publishing industry. Book reviews and ratings now play an important role in generating buzz about a book and driving sales. This is not something that we can just sit around and give a rest. Like how users prefer products and services with good reviews and ratings, readers prioritize books that score great grades, meaning sensational positive reviews. We have some solid suggestions on how to get book reviews for your book.
Now, if you are an established author with an established fan base that can drop reviews on request, this blog isn’t for you. This blog is for those who are self-publishing a book, entering the shark tank for the first time and are without oodles of fan followings.
Let’s hear them.
Start Gathering Reviews As Early As Possible
You want to start getting reviews even before your book is published to the masses. Ideally, this process must be set into motion 3 – 4 months before your publishing date. You will want your reviews to be in place by then and allow reviewers enough time to write them.
One of the best ways to pitch for reviews to popular reviewers is by tracking down comparative titles. Comparative titles are books that are similar to yours or share the same readers. They act as a great reference point or compass, guiding the reviewers in the right direction.
Determine and Find Your Reviewers
The first thing you should ask yourself is, ‘who is going to review my book?’. You must contact only reviewers who take an interest in reviewing books in your genre.
Goodreads review group is a good place to start looking for potential people. In this group, authors can expect honest reviews. It is a public group, and anyone can join.
You can also join Goodreads Authors & Reviewers group, a place where authors help each other by writing and publishing reviews. The group also has a lot of other fun things going on.
Goodreads is owned by Amazon, and they rate their reviewers based on various criteria. You can check their top reviewer list to look for your book’s critics. Read their reviews on books similar to yours. Go through their websites and review guidelines before sending your email pitch.
Alternatively, you can visit the book pages of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online retail bookstores and see who has reviewed comparative titles. Connect with them to check they are open to offers.
Search for book critiques on social networking sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook and start contacting them. You can also pursue Library Thing and StoryOrigin for building an email list, finding reviewers, and generating more leads, apart from these popular book review sites:
- Love Books Groups
- Kindle Book Reviews
- Affair de Coeur
- Crime Fiction Lover
- Fantasy Book Critic
- Compulsive Reader
Local newspapers, weekly magazines, company newsletters, and bookstores are also good information sources for finding local reviewers.
Please read our blog on how to write a book with good grammar. You don’t want to lose points here, now, do you?
Create A Review Process or a Special Link Where Reviewers Can Drop Reviews
A common mistake many authors make is not setting a review process or creating a special link for reviewers. They just send the link to their book, making the reviewer tread their own way to the review page. It can be overwhelming for someone who’s reviewing several books simultaneously. Because of this many reviewers and readers don’t revert.
Suggestion: Create a special link on Amazon or your author’s website, which you can send to your readers/ reviewers requesting a review. All they have to do is click the link, type the review, and submit.
Include a Book Review CTA in Your Book
A book review is a very important thing for authors, but readers may not understand this completely. However, adding a book review ask in your book gives you a solid chance to increase your reviews and the rate.
You might need a little coaxing and offer some kind of incentive to motivate your reader for an honest review. The following tactics may work for a positive outcome:
- Tell the importance of a review and how your readers can help you as an author.
- Remind your reader of the amount of hard work, emotions, and research behind creating the book. By reviewing your book, they would acknowledge and appreciate your efforts.
- Tell your readers that you would read each review and thank them personally if they share it on their social media channels. To humanize this process, you can add a picture of yourself with your family next to the CTA or author’s note.
Build a Giveaway Contest – It Could be a Killer Tactic if Done Right
People love giveaways, and your readers will love them even more if you have something nice to offer. There are two ways to do this:
- Send a personalized email blast to your readers and followers with clear instructions on how to enter the giveaway. Let them know that you are looking for only genuine reviews. With an emailing system, you can track the number of clicks.
- Create a social media contest post and boost it to reach more readers.
Either way, remember to add a monetary incentive or a gift. Discounts on the next book, freebies like T-shirts, mugs, pens, etc., signed copies, and gift vouchers of your favorite brands are great giveaway prize options.
Few Things to Remember…
Pitch it Perfectly: Don’t forget to use the right pitch. Pitching must be straightforward: personalize it as much as possible, keep it short, be humble, show the reviewer that you appreciate their time and effort, and follow their review rules.
Things to Include in Your Email Pitch: Book title, date of release, publishing company name, genre, cover copy, and a brief description of the book. If you are searching for a book designer at the best price, check out Writat’s self-publishing standalone services. Writat’s designer can create a scintillating book cover design and convert your manuscript into a print-ready ebook file.
Send Your Pitch to Individual Reviewers If Possible. Customize your email pitch for each individual, if possible. Mention why you chose them, what you like about their reviews, and why you think they are the right people to review your book.
While we have written this blog with new writers and self-publishing authors in mind, it is also applicable to the pro players.