Soliciting reviews for your book can be a daunting task so it’s important for authors to always be thinking about ways to get more book reviews. Reviews immediately add credibility to your book, communicating to potential customers that it is a worthy read. They also improve your book’s ranking when consumers are searching on Amazon, which is another reason to stay committed to getting as many reviews as possible. The more reviews you have, the more activity you will see surrounding your book. The more activity the more Amazon’s analytics will begin to shine a light on your book.
Ask Your Existing Readers or Followers- Until your book is being reviewed without effort, it’s the author’s responsibility to get book reviews proactively. If you have a fan base already this is a place to go for reviews. But if you are a first-time indie author, you will need to create a strategy that approaches everyone for a review. You should continue this strategy until you have 25+ reviews and or consistent sales and reviews are happening organically.
If you are focusing on Amazon as your primary online seller, this strategy needs to be implemented following the guidelines spelled out on the Amazon website. Authors should not be afraid of less than flattering reviews and use any feedback to become a better writer. Having readers write an honest review will allow others to view your book as ‘real.’ If you have all five stars on 20 reviews and a customer buys, reads and does not enjoy the book or feels the reviews were not honest, they will be more inclined to write a harsh review.
Approach the Book Blogger Community- Book bloggers are a valuable resource for authors to connect with for reviews. Many of these bloggers have a growing audience that is always looking for recommended books. If you find the right bloggers, who fail in love with your writing they can have a positive effect in helping to grow your audience. Book bloggers can also be potential business partners, who may have other connections and resources that can help you promote your book. Keep in mind these book bloggers are also looking for ways to expand their audience, so be generous with your time and support their blog to your followers. Here is a list of top blog review companies.
Connect with Alumni, Colleagues, Friends, People You Know- Approach people from your past and present who would be interested in reviewing your book. Holding a launch party at work and connecting with alumni through social media could add a dozen reviews to your book. Be careful not to carry emotion to this request. You don’t want to lose friends who choose not to review your book. Work the numbers knowing that you will need to ask a lot of people to get a few reviews.
Contact Amazon’s Top Reviewers- The top reviewers for Amazon can be an excellent source for book getting reviews especially if you can tap into book influencers. But this strategy takes a lot of time, patience and is very competitive with other authors. These book reviewers are approached by thousands of authors many of whom have not done the proper research to have a successful experience. This is one strategy worth considering as most authors will get discouraged at the effort necessary to be successful with these reviewers. For more information on how to get started on this strategy check out my blog article titled Why Authors Should Focus on Book Reviews.
Host Short Term Promotional Activity-Using promotional companies who have a large following is a strategy that should be looked at for a set period and can be very effective. By increasing the number of readers, you will increase the chances for reader reviews. There is no shortage of companies ready to help you run a paid promotion. Do your homework to find the ones that aligns with your goals, genre, and readers.
NOTE: Try to avoid giving your book away or selling it at a low price for an extended period. Even though this seems to be growing in popularity, resist the temptation to follow this trend. Most consumers associate free with poorly written or cheap. More importantly, authors should be able to figure out ways to achieve their goals without de-valuing their work. Read more about this topic on my blog article titled 4 Reasons Why Free Books Hurt Authors and be creative.
Ask for Reviews at the End of Your Book- This strategy is one that is overlooked by a lot of authors but requires little effort. In the back of your physical book add a blurb encouraging readers to write an honest review. On your eBook version, add a live hyperlink at the end of the book which will take readers directly to the book page on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other online resellers. As you sell more books, you will automatically be asking more readers for reviews by having these requests at the end of your book.
Swap Reviews with Other Authors- Getting reviews from other author is a controversial strategy. Some people feel that this process automatically creates a bias review. However, others think that authors can be more critical of other writers. Many review swap groups on social media can help jump-start your review process. Just make sure it’s a honest process where authors are truly reading and writing an honest review.
Knowing that reviews can make or break a book, use your moral compass and common sense. Understand the guidelines for capturing reviews and realize that any strategy worthwhile takes persistence, creativity, and hard work. Successful authors will tell you that reaching your goals takes time. It can also involve spending more money than you planned to and the enduring an emotional roller-coaster ride.
It’s best to have a marketing plan when you are working on your book. Understanding what is involved and having a goal in mind will help you create a roadmap for success. Find a professional who understands your needs and has the experience to help you succeed.
Rick Lite of Stress Free Book Marketing, stands at the forefront of the ever-changing book industry. He is a seasoned book marketing professional with over 13 years of experience in the industry. Rick’s expertise comes from tirelessly working on new and innovative ways to market his own books and CDs with his company and parent company, Stress Free Kids. Embracing the core values of integrity, innovation, and growth, Rick works closely with authors to create custom, robust book marketing programs. His easy-going manner provides “stress-free” support and comfort to authors going through the book marketing process for the first time. Rick is quick to share his knowledge and “insider tips” for a successful marketing campaign that will lead to increased exposure, awareness and most importantly, sales.