You can’t even give a book away for free without at least one review.
Here are seven different ways to get reviews. Some of them are fast, some of them are very effective, all of them work. Most of them are free, if you don’t count the hours you will put into it, and others require an investment.
Unfortunately none of them are easy, except maybe for your Mom and then again THAT one might be the most difficult! Thank goodness asking your Mom isn’t on our list.
This is a round-up of the seven ways to get reviews. It is a synopsis of what needs to be done. Each of the links take you to a post with MORE information along with the how-to details.
When you first get started, it’s a good idea to try out each review generating technique. Over time you will find your favorites and return to them with each new book.
I’ve also included links to some do’s and don’t s because following the “asking” protocols could make a HUGE difference in your results.
Here goes …
NOTE: This article will be in transition for the next month. I am adding several new ways of getting reviews and am revising some of the links that no longer work.
Seven Ways To Get Book Reviews
Join A Book Exchange Service
Book exchange services can either be informal and based on “trust” or they can be a formalized service that helps you get reviews without having to search for exchange partners. Here is one service I tested that can help you get reviews REALLY FAST. There is a 10-day free trial period.
How To Get More Book Reviews: Amazon Reviewers
Amazon has lists of their top 1000 reviewers, top 500 reviewers, top 50 reviewers, top 10 reviewers and VINE voice reviewers. You used to be able to access these people directly. Not any more. The thing is, you don’t NEED a Top 100 reviewer, all you need to find is reviews who love the type of book YOU are writing.
Here is information about a program that will help you find people who love to write Amazon reviews.
NOTE: This is NOT free … but do check it out regardless. IF you have the budget and/or if you can team up with one or more other authors, this method of finding reviewers could really work out well for you!
How To Get More Book Reviews: Purchase Reviews
I have my ears covered and am hiding under my desk. Many of you are morally outraged. It is against Amazon rules isn’t it? Yes … and NO! Keep reading, because reviews are being purchased every day. Not only are these reviews legitimate according to Amazon’s rules, but they are being used by many (if not all) of the main-stream publishers and by many top Kindle authors.
Goes without saying … you NEED a budget. But, you might be surprised that even a small budget can take you a long way.
The next review snagging tips take some advanced planning. From a week or two … to months. Delaying the publication date of your book can pay off in reviews coming in quickly and “relatively” quickly. Being in too much of a hurry to hit the publish button can have a lasting negative impact. No matter WHERE you are in your publishing cycle get your email list started NOW and then get started on your website!
Your Author Website:
Your Website or Author Blog is your MOST important marketing resource.
You NEED an author website. If you don’t have one … start building today!
You should be building your website or author blog with two things in mind:
The first is to build your email list.
The second is to engage your followers.
Start promoting your book two to three months in advance. Let your followers know the new book is coming and …ask for both beta readers and critique partners.
How To Get More Book Reviews: Author Groups
Author groups or “circles” are small to large gatherings of “like minded individuals,” including in-person and on-line author help groups, readers groups, small support groups, beta readers, critique partners and marketing masterminds.
You need to start setting up your own support groups (beta readers and critique partners) as soon as you can. These are the people who will help you create a fabulous book. They may also join your book promotion team and write reviews for you.
Here’s even MORE information on creating groups:
How To Get More Book Reviews: Social Media
One of the purposes of having set up your social media channels is to promote your book. This includes getting reviews.
Whether you are engaged on ONE channel or a dozen, that is your choice and depends on your communication preferences and time constraints. Channels could include: a Facebook Personal Profile or Facebook Fan Page, Twitter account(s), Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram and many others.
Whether your book launch is two weeks away or six months away, you have to start building your social media followers NOW. HERE’S HOW …
How To Get More Book Reviews: Facebook Groups
IF you are already on Facebook, this is an easy add on for you.
There are hundreds of Facebook Groups specifically for telling people about your new book. Many of these groups include the word “review” or “reviews” in their title because their purpose is to help members get reviews for their newly published books.
Some of the Facebook Groups have tens-of-thousands of members, others have small membership numbers along with restricted access. The surprising thing is that a small, active and involved group can be as good as groups with thousands of members. You should join both.
How To Get More Book Reviews: Reviewer Blogs
Book reviewers and bloggers can not only give you great reviews but can introduce you to their audience — sometimes a very LARGE audience!
There are literally thousands of bloggers who either occasionally review or mention books, or who review books by the boat load. Getting a mention on a popular website such as the Huffington Post or on Darren Rowse’s Digital Photography School could catapult your book sales over the moon.
The BIG SECRET here is doing your research, finding out what blogs/websites are appropriate for your book and then contacting the site owners and letting them know about your book.
Here’s How and here is The Book Reviewers Directory, a database of review bloggers.
OK that’s it. Seven tested methods to get reviews. There is nothing magical about any of them … if you put in the work (and it IS work), and if you are patient and polite, you will get reviews. If you are in a real hurry … go for the paid reviews. If you are planning well ahead of time, get your website and email list working for you.
And talk about asking Mom.
IF her last name is different than yours and you don’t share, lend or gift back and forth … give it a try. But why NOT ask friends and associates? Many authors are too shy and hesitant, BUT there are ways to go about it that won’t embarrass you TOO much or that will embarrass you, but will get your self-publishing business off to a good start!
Asking for Book Reviews
Self-publishing a book and then successfully SELLING it, is made up of two essential components: your book package and your marketing plan. Both of these need to be in place before you publish.
Your book package includes your book, as well as everything that comes along with your book, like an author bio and your category selections.
Your marketing plan is a monthly, weekly and daily action plan … in detail. Getting reviews is one of the most important components of that plan.
Here are details on what you need in your book package and how to set up a marketing plan.
How To Ask Bloggers For A Review — The RIGHT Way!
Guest Editor, Kasey Giard has posted over 500 reviews on her blog, The Story Sanctuary and has rejected many review requests for good reason! Take a look at some of the review requests she has rejected and then make notes on the best ways to make YOUR approach.
Still want MORE information on getting reviews?
Get Dr. Gary Webb’s Book: Book Reviews That Sell: Discover the Secrets of Getting a Boatload of Great Reviews