Editorial Reviews can be (should be) a HUGE part of your book promotion strategy, so along with getting Amazon reviews you should also steadily work at getting at least one or two (or dozens) editorial reviews.
Many new self-publishers don’t understand the difference between Amazon Reviews and Editorial Reviews so here is the difference …
These are the one to five star reviews you see under the book description. Keep scrolling down until you see Customer Reviews.
Verified Purchase means a customer has purchased the book on Amazon. If a book does NOT have a verified purchase notification it usually means the book was NOT purchased on Amazon … the reviewer could have “borrowed” the book purchase from another Amazon customer, or purchased the book from a bookstore, borrowed it from the library, or received it as a gift. Many ARC reviewers, especially from ARC services such as BookSirens will post their reviews on Amazon. “Verified purchase” will NOT appear.
Is a “verified purchase” notification important? Actually many buyers never notice. Some do notice and don’t care.
You will FIND editorial reviews in magazines and newspapers (paper and online editions), and on review blogs or specialty or affinity websites.
An editorial book review is “theoretically” an unbiased, reader-focused review of your book. You can start asking for reviews before your book is published using ARCs (Advance Review Copies) or at any time in your book’s life cycle. One of my favorite gardening books is over twenty years old, the author is deceased and just last summer I found a brand new review on a gardening website.
Main stream publishers spend mega-bucks and months getting editorial reviews, often focusing on “peer reviews” from well-known authors or influencers in the same niche. Well know authors and niche influencers often write blurbs or reviews as a favor for a friend or acquaintance or to get THEIR own names out there. Open the front of any main stream published book and you will often see the heading: Praise for ….
Some publishers have a full time staff who do nothing but solicit reviews or accolades or “praise.”
As a self-publisher, getting reviews is one of the most important jobs you have. It takes time and is probably the hardest work you will ever do as an author/publisher.
Editorial reviews can be “free” or paid for.
On the FREE end of the spectrum are the book bloggers, newspapers, magazines and some award sites. Many book bloggers write reviews for free because they love books and love expressing their opinions. They sometimes make a few cents (not kidding: 3 to 10 cents) with Amazon affiliate links.
Paid services range from inexpensive to mega-bucks.
- the 5 to 20+ hours it takes to READ the book.
- The 60 minutes or mega hours writing a well thought out review.
- actually PUBLISHING the review in a paper magazine, or a online publication or website/blog (that has to be paid for).
The process of getting editorial reviews takes time and effort and you should start working on them six or more months before hitting the publish button. Start as soon as your book is almost finished … it should have gone though at least one or two rounds of edits and proofs. You may still be making changes but you want to send out an almost done version, NOT something riddled with errors and typos.
Getting Editorial Reviews is WELL WORTH the effort. Who wouldn’t want a review in the New York Times Book Review Supplement helping to sell their book?
What Can You DO With An Editorial book review?
How Can An Editorial Review Help Sell Your Book?
Your number one purpose in getting editorial reviews is for MARKETING. You can use the reviews in many different ways:
- On your front or back book cover.
- Inside the front cover of your book.
- On your Amazon book page — add quotes or excerpts to the “editorial reviews” section of your book page via the Author Central control panel.
- Add quotes, excerpts or the full review in the “From the Publisher” section of your Amazon sales page.
- Publish the full review on your website and in your newsletter.
- Use quotes from the review on your sales banners, advertising material and social media accounts.
- Use quotes in your social media posts.
- Include Editorial Reviews in your pitches to OTHER book bloggers and reviewers. The more reviews you can show potential reviewers, the more reviews you will get.
How do you GET Editorial Reviews?
A lot of this will depend on YOUR status as an author. Is this your first book or your 50th book? Are you writing fiction or non-fiction? If you are writing non-fiction are you already well-known in your field? Do you already have an audience, website, newsletter and social media working for you?
If you are writing fiction .. what is your niche? There are magazines and websites for virtually any niche you can name, including some very narrow sub-niches.
What is your budget? The smaller your budget the MORE work you have to do. If you can send out a hundred print-on-demand Advance Copies to major influencers, it might make a difference. If you can only send out PDF or e-pub copies there still might be a cost involved, depending on HOW you plan on doing this. The easier you can make it for your recipient to get and read your book, the better.
Can you afford to purchase at least one or two Editorial Reviews to get the ball rolling?
When soliciting Editorial Reviews you AUDIENCE is … your potential reviewers. Your first job is to get very specific as to who you will approach and how you will approach them.
Create some way to track who, when and how you make your approaches. Excel works for many, Google’s free sheets program works the same way. Once you set up your system, keep meticulous track of what you do, when you do it, and the results.
There literally are THOUSANDS of places you can go to to get Editorial Reviews, you just have to be prepared to find potential review sites, approach them and send them a review worthy book!
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