Happy Tuesday folks. It’s election results day here in the US, but to keep you distracted until the nerve-wracking results come in, I’ve got a great guest post for you!
In this article, I talk about why getting reviews on Amazon should be your first book marketing priority.
While organic reviews will come slowly but surely, I believe that it’s an indie author’s job to help readers to understand the importance of reviews – and encourage them to write them. It is your responsibility to actively solicit them in an ethical way.
But reviews on Amazon.com and other similar retail sites aren’t the only kind of review you can get for your books. Other kinds of review can work well to get the word out about your book, and to convince other readers that your book is worth reading. Social proof is a very powerful thing – just think about the restaurants you have visited or films you have seen based on a friend’s recommendation!
In this guest post, Dana Lynn Smith, author of How to get Your Book Reviewed, shares 7 ways to get your books reviewed. If you learn something new, why not leave a comment?
7 Ways to Get Your Book Reviewed
by Dana Lynn Smith
Book reviews are a powerful way to get your book noticed by potential customers and persuade them to buy. The words “book review” often conjure up images of reviews in major media like Publishers Weekly or The New York Times, but there are actually a variety of ways to get book reviews throughout the life cycle of a book. Here are some examples:
Endorsements are recommendations solicited from subject experts, authors, celebrities and other well-known people prior to publication, and they are often used on the book cover and interior and in promotional materials.
2. Critical Reviews
Traditional critical reviews appear in media such as book review journals, newspapers, literary magazines and other publications. These reviews may include a brief overview of the book and discuss what the reviewer liked (or didn’t like) about the book.
3. Customer Reviews and Testimonials
Often people who enjoy reading a particular book will post a review or a brief testimonial (recommendation) on sites like Amazon, Goodreads or Facebook, or even write a note to the author.
A customer review is a little longer than a testimonial and focuses more on the content of the book, rather than just recommending it. Tip: be sure to encourage customers to provide testimonials and reviews and make it easy for them.
4. Book Blogs
Thousands of blogs post book reviews on a regular basis. Book bloggers range from individuals who post reviews of the books that they read, to larger sites that accept review copies and have multiple reviewers. Most book blogs focus on fiction or books for children and young adults. Research book review blogs to determine the type of books featured, the estimated size of the audience, and the submission requirements.
5. Topical Blogs and Specialty Media
Opportunities abound for reviews of nonfiction books in blogs and publications that are geared to the topic of the book or aimed at the book’s target audience. In addition to seeking book reviews, nonfiction authors can also offer to provide articles for blogs and publications.
6. Virtual Book Tours
Book blogs, topical blogs, podcasts and online radio shows are potential hosts for virtual book tours, where authors visit a different site each day promoting their book.
On a virtual book tour it’s a good idea to vary the content, asking some of the tour hosts to do a book review, while providing others with guest posts, interviews, or videos. You can also do book giveaways on some or all of the tour stops.
7. Other Book Review Sources
Keep an eye out for other opportunities to get reviews and testimonials. For example, you can offer review copies on reader networks like Goodreads and LibraryThing. Always ask people who send you a nice note about your book if they would be willing to post their comments on sites like Amazon or Goodreads.
It’s best to begin seeking reviews prior to publication, but there are still plenty of opportunities for books that have been out for a while. Put together a plan to harness the power of book reviews to sell more books!
To learn more about using reviews to sell more copies of your book, see How to Get Your Book Reviewed, by Dana Lynn Smith and learn how to do your own virtual book tour in her Virtual Book Tour Magic guidebook. Get more book marketing tips on The Savvy Book Marketer blog.
Laura Pepper Wu is the co-founder of 30 Day Books: a book studio. She has worked with a variety of authors to successfully promote their books, including many Amazon best-sellers. Laura is the author of wedding non-fiction guides and book marketing guides 77 Ways to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book and Fire Up Amazon!
Laura also runs Ladies Who Critique, a critique-partner finding site. When she's not working at the studio, you can find her walking her dog, "yoga-ing" or at a coffee shop in Seattle.