Why do you need book reviews?
A book review is a simple and effective means to increase sales. If the marketing strategies you implemented have done its duty to attract your desired audience, you can seal the deal with your book reviews.
Just like you, your readers simply won’t read a book on a whim. When your potential readers are browsing for books to read, they scan reviews to help them reach a decision. Reviews play a vital role in the readers’ decision making process. After all, you read reviews because they can spare you from the agony of an awful read. So, never underestimate reviews, even if it’s written by a random stranger from the internet. They can be great motivators. Reviews pull readers in. Without a doubt, you need reviews to convince readers to read your book.
Where can you get reviews?
- Influential book reviewers
Goodreads and Amazon rank their top performing reviewers. They aren’t only voracious readers; they are credible reviewers. These top reviewers have a huge following, probably larger than yours, which is exactly why you need to target them. A number of their followers probably treat their word as law. Once you get reviews from these influential people, you can expect to gain more reviews from their followers.
- Groups or book clubs
A perk of being in a book club is having a number of people to help you out. Your book can even be the ‘book of the month’. Be willing to discuss your book with your circle. Don’t be afraid about being criticized, it will help you improve. Moreover, don’t be afraid to ask them to review your book.
If you aren’t a member of a book club, you can join online forums. Again, you can always join popular sites such as Goodreads and Amazon. But, you can opt to explore new grounds. There are several forums that will help you with your publishing endeavors. People involved in these forums are the ones who share your love of books and writing. There’s a great chance you can get the bulk of your reviews from these book communities.
Here are a couple of websites you can check out:
- Online Book Club is a forum for book reviewers and writers.
- Book and Reader is another online community for book worms.
- Story Cartel offers its members free books in exchange for honest reviews.
- The Indie View has a lot of indie reviewers.
- Your email list
The people who deliberately subscribe to your newsletter, follow you for a reason. They admire your work. They respect you as a writer. Again, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask people to review your work. So, do try to get your subscribers to review your book.
- Social Media
Make a Facebook fan page for your book. It is a great opportunity to grow your readership. It’s a convenient way to interact with your audience. Plus, if you allow it, your fans can easily leave reviews whenever they feel like it. When your audience has finished reading your book, they would most likely want to brag about it in social media. So, make it easier for them to find you. You can take advantage of the #hashtag. It makes it easier for you to compile the latest reviews about your book.
- Book Bloggers
The internet isn’t running out of influential people. Aside from reviewers, you can try your luck with book bloggers. If you find the perfect blogger to review your book, you can gain a good following. You can check out Book Blogger Directory. They categorize book blogs according to genre. Find the genre of your book, browse the blogs listed, and look for bloggers who you think are willing to review your work.
What do you need to do to get reviews?
- Interact with your fellow book club members.
If you are a member of book communities, online or not, it’s important that you establish relationships with your co-members. It isn’t just about being a member of a particular club. These book clubs are well-aware of freeloaders. You can’t just join a club, promote your work, and get instant results. So, work hard on establishing relationships.
- Create an attention-grabbing blurb that reviewers can’t shoot down.
There are book reviewers and bloggers that will review your book for free. However, they won’t say YES to every book review request they get. So, write a blurb that will guarantee you a spot in their ‘to-review’ list. If you do it right, book reviewers and bloggers won’t think twice about reviewing your book.
Before you send a request, make sure you have read your reviewer’s conditions. Sometimes, reviewers are choosy. They only want to review books from certain genres. If you don’t want to waste your time and effort, be sure to read those conditions. Again, look for reviewers who are willing to review books from your genre.
- Give reviewers a free copy of your book.
You don’t need to pay people to review your book. Sometimes, all it takes is a free copy of your book. Offer them free copies! If you’re asking your email list to review your work, you can offer discounts, or you can offer your book for free for a limited time.
The internet provides a rich source of book reviewers. The bottom line is: getting book reviews is a matter of knowing where to find the right kind of potential reviewers, and a matter of effectively reaching them.