Friday, June 14, 2013
How to Acquire Book Reviews
Last week, when I posted the links to sites that list reviewers, several people commented that they were afraid to ask book bloggers and others to review their books. Don’t be! That’s what those people do - they review books. If your book is in a genre that person reads, don’t be afraid to ask if they would review it. The worst they can say is no. (And at that point, you say next!)
If you’re a self-published author, you are the one who must contact reviewers, either before or after your book’s release. Even if you are traditionally published, you can assist your publisher by finding potential reviewers.
Here are the steps:
1 - Browse through the lists looking for potential reviewers -
Book Review Blogs
The Indie Review
2 - Find the ones who review your genre. Copy the web address, email/contact, and submission guidelines. Take note of the reviewer’s name. (Very important!)
3 - Note the time frame for reviews. How long will it take? Also note when they want to receive the book - before or after the release. (Review copy/ARC or finished product?) And where do they post those reviews besides their site?
4 - If you are self-published, note if they take self-published books. Also note if they take Ebooks or require print.
5 - If it is a website, browse their previous reviews. If it is a blog, in addition to checking out the reviews, follow that blog. Start leaving comments. In the blogging world, it’s all about relationships, so forge one with bloggers who could potentially review your book.
6 - Once you have your list and you’re familiar with the sites and/or built a relationship, contact the site about a review. Follow the submission guidelines exactly! Each reviewer is different, so don’t send out blanket reviews. Personalize and individualize.
A sample message/email:
I’ve been following your site for a while now and have enjoyed your reviews.
Would you be interested in reviewing my book?
Links to purchase and to Goodreads
Thank you for your consideration,
You can also list any awards or a really good review from a major reviewer or author.
Do NOT send attachments, such as cover art or an Ebook, unless the reviewer requests it!
7 - Wait for a response. If there is no response within a week, the answer is quite likely no. If they request the book, be sure you get a mailing address for print books or send the correct format for Ebooks.
8 - If you are coordinating a blog tour or need the book reviewed by a certain time, be sure both of you understand and confirm dates. Book bloggers are often open to being part of a blog tour (if given enough time to read the book) or doing a giveaway, so discuss those options.
9 - Be patient and employ good people skills! If there is no set date or blog tour, the person will review it on his or her own schedule. There is also a chance that person may never review it. And there’s a chance that it might be a poor review. Either way, thank the person for the review and refrain from arguing if you disagree with the review.
Pre-publication reviewers, book bloggers, authors, etc. who review books understand that their review can be used for promotional purposes. Unless they state otherwise, permission is not needed.
Reviews can be shortened to blurbs and placed on the back of the book, inside the book, on your website, on a sell sheet or bookmark, etc. and used to help promote your book. Full reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. will give your book credibility and boost future sales.
It’s never too late to gather reviews! Even after a book’s release you can continue soliciting reviewers. And with Ebooks, it doesn’t cost you a thing.
Now, who’s ready to get some reviews?