Rave Book Reviews: How to Get Them and Keep Them Coming
A good book marketing campaign is important, but book reviews can be the difference between success and failure.
For your book to get attention, readers need to trust it, and for readers to trust it, they need to know others liked it. Book reviews give you cred — they tell readers your book is worth their time and money. Isn’t lots of profit something you have always wanted?
Luckily, getting reviews for your books is easy, and today, we have 4 amazing tips for you on how to get reviews for your book!
Have Book Bloggers Review Your Book
There are thousands of book bloggers online who will be happy to review your book. I know it sounds too good to be true, but it is true.
Many of these bloggers review books for free and some of them have very large followings. Most of them specialize in specific topics, genres, or niches.
You can find many of these reviewers in the following places:
- The Indie View has compiled a list of book bloggers from around the web. These bloggers are actively posting. Book reviews won’t cost you a dime. They accept ebooks of a wide range of genres, and aren’t affiliated with any publications.
- Feedstop lists a hundred book reviewer blogs. Many of them do book reviews free and they have large followings.
- BookSirens has a searchable database of book bloggers. You just search your genre and you will find blogs that review it. By far, it is the easiest service to use on this list.
How Do You Ask for Book Reviews?
Tip #1: Don’t send mass emails to book reviewers. These are easily overlooked and it tells your prospective reviewer that you didn’t take any time to assess if they are the right reviewer for you. It’s disrespectful.
Tip #2: Read their query guidelines carefully and follow them. This makes you look good and it makes their job easier.
Tip #3: Make your queries short and sweet. Tell them why they would want to read your book; for instance, maybe they have read a book similar to yours and they enjoyed it.
Reviewers are avid readers who are on the lookout for the next great read, so position your book that way.
Below is a perfect example of an author who has kept it short and informative.
The only thing they could have done differently would be explaining why the reviewer would enjoy their book. Something like: “I saw you enjoyed reading Divergent, my book is like Divergent with a Hunger Games slant to it.”
Tip #4: Send your book with your query to make things simpler for the reviewer. You are removing one more hurdle by doing this. Then offer to send them a physical copy if they would like.
Tip #5: After a week or two, follow up. You should be considerate when you do so because most of these reviewers are doing it as a hobby and they have other obligations in their lives. You are not entitled to anything.
Tip #6: Thank the reviewer in the end. It is the least you can do. Plus, you are likely to do business with them again when you write and publish your next book.
Encourage Readers to Leave a Review
Once your book is published and readers are checking it out, you should take that opportunity to ask for a review.
Remind Them to Leave a Review
You can do this by leaving a reminder at the end of your book.
Most authors leave a short reminder like this one:
It is short, sweet, and does not sound desperate.
Make It Easy to Leave a Review
While reminders are sure to give you more reviews, you can leave links below your reminder that lead them to various review pages like Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other platforms.
This way the customer does not have to do the tedious work of finding your book on any of these platforms.
The more clicks there are between a review page and your reader, the fewer reviews you may get as readers want the process of giving you reviews to be easy. In this game, small advantages matter so take yours wherever you can find them.
Like with the note above, here is one where the links to leaving reviews are included:
Show Some Personality
If someone has read your book, you may have more mental real estate with them than you think. Readers are often not cognizant of the hours, effort, and time that goes into writing a book. And they are often curious about who the author is.
Just spending time explaining your writing experience, sharing some quirky, personal, and interesting things about yourself, and talking about highlights in your writing (and/or researching) journey will go a long way.
Readers will make the effort to leave a review for someone they perceive as a flesh and blood human. Think of the last book you read. What are some questions you had about the author?
Anticipate those and provide such information in your author’s note.
Guide the Reader
Sometimes, readers are so overwhelmed by your brilliance that they don’t know how to express it. This is where you have to encourage a review.
This will get their gears turning and it will make their review more thoughtful, well-rounded, and attract ideal readers to your book.
Use Book Giveaways to Get Reviews
A book giveaway is an effective way to generate reviews. While you cannot give readers a book in exchange for a positive review, you can encourage them to leave an honest review when they are done.
Reasons Book Giveaways Are Effective:
1. Book giveaways increase your book’s visibility. They are often structured in a way that promotes the book.
For instance, participants can enter by tweeting your book to their followers under a hashtag, adding it to their Goodreads shelves, or you can use other promotional tactics.
2. Book giveaways are low risk. Readers don’t have to risk their money to take a chance on your book, making their decisions painless.
Readers will certainly get your book and they will certainly give it a try, which can be all you need.
Popular Book Giveaway Services
Goodreads offers the best giveaway service, but you will have to pay for it. It is a great service because it automates the process of monitoring and running a book giveaway. What makes it valuable is Goodreads’ diverse built-in audience.
Every time a Goodreads user enters a giveaway, their friends are notified of the giveaway, giving your book exposure to readers of similar tastes. And since Goodreads is largely a community of avid readers, your chances of getting your book reviewed are very high.
Goodreads is also home to “celebrity” reviewers who have vast audiences, book clubs, and influential reading lists.
Reading Deals is a book promotion service that connects your book with readers who are avid readers. Readers who pick your book have to agree to leave a review on Amazon in return.
It is paid service, and what you are paying for is their mailing list and distribution, not the reviews themselves.
NetGalley is a service for authors and publishers that connects readers to your book. Once you have contacted them and they bring you on, you will be able to upload your book on the platform where readers can read it in exchange for an honest review. It is also a paid service.
You should stay away from services that offer positive reviews for money.
Use Professional Book Review Services
Professional reviews give your book credibility. They are those reviews you see in the back cover (“…Insightful, powerful and moving!” - Kirkus). Now, these types of reviews feature prominently on book sites, book description pages, social media, and other promotional materials.
Readers are more likely to take a chance on a book with a professional review, especially if the institution reviewing the book is viewed as prestigious, objective, and well-curated.
For most of these sites, you can submit your book for free, but then the review process will take longer. For a fee, your book will be expedited, or your book will be reviewed by more than one professional reviewer, giving you multiple quality reviews.
Some sites are highly competitive but completely free.
Here are the best professional book reviewer sites:
It is perhaps the most popular, prestigious, and trusted of all on this list. They have been reviewing books for the nation’s top publishers since 1933, and they also accept work from indie authors. They offer paid professional reviews only.
It is only a decade old and it has carved a reputation for itself. The company has reviewed books for top publishers and self-published authors.
They also have review exchange programs and other exciting programs like book awards and book donations. They offer free reviews and paid reviews.
This is another juggernaut that provides high-quality professional reviewers to anyone: publishers and individual authors. The US Review of Books also offers promotional services.
Bottom Line: Getting Reviews Is as Easy as Pie
As you can see, there isn’t an excuse. Anyone can get reviews regardless of their budget. They just have to know where to look for them and how to leverage them in promotional ebook campaigns for more sales and more reviews.
You have many choices, and these include:
- reaching out to book reviewers
- asking readers for reviews
- launching a book giveaway
- submitting a book to professional reviewers.
Try them all and see which treats you best!