Your book is a 60,000-word art collective. But before readers can even prove its majesty, there’s this 2-liner influx of superlatives styled to catapult your piece into greater heights. If it isn’t enough to be judged by the cover, it’s also judged by the reviews and blurbs at the back of the book or in the face of your Amazon page.
Months to years spent finishing your work will be summed up into a promotional comment, and it should do you justice because these words that you didn’t even write will be the first ones read by your readers. But they will hold on to that thought because the flashy name beside the comment asks them to believe you. And without it, let’s just hope they’re keen enough to look past the cover.
Unless you’re already a bestseller, you won’t get reviews by secluding yourself in a dungeon. We don’t want to beg or bribe either, so for the sake of the fine art of trade, here are authors on the p’s and q’s of harboring reviews in a classy way.
It’s OK to ask people to help you. The person on the other end is a grownup — they can say “No” if they need to. – @timgrahl
One week before your book launches, send an email to everyone on your ARC Reviewer list, reminding them of both your publication date and their commitment to leave a review.
The night before your book launch, schedule an email to go out to your ARC Reviewer MailChimp list at 6:00 am Eastern Time the following morning. – Tim Grahl @timgrahl, HOW TO LAUNCH YOUR BOOK WITH AT LEAST 25+ AMAZON REVIEWS
Giveaways—What was huge about it wasn’t the number of reviews the giveaways generated—which wasn’t nearly what I anticipated—but the additional exposure, especially on Goodreads. – Giacomo (Jim) Giammatteo @murdertakestime, How To Get Book Reviews
Simply go to your existing product page for your own product on Amazon. Then scroll to the section that says “Customer Also Bought Items By” and the section “Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed.” Click on each reviewer to get details on the person. Make contact. Repeat forever. – Mike Michalowicz @MikeMichalowicz, How To Get Endless Amazon Reviews For Your Book or Product
Besides putting snippets of the review on your website and the book description on Amazon, you can also acknowledge the review by voting it as helpful. I’ll let you in on a little secret here – Amazon moves the “most helpful” reviews to the top of the list. Mark them helpful! And then watch those reviews rise to the top! – Katie McCoach @KatieMcCoach, Quick Tip to Boost Your Best Book Reviews on Amazon.com
Find book bloggers who ‘fit’ with your genre best and have a large readership – @JonathanGunson
If you’re on Twitter, engage with them and cast opinion, and of course discuss the intrigue of genre – even argue the point if you don’t entirely agree. The same applies to Facebook and G+. – @JonathanGunson
There’s no point in artificially attempting to ‘be their friend’. Instead, being yourself and conversing about the subject intelligently because you genuinely like it is the path. – @JonathanGunson
Over 90% of your readers will be perfectly happy to talk about your book. So let them do exactly that; let them talk about it while you record or take notes, and then transcribe it for them – as a review. Once typed, send it back to them with an exact link to your book’s Amazon review page so they can upload it. Remind them to check the review to be sure it genuinely portrays their opinion, and edit it for ‘personality’ if they’d like to. – Jonathan Gunson @JonathanGunson, How To Get More Amazon Book Reviews
All it takes is a well-written and edited book, patience, research skills, and elbow grease. – @christinenolfi
Keep reviewers’ contact info in a list alphabetized by blog name, with room for updates. – @christinenolfi
I prepare an overall letter template, then personalize each email query with the reviewer and blog’s name. If your book is a finalist or has won an award or contest, mention the accolades early in your pitch. Keep in mind that reviewers are increasingly buried in requests; your pitch must be succinct. – Christine Nolfi @christinenolfi, How to Get Your Book Reviewed
The key is to make it as easy as possible for them to reply. Your request should include a cover letter, a copy of your book and a self-addressed-stamped envelope (SASE). – Brian Jud @bookmarketing, Use Celebrity Blurbs to Build Your Book Sales
Getting a good endorsement or testimonial can take time, but if you do not hear back from them in two or three weeks send a follow-up letter or email. – Brian Jud @bookmarketing, Use Celebrity Blurbs to Build Your Book Sales
Start early. Start now, before your book’s release. It takes time to build the relationships and contacts you’ll need to get the quality and quantity of reviews that will make an impact on your sales. – Kimberley Grabas @KimberleyGrabas, How to Get Reviews For Your Book (Without Begging, Bribing or Resorting to Subterfuge)
Ensure all your outreach and communication efforts are funnelled back to your author blog/website, and encourage these visitors to join your email list. Offer an ARC (advance reading copy) to those on your list who agree to review your book before its official release, ask for beta readers, or if your book is already out, just offer a free copy for a review. – Kimberley Grabas @KimberleyGrabas, How to Get Reviews For Your Book (Without Begging, Bribing or Resorting to Subterfuge)
Not only will you join a network of other small publishers banding together to help each other but you’ll also give yourself an edge with some review sites (Midwest Book Review & Foreword Magazine for starters) who will automatically bump your book closer to the top of the review pile. – Shelli Johnson @Shelli_Johnson, Ten Crucial Tips To Help You Get Your Book Reviewed
The space at the back of a book is valuable. If someone makes it to the back of the book, chances are they liked it. So, you might as well take advantage of this opportunity to reach people who probably liked your book let them know that reviews are hard to get. – R.J. Adams @bkmkting, Six Ways to Get More Book Reviews
The last thing the world needs is another asshole critic, and if the time comes when you’re asking around for blurbs, trust me, you’ll regret being that asshole. – Matthew Gallaway @matthewgallaway, Six Writers Tell All About Covers and Blurbs
In order to get reviews, you might need to become a reviewer. Reviewing other people’s books (who write about similar topics to you) is not only a great thing to do for your industry but a great way to network. – Penny C. Sansevieri @Bookgal, The Secrets to Getting More Book Reviews (Even if Your Book Is Already Out)
Don’t take it personally. That’s the best advice for a writer, the key to an even-keel sanity with regard to the whole business—don’t take anything personally. – Kate Christensen @aquavita, Six Writers Tell All About Covers and Blurbs
Tell the reviewer who you are, how you found them, a little bit about your book, when it will be published. Tell them that if they’re interested, you’d be glad to send them a copy. Specify what format the book will be in. Thank them for their time and consideration, and say that you look forward to hearing from them. Then sign it, with your full name. – Denise Enck @DEnck360, 10 places to find reviewers for your self-published book
Never offer payment for a review. All an honest reviewer will accept is the book itself. Don’t offer a bribe! – @DEnck360
Amazon has a “Meet Our Authors” forum where you can introduce yourself, and also ask for reviews. – Denise Enck @DEnck360, 10 places to find reviewers for your self-published book
Next up, head on over to Reader Views, which allows you to send a copy of your book for free. Be patient. Give them time. Cherish them. And while you’re waiting, go on Amazon.com and buy a few of your fellow authors’ books. Support each other. Read. It will make you a better writer. And it’ll make us all a little richer. – Ken Brosky, How To Get Book Reviews Without Spending (Too Much) Money
If a celebrity has a connection to your topic and can help you sell books, then go ahead and ask. What’s the worse that can happen? – @sandrabeckwith
Ask for an in-person or virtual introduction. Don’t even think of leveraging the introduction to request a favor immediately, though. Be generous with your time and information before ever expecting anything in return. – Sandra Beckwith @sandrabeckwith, 3 Things You Can Do Today To Get Amazing Blurbs Tomorrow
“A key to finding reviewers is to network. Join online groups where reviewers may mingle and gently promote your book as it finds a publisher and then nears publication date.” – Stephen D. Rogers @StephenDRogers, How to Get Your Book Reviewed
Tracking people down is easier than ever. – @diannej
These days everyone who’s known (and you want that kind of person) has a website, a Twitter feed, or a Facebook page. They want to be found. – Dianne Jacob @diannej, 5 Tips on How to Get Big Name Book Endorsements
When you ask an author for an endorsement, you are potentially putting them in a place to feel like a schmuck. Respect that. They probably don’t like saying “no” to you. You’re not the only one whose career, reputation, and time is in the balance here. – @cerebralgrump
When said author says they can’t blurb you, write them back and thank them for considering. Don’t go sulking into the shadows. Don’t hang up and leave static. – @cerebralgrump
I do the asking. Me. Not my editor or my publicist or my agent. Because it’s my damn book. No one will represent it better. And you know what? It’s easy to say no to a rep. Not so easy to slap a no on the face of a hopeful new writer and crush her dreams forever. And yet I must— Brace myself for No. Because it’s coming, my friend. When you get the No, swallow hard and accept. Or… Ask again. – Lisa Cullen @LisaCullen, How to ask a famous author for a blurb
What’s your technique in getting reviews? Let us know in the comments section below.