29
Apr
2015
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How to Get More Reviews and Blurbs For Your Book Without Even Trying

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.

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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. - T. Grahl

Tim Grahl Author
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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
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For what it’s worth, here’s the secret—work your butt off and put in a lot of time. - G. Giammatteo

Giacomo Giammatteo Writer
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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 Giammatteo
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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. - M. Michalowicz

Mike Michalowicz Author
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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! - K. McCoach

Katie McCoach Editor at KM Editorial, LLC.
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Find book bloggers who ‘fit’ with your genre best and have a large readership...

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+...

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. - J. Gunson

Jonathan Gunson Writer and illustrator

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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
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All it takes is a well-written and edited book, patience, research skills, and elbow grease...

Keep reviewers’ contact info in a list alphabetized by blog name, with room for updates. - C. Nolfi

Christine Nolfi Author
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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.

Chrinstine Nolfi
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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). - B. Jud

Brian Jud Book marketer
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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

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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. - K. Grabas

Kimberley Grabas Author
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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
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If you have your own small press, join the Independent Book Publisher’s Association...

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. - S. Johnson

Shelli Johnson Writer, editor, and journalist
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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

R.J. Adams Book Marketing Tools
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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. - M. Gallaway

Matthew Gallaway Editor and writer

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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. - P. Sansevieri

Penny C. Sansevieri CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
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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. - K. Christensen

Kate Christensen Novelist
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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. - D. Enck

Denise Enck Founder and editor of Empty Mirror
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Never offer payment for a review. All an honest reviewer will accept is the book itself. Don’t offer a bribe!

After a review is published, don’t comment on the review.

Amazon has a “Meet Our Authors” forum where you can introduce yourself, and also ask for reviews.

Denise Enck
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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. - K. Brosky

Ken Brosky YA author

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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? - S. Beckwith

Sandra Beckwith BuildBookBuzz
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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
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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. - S. D. Rogers

Stephen D. Rogers Writer
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Tracking people down is easier than ever.

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. - D. Jacob

Dianne Jacob Award-winning author and editor

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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. - M. Duran

Mike Duran Writer
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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.

Be gracious and thankful for the blurbs you receive, and if you haven’t received any yet, “Keep asking. Keep knocking. And keep seeking.

Mike Duran
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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. - L. Cullen

Lisa Cullen Author and former TIME staff writer

What’s your technique in getting reviews? Let us know in the comments section below.

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