Reviews sell books. The more you have, the more credibility you will have with your potential buyers. Author-published books usually don’t attract reviews by major book magazines or newspapers such as The New York Times.
However, there are ways to get book reviews, especially if you are creative. Through social networks such as Twitter, Google+, Chime.in or Facebook, you can request book reviews. Here are some popular book reviewers on Twitter: MediaBistro and Scribd
Check the sidebar, links or blogroll on each site you visit, as they may have links to other reviewer’s blogs. You may check their ranking on Alexa which indicates their traffic – the lower the Alexa number, the better.
Don’t forget book networking sites such as Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, Wattpad etc. Especially the many communities on these sites, often by book genre. This way you can meet and be known by book reviewers, before you even pitch your book to them.
Ask local newspapers and publications to review your book. While it is difficult to get a book review by a major publication or newspaper, your local newspaper might be interested in local authors.
OK, you did your homework, a list of websites run by bloggers who might be writers or readers and who like the genre of our book. But how to approach them and request a review?
Writing a review is time consuming and requires reading the book first, so it is actually requesting a big favor from a complete stranger. The prospective reviewer has no incentive in investing time and effort in a review. The least a writer can do is to show the prospective reviewer respect:
- Most sites publishing reviews have a procedure for receiving requests. Abide by the blogger’s requirements and show respect for the reviewers time.
- Find a way to convert the book into the format, most convenient for the reviewer.
- Send an email with a query first. You are competing with other books so be professional. Don’t be pushy as reviewers are doing you a favor reading your book.
- Send customized requests to your prospective reviewers: A reviewer receiving a request that looks like mass mailing has no incentive to review your book.
- You certainly have to offer a free copy of the book, reviewers will not fork out the money to buy your book and invest time in reading and reviewing it.
- Not all books are for all people. The reviewers opinion is required and that includes the risk that the review will be scathing, if that is the reviewer’s opinion.
Be courteous, professional, thank them for their review and reciprocate the favor, making sure you credit the reviewer and provide them with publicity in return for their book review. Write more reviews and you will get more reviews for your books! So, when did you write your last book review?