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How to Get Book Reviews – Lots of them

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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.

There are organizations you can access through the internet which conduct book reviews, for sample:
http://thebestreviews.com
http://www.bookwire.com/bookwire/bookwire.html

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?

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Hyper Smash

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With a Little Help From Your Friends…Part 2

Reviews, Tags, Highlights, “Listmania Listing”, “Like Button” all help to boost up books in Amazons popularity list. Take two books with identical sales numbers: the one which has been promoted with these features is much higher in the ranks and will definitely sell better in the future.  But your friends can do more, just ask them:
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Book Extras
Book Extras are community edited database which includes series information, character descriptions, important places, memorable quotes and more. The content is added, edited and maintained by both, Amazon customers and the Shelfari.com community.  Shelfari is a community-powered encyclopedia for book lovers. Create a virtual bookshelf, discover new books, connect with friends and learn more about your favorite books – all for free.

Use Social Media
If you are involved with Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or Facebook, you can mention your favorite authors when they release new books. If they blog, you can follow their site (through Google Reader or other RSS readers) and share the link when they post something that may be interesting for others. On Twitter, you can “follow” and re-tweet their links now and then.  If you like to be social about books, you can join sites such as Goodreads, Shelfari, or LibraryThing. You can help your favorite authors by posting reviews and talking about their books on those sites.

Promoting on Your Blog
Do you ever talk about books or what you’re reading on your blog? You might consider reviewing your favorite authors on your site (you could even make a few dollars if you sign up as an Amazon affiliate). You can also add an “author blog roll” list in your menu with links to their sites.

Good old-fashioned word of mouth
Tell every one of your friends and family about your favorite author and his/her books, or mention it in your emails with a link to their site or to Amazon.

Help with “blurbs”
These days, most authors have websites and contact forms so you can get in touch. If you enjoyed their work, consider sending them a short note to let them know. It does not only make their day, but it can help them sell more books, if you allow them to use your words in their “praise” section.

A little promotional help now and then is greatly appreciated. And if you are a writer yourself, let your readers, friends and family know how they can support you on your book seller’s websites, copy and paste this list and send it to them or send them a link.

Part of this list are Lindsay Buroker’s ideas.

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Hyper Smash

 

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How Do People Discover New Books And Authors?


Last month I put together a brief survey to find out how people discover new books and authors. One of the biggest challenges new authors are facing, is getting the word out about their work, regardless of whether they are self-published or going with a traditional publisher.  Increasingly, authors have to do a significant amount of legwork in terms of promotion as marketing and advertising budgets are widely slashed.

However, most self-published authors don’t have a particularly detailed understanding of their market. Either they haven’t thought to find out, or simply don’t know where to start. It’s understandable – we didn’t get into writing in order to become expert marketers – but it is something that we just have to get to grips with.  So I thought I’d start my own journey towards understanding by asking people where they find out about new books and authors.

Question 1: What genres of fiction do you enjoy reading?
The most popular genres were Science Fiction and Fantasy; the least popular were Western, Chick Lit, Romance, and Horror.

Question 2: Where do you find about new books and new authors?
The second question asked people to rate how frequently they found new books or authors via different methods. There’s bad news for self-publishers here: The most popular ways to find new authors remains word of mouth, browsing in a bricks and mortar bookshop, browsing in an online bookshop and newspaper reviews.

Now, my sample size was quite small, just 238 responses. But it echoes Verso Digital’s 2011Survey of Book-Buying Behavior, released last month, which polled 2,200 respondents. Verso Digital found that most of their respondents found new books through personal recommendation (49.2%), bookstore staff recommendations (30.8%), advertising (24.4%, and a source I forgot to add in), search engines (21.6% and ditto). 11.8% found new books through social networks and 12.1% via blogs. Book reviews accounted for 18.9%.

There are a lot more interesting nuggets in the report, so it’s well worth a flick through the slides. Conclusions: Personal recommendation most important for self-publishers

The results of this survey are a bit of a mixed bag for self-publishers. For most of us it’s impossible to get our books into prominent positions in bookshops either offline or on, and even harder to get newspaper reviews. The places where it’s easy for us to gain access, such as GoodReads, Twitter, LibraryThing, Facebook and on our own blog simply aren’t that influential. It’s disappointing, because these are places where authors can be very proactive.

So what are we left with? Both my graph and the Verso Digital figures show that self-published authors should focus on encouraging people to make personal recommendations for their work, as that is still the most important way that people find new authors and books. Simply telling your friends that you recently read a book and loved it appears to be the single most important thing one can do to help an author along.

By SUW, re-blogged, first published 24/02/2012
from http://chocolateandvodka.com/2012/02/24/how-do-people-discover-new-books-and-authors/

My Comment:
Roughly 12% social network, 12% blog and 16% Online algorithm 
recommendation makes up for over 40% of all books sales, which should convince to invest time into these marketing strategies as they are totally free, just the author’s time investment.  Plus: over 65% of avid readers are purchasing their books online.
The Verso Digital Survey also shows where former Border customers went: mostly to online retail stores, such as Amazon or Barnes&Noble.  
Amazon makes it easy to send emails to your friends, acquaintances and family about recently purchased books with their form on their checkout page. Ask everyone who buys your book to fill out this window and send it to someone who might purchase your book too.

 

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