Resources for Writers
Effective Methods for Getting Your Book Reviewed
If you’re an author looking to sell a lot of copies of your book to a U.S. audience, you’ll need to find various methods to get the word out about it.
One of the best ways to promote your book is to have it reviewed by publications and reader websites. Connecting with readers in an engaging way, whether by direct, one-on-one communication or through a secondary source, is paramount to successfully urging them to grab a copy of your published work.
Here are some effective techniques for getting your book reviewed.
Start with Your Readers
Chances are you already have people who have read your book, even if it’s just a few of them. Start with your existing readers and ask them if they would be willing to write an objective, honest review of your book and post it to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and to your website.
Most readers are more than happy to provide feedback on your book. They’ve already read it, and people are usually honored when an author sincerely wants to know their opinion. Remember to ask their permission before you use their review, and be sure to credit them whenever you republish it.
If you have established, loyal readers who publish regular blogs, approach them about running a guest post written by you about your newest book release. Within your guest blog post, offer a set number of review copies and solicit volunteers who will read and review your book. Visitors to the blog will likely jump at that chance to grab a free copy of your book in exchange for an objective assessment of your work.
Be sure to set a timeline for receipt of the review and ask if they will also publish their review of your book to their own websites, blogs, journals, or other sites they utilize. The more people you get to spread the word about your book through various means, the more review coverage you’ll get.
Use Social Media Platforms
If you want your book reviewed, usually all you have to do is ask if people are willing to help you out. This is where your social media platforms come into play. Post on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and other social media sites to find readers willing to read review your book.
Offer a free copy of the book, and be sure to emphasize that the review must be an objective one — no positive reviews simply because they are getting a free copy. Note a deadline for all reviews to ensure people get the book and actually review it, and mention that some reviews may be posted on your blog or website — with the reviewer’s name mentioned as well.
Don’t Forget About Vloggers
Finally, many people are using vlogs, or video logs, as an enhanced way to socialize and connect with others as well as to impart information. Take advantage of this trend in social media by asking high-profile vloggers if they will read and review your book on their vlog.
When targeting potential vlogger reviewers, choose people who speak to the demographic of readers you’re looking for. For example, if you write a book about business marketing, you’ll want to focus your efforts on vloggers who stick with business- and marketing-related topics for their daily or weekly vlogs. If you’ve penned a book about vegetarianism, it does no good to promote it on a vlog that’s dedicated to the joys of eating meat. Be smart about the demographic you’re targeting for book reviews.
Query Book Review Sites
Last but not least, there are plenty of book review sites on the Internet, but not every review site is effective in reaching a large number of readers or tapping into the reader demographic you most want to attract. While you can send queries to smaller book review sites or publications, concentrate the majority of your effort on the larger, more influential review sites and publications out there. When you contact them, be sure to offer an author interview or Q & A chat session as a bonus for their readers.
Here are some links to the more prominent websites that may agree to review your book. These sites are highly ranked at Blog Rank and consistently attract a large number of potential book readers.
Books on the Knob is a UK-based book blog that features reviews of all book genres, although horror is not featured often. There is an emphasis on daily book deals or bargain books.
The Book Smugglers is also a high-ranking review site, specializing in both Young Adult and Science Fiction novels. They not only post reviews, but also feature book-related giveaways.
Bookslut is a popular review site for bibliophiles of all stripes. In addition to having a review section, they also run author interviews, regular columns, and publish blog posts on the site.
Books on the Nightstand is a book review site with a twist – the book reviews covered are handled via regular podcasts. These podcasts are broadcast weekly and hosted by Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman. Both are employed by Random House, however, their book review podcasts are not in any way associated with their employer. They will discuss and review books released by any publisher.
While the above-listed sites are only a sample of what’s out there, this will get you started in the right direction. Ultimately, what you’re looking for is extended audience reach so you can get information about your book to as many potential readers as possible. Widespread promotion of your book is essential, so the more popular the review website, the more expansive your reach.
Send out at least ten queries each week specifically targeted to these book review sites. Remember that new or beginning book review sites are often looking to get a foothold and are anxious to connect with authors so they can provide their site visitors with plenty of book reviews to read on a regular basis. However, you should put most of your time and effort into hitting the popular, well-regarded sites with the most visitors to get the biggest bang for your efforts.
(c) Bev Sninchak
Bev Sninchak is a veteran freelance writer and multi-published book author with 16 years of experience producing content for online and print publications. She writes about many subjects, from Steve Wynn to mastering the latest social media strategies. She lives with her husband, kids, and a menagerie of pets in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado.