Five Ways to Get Book Reviews

LitPick Book Reviews Five Ways to Get Book Reviews

I don’t think that it is disputable that book reviews are important for you to spread the word about your title.  Yes, positive reviews can help with sales, and negative reviews (as much as we hate them) …well, they can help too by providing insight into what your readers want and how your writing does or does not connect with them.   Getting reviews from your target audience is particularly important since although a positive adult review of a book for 8 – 12-year-olds is always welcome, a twelve-year-old reviewer who says your book was the best book they read in a long time and she can’t wait for your next title, will echo with you for years, not to mention what it will do for your credibility and sales.

No matter what other authors tell you or what you read in articles, getting reviews is not easy.  Here are just some thoughts from our experience:

1.     Begging on the street or in front of libraries for readers to read your book and give you a review is not just bad for your brand but is a waste of time.  On the other hand, book talks and giveaways can be a great place to ask people for reviews.  School and local librarians may also be interested in recommending your title to help you get reviews.  Even local book clubs may be interested in a Meet the Author night where you can engage readers for reviews.

2.     Reaching out to book bloggers or YouTubers can be frustrating because many of them are overwhelmed with books to read.  This media form of book review just seems to spew out noise online and create more confusion about what to read.  Besides there are book bloggers and YouTubers who are not the exact image you may want to promote your title.  Just saying...    Although we do encourage you to at least try to connect with an online influencer who best reflects your image and genre.  Never say never.

3.     Looking for potential reviewers on sites like Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, and Bookshop.org which post book reviews on titles like yours is a great way to target reviewers interested in your work.  Typically, you should reach out and offer the reviewers you identify on these sites a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

4.     Look for book websites with reviewers.  Sometimes for a small fee, these sites will post your book on their site and then alert their reviewers that your title is available for review…at the reviewer’s choice.  So, you are not actually paying for a review but for the opportunity to get your book in front of reviewers.  These sites are also a great way to find reviewers in your target audience who will give you honest and powerful reviews.

5.     You can pay for an editorial review such as from sites like Kirkus.  These sites are costly but provide reviews from professional and experienced reviewers which you can upload to sites like Amazon.com as editorial reviews.  Editorial reviews offer a certain gravitas which customer reviews lack.  They are also usually more focused on the specifics of a book’s style, character development, plot, and theme.

Good luck getting reviews for your titles.  Remember, “Every author begins unknown.”  No matter how frustrating at times it can be to get people to read and review your work, persevere. You need to put your title in front of readers to get discovered.  And after all, writing becomes even more fun and enjoyable when we hear from others who love our work.



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John Raynar audiobook recording specialist LitPick Book Reviews