Encouraging people to publish and share reviews of your book is a key book-marketing activity, possibly the single most important of marketing task for a publisher. ALLi's latest Quick & Easy Guidebook focusses on how to get your first 50 book reviews (available for sale on the ALLi bookshop or free to members in the Member Zone: log in –>go to Advice –>Quick & Easy Guides).
Reviews provide the social proof that is the bedrock of the purchasing-decision process for today’s consumer. Think about your own behaviour: ready to book a trip? You’ll check out online reviews of the location and specific hotels or restaurants. Looking for a new car? You’ll check to see if anyone has reported suspicious repair problems or to see which car dealership has the best customer service.
These days we all turn to reviews to help us decide whether it is worth our time and money to try something new. And we’re suspicious if we go to make a purchase and cannot find reviews. It’s the same with books.
There are many ways to get your book reviewed.
How To Get Your First 50 Book Reviews: The Guidebook
Our Quick & Easy Guide to getting reviews is based on the experience of ALLi members and on ALLi's Ethical Author policy. We offer this guidance to current best practices, but we are not in the business of telling authors what to do.One of the best things about being an indie author (and an indie authors’ association!) is the breadth of personal choice available. Of course, that’s what makes it challenging too.
There’s not a single, best way to do anything, including getting reviews for your book, and it can take some time to work out where you stand on reviews and reviewers.
We believe you should try and test, experiment and explore. Don't simply believe what others tell you and examine your own untested assumptions too.
Then do what is right for you.
How To Get Your First 50 Book Reviews: The Different Review Outlets
There are many different kinds of book reviews and publications, each one having evolved separately from one another for different purposes and different kinds of audiences.
1. Reviews in mass media
2. Reviews in book trade publications
3. Reviews by book bloggers
4. Reviews by readers given an advance copy for review
5. Online customer reviews
6. Paid editorial reviews.
Reviews in Mass Media
Mass media reviews in newspapers and magazines were traditionally the only way to let people know about books and are still highly influential, especially the Review sections of major publications like the New York Times, The Guardian, for example. Also influential are radio and TV book review and interview programs, like the Oprah or Richard and Judy book clubs.
Reviews in Book Trade Publications
People connected with the publishing industry read book trade publications. Publishers, agents, booksellers, librarians, marketing agencies, and book reviewers all read publications and associated websites like Publishers Weekly, Foreword Reviews, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal, among others.
Reviews by Book Bloggers
Book bloggers are avid readers who have developed often significant online followers. They can be very influential in creating fan buzz about books.
Reader Reviews from Advance Review Copy (ARC)
You’ll see this shortened to “ARCs,” which describes the process of providing a copy of your book, prior to publishing, to a select group of readers with a request that they write a review once you publish. ARCs are also
Online Customer Reviews
Customer reviews appear on a book’s sales page on online retailers. Readers who have purchased a book, or who might have received advance copies of the book, write online customer reviews. Reviews on sites such as Amazon, Goodreads, and Audible can be very influential. A reader can, on the spur of the moment, choose to buy or not to buy a book based on online customer reviews.
There are many good reasons why online book reviews have become front of mind:
• Research indicates they influence readers’ decisions to buy.
• They are public and perpetual: posted for all the world to see and they don’t go away (unless the online retailer decides to remove them.)
• They are relatively accessible and democratic—anyone with an account for a particular online retail store, or with their own blog, may post a review.
• More online reviews equals greater visibility within online stores and on search engines.
Paid Editorial Reviews
Authors, both indie and traditional, can pay for editorial reviews. The good editorial review services provide objective reviews. Among the reputable fee-for-review services are: Foreword Clarion Reviews, BlueInk, Kirkus Indie Reviews, and Publishers Weekly's BookLife.
As with every other aspect of publishing (and indeed of life) there are disreputable review services out there.
For more on this, connect with ALLi Watchdog Desk.How To Get Your First 50 Book Reviews: A Quick & Easy Guide for Indie Authors #indieauthor #selfpublishing #IARTG #ASMRG #writingcommunity Click To Tweet
OVER TO YOU
What tips and tricks do you use to get reviews? Have you ever done a review drive and employed tip top tactics? Let us know.