How To Get Book Reviews
Book reviews are important, no two ways about it. But they’re very hard to get. It’s ironic that you hear mutterings on various grudging forums and websites about authors getting their family and friends to write them hundreds of rave reviews. My own experience, and that of several other authors I know, is that these are the last people you are likely to get to write a book review for you! If they even read your book you’re doing well! Families and chums love and support you endlessly but somehow they don’t always find time to help you in your authoring career.
So you can discount the rigged reviews theory pretty much totally. It may occasionally happen, but it’s rare. You need to reach out to enthusiastic readers for reviews. But how?
Luckily there are a lot of book bloggers out there who are always on the lookout for material to review for their sites. In return for a free electronic copy of your book, they’ll review it. Of course, you don’t know what they’re going to say but unless your book is extremely controversial or very badly produced then there’s no reason for it to be trashed. Generally reviewers look for the positive. I know I do. But, as they say, any publicity is good publicity, which is true to a point. Even if someone damns your book, there’ll be people out there whose curiosity will be piqued and they’ll take a look for themselves.
So, track down some book bloggers. Use that as a search term.
Other book sites prefer giving author interviews or hosting guest posts from authors. My own www.booksarecool.com is one of these, although I do a lot of reviewing too. Email me at Contact Page if you’d liked to appear on it.
An excellent free book reviewing site is www.readersfavorite.com. You send in your book in pdf format. There’s a big team of reviewers and your book should be reviewed within 3 months. If you want a quicker review, there’s a selection of paid reviewing packages you can select from. There are other reviewing sites out there, some free, some quite expensive. Surf the web and see what you find and think carefully about what you’re prepared to spend. Personally I would recommend exhausting the free reviewing options first.
Virtual book tours are worth thinking about too. They’re a combination of reviews and publicity. Your book goes on a tour of various book-related websites. You can either organize one of these yourself using contacts you have or go to a virtual book tour organizer. These groups have a stable of dependable book reviewers and book bloggers who will willingly write about you and your book. Again, do a search with that term. This is a paid service but charges are usually fairly reasonable. You’ll usually be asked to provide a photo of yourself and some biographical details, and most likely put up a few prizes for some sort of competition to encourage reader participation.
Other places to find reviewers is through Twitter. There is a chance that people will happily accept a copy of your book but not produce a review in return, either through apathy, malice or forgetfulness, but it’s worth a shot. Don’t dish out too many freebies at a time. See what sort of return rate you get first.
Use Facebook, Goodreads or your blog to ask for reviewers to approach you. And you can always try your family and friends - just don’t hold your breath!