I recently had an author ask me about book reviews. My book First Frost came out in June 2012 and so far according to Goodreads.com:
1,546 people have added it to their to-read list.
So…how do I do it?
Reviewers and bloggers. That’s how. They are the bread and butter of indie authors. I’m going to talk a little bit about what I do and hopefully this will help you get some more reviewers reading your book.
1. Research. I start by looking at books that are similar to mine and I look at the reviews it has on goodreads. Some of those reviewers have links to their websites and blogsites on their page. Then I click on the link and check out their blog. I look at the types of books and what genres they like to read.
2. Policy. Almost every blogger has a review policy. Read it thoroughly. You don’t want to give anyone a reason to delete your email without a second thought. And also, if they’re not into a specific genre and you know your book is in the genre that he/she isn’t interested in reading, do yourself a favor and don’t submit your book. Nothing is going to change their mind. It’s like sending a nonfiction book to a reviewer that reads paranormal books. Stick to the policy.
3. Followers. I also look for how many followers this blogger has. Most of the time I’ll submit to a blogger/reviewer if he/she has 100 followers or more. Why? You want someone who has people constantly checking in on their site. You’ll have a higher chance of getting someone to purchase your book.
4. Be polite and professional. A lot of the reviewers I submit to are interested in Young Adult books and some of them are older (21-30 years old) and some of them might be younger (13-17 years old) and the younger group might even have their parents monitoring their email (which I agree with 100%) so you want to come across as a professional. Here’s a sample email that I’ll send to bloggers that don’t have a specific guideline in their review policy.
Dear Insert Bloggers Name Here(Another tip: Always find out what the bloggers name is, it lets them know that you actually did read their blog and that you are genuinely interested in them reading your book. Try to be personable, you know what I mean?)
5. Rank. On Goodreads, you’ll sometimes notice a little rank of sorts. Some of the reviewers on there are ranked by top users, best reviewers, librarians, readers, and more. Some of these are listed by country. I’ve found amazing reviewers that are from the US, UK, Netherlands, Canada and India.
6. Bloggers follow other bloggers. Sometimes instead of writing (it does happen) I’ll focus two or three hours just clicking on links on other bloggers site. I found about 30 links on one bloggers site last week. I found a WHOLE bunch of reviewers that were willing to read and review my book.
7. Always be nice. I cannot stress this enough. ALWAYS. BE. NICE. Just last week I submitted a book to a reviewer and I got a two star rating. It happens. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it SUCKED. But I’m not the type of person that will go around arguing with other people on the internet. But the reviewer remembered that I was nice (she even wrote it on her review, so for all I know I got an extra star just because of it). Anyway that’s the risk you take when you submit your book to be reviewed. Even when you follow the guidelines, and all the rules put into place that’s the risk. All you can do is hope that you get more good/positive reviews than negative ones.
8. Stay in touch. If you’re in this for the long haul (not just writing one book and then vanish in a puff of smoke) you’ll want to remember all the reviewers (if not all then at least most of them) that way you can submit your other books to them. Especially if you’re like me and you’re writing a series. It helps that you already know some reviewers that have read and enjoyed your past work. Even if it’s on twitter or facebook pop in and say ‘Hi’ every once in a while. Try to be sincere (people can smell a fake a mile away).
9.Thank you. When the reviewer has posted the review of your book (whether it’s positive or negative) stop by and leave a comment on their blog thanking them for taking the time to read and review your book. What they do takes up a lot of time and effort, they do it for free and for the love of books. It’s nice to know that they’re appreciated.
Anyway it would be great if I had another tip so it would make an even ten but this is all I have for now. I’ll also include a few links to some review sites to get you started. They’ve read and reviewed my book (so you know they have excellent taste in books). Good luck and may you receive many five star reviews!