In today’s crowded marketing place, book reviews matter. Reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, blogs, and book review sites can help increase your visibility online and create awareness for you and your book.
But if you don’t have the budget to hire a marketing or PR firm, how do you get reviews?
Hint: You have to ask for them!
Here are 5 simple ways to jump-start your book review campaign:
1. Insert a personal note in to any books you give away.
If you have time to handwrite each note, good for you! If not, no worries. Use a script font to type up and craft a note. Sign the note personally. Thank the reader for reading the book. Let them know you’d love to hear from them. Provide your email address. Ask them, if they enjoyed the book, to please leave a review at Amazon, Goodreads, and/or BN.com.
2. Include an “Ask” in your release announcement.
When your book becomes available, you will want to shout it from the rooftops. Or at least send an email out to friends, family, and colleagues. Let them know the book is available. Include a link to the book on Amazon. Ask them for feedback. Let them know that if they enjoyed the book you’d love to have them review it on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or BN.com.
3. Announce the release on social media—include an “Ask.”
When you reach out to your network on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, let readers know you want to hear from them! Provide an email address where they can contact you. Let them know that if they enjoyed the book you’d love to have them review it on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or BN.com.
4. Personally respond.
Be sure to respond to any feedback with a request for a review if someone tells you they enjoyed the book in an email, letter, online, or in person. Then thank them profusely! Ask if they would be willing to take the time to post a review of the book with their great feedback. Provide the link to the book on Amazon if you can to make it easy for them.
5. Close any engagement (interview, speech, book signing, or event) with an “Ask.”
Before you sign off on any type of promotional appearance, mention the book by title (interview or speech) and where it is available for sale. Tell your audience you would love to hear from them and provide contact information. Let them know that if they enjoyed the book, you’d love to have them post a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or BN.com.
All too often, authors think reviews will just happen. They assume that if someone enjoys a book, they will automatically review it on Amazon, Goodreads, or other sites. That’s just not the case. As an author, you are your biggest promoter and your biggest marketer. Once you finish the book, it’s time to start getting the word out and asking for reviews.
Book reviews do matter. Now go out and ask for them!
BETHANY BROWN is the President of The Cadence Group, a design, editorial, marketing and book coaching provider to the publishing industry. With a background in traditional publishing by way of Adams Media and Sourcebooks and close to a decade of working directly with authors and small presses, Bethany understands the challenges (and benefits!) facing self-publishers and indie presses today. She lives just outside of Chicago with her husband Steve and her dog Popeye.
About City Book Review
City Book Review is the publisher of San Francisco Book Review, Seattle Book Review, Manhattan Book Review, and Kids’ BookBuzz. Since 2008, we’ve been helping readers find their next favorite book. We’re proud to be deeply involved with the indie writers community. We are one of the few national book review magazines to review and promote self-published books. We also work with publicists from around the world to bring you the latest books. To round out our services, we also offer authors and publicists assistance with promoting their books through book review videos, book cover design, blogger outreach, social media marketing, and press releases. If you’re interested in getting your book reviewed by us, please see our How to Get Your Book Reviewed page.