Your publisher will likely submit your book for review to some people and magazines. Just because they do doesn’t mean everyone will review it. It also doesn’t mean every review posted will be a positive one. That’s the nature of book reviews.
So why bother?
Because people notice. Maybe some people read online reviews. Maybe they don’t. But most people notice whether a book has 0, 15, or 400 book reviews. And that tells a potential reader something right away. It tells them whether or not people are reading the book.
Book reviews are essential to a book’s online success, especially on Amazon.com. Why? Because the more book reviews and sales a book receives on Amazon, the more Amazon recommends the book to other Amazon shoppers. Thus the more exposure and opportunity for sales.
When you log on to your Amazon shopper account, products are on display. These are products Amazon thinks you might like based on what you’ve looked at and purchased in the past. It’s an electronic word of mouth, and it really does work.
I buy copies of my books at my author discount and am always willing to give a book away if someone will agree to review it on Amazon and www.ChristianBook.com. How do I find these people?
-I ask all my influencers and follow up with them about it.
-I ask on email loops for organizations I’m a member of.
-If I get a raving letter of praise from a fan, I may ask them to post a review.
-I have emailed the top reviewers on Amazon.com and asked them if they were interested.
-When someone approaches me and asks, I almost always say yes.
-When someone asks to interview me online, I usually ask if they’d be willing to do a review.
-I ask a few special friends and family—who do not have my last name.
Another way to find potential reviewers is to search for books that are similar to yours and see who reviewed them. You can email the reviewer through Amazon and ask them to review your book. Here is how such an email might look:
Dear Ms. Book Reviewer (Use their name and double check the spelling!),
I recently contracted my book, Ordinary Planets, with Jim Editor at Our Best
Press. If you would be interested in reviewing it, I’ll gladly send you a complimentary
copy if you’ll respond with your address. Should you prefer a .pdf copy, please send
me your email. There is no obligation of course.
I also include a small one-paragraph blurb about the book to help the reviewer decide.
You can also search online for book review blogs. If you find a blog you like, check the Google Page Rank or at least scroll through and see if people are commenting. This is a good way to know if anyone is actually reading the blog. There isn’t much point in having someone review a book if no one will ever see their review. So I always request that a blogger also post the review on Amazon.com as well.
Keep in mind, books you send out for review are gifts. People might not post a review. There is no obligation. It’s a risk you take. Always be kind and polite. I keep a spreadsheet of everyone I’ve given a free book to. I mark down if they post and where. This has really helped me build a list of reliable reviewers for my future books.