How to get your book reviewed
So you’ve finished your book, have it published on Amazon and can now sit back and expect the reviews to come flooding in right? Wrong! While the hard work of penning your book has been completed the hard work of getting people to read it has only just begun.
As a top Amazon reviewer I get asked to review a lot of books and I became curious as to how authors might go about getting valuable feedback and reviews. Below are some suggestions, compiled after discussion with new authors, as to how you can get your book read and reviewed. If you’ve further suggestions please leave them in the comments section below so others viewing this page can benefit from your experience.
How to get top Amazon reviewer to Review your book
You might have noticed on Amazon that people leaving reviews are ranked. Writing your first review will likely see you number 90,0000+, Amazon has a lot of people leaving a lot of reviews. Customers that produce good reviews considered helpful by other shoppers (who click ‘Yes’ to the ‘Was this review helpful’ question) increase in reviewer ranking.
Getting a high ranking customer to review your book is beneficial as you know they produce helpful reviews. More importantly top reviewers are objective and they have a badge indicating they are a top reviewer. This is something to keep in mind, if you get objective reviews you might not like the feedback they give. Be prepared to graciously accept negative feedback and don’t presume you’re entitled to positive feedback just because you’ve given away your book.
How can you contact top reviewers?
Well if you’re reading this page after finding this site on Amazon you can probably skip this section!
Remember that you will be looking at the list of reviewers for your local Amazon, not worldwide. While I’m a top Amazon reviewer on amazon.co.uk, I don’t feature as a top reviewer on amazon.com. Keep this in mind as it means you could potentially ask the top Amazon reviewers in different countries to read and review your work.
Clicking on the reviewer will bring up the reviewers page, for example my page:
This shows you what has been reviewed, a bit about the reviewer and is how you can find contact details. Anyone interested in reviewing will have indicated some way to contact them on this page.
Requesting an Amazon review
Once you’ve discovered how to contact reviewers it’s time to actually say hi. Check out the profiles and see if the reviewers have a track record of reading and reviewing similar literature.
Obviously each reviewer is different and so a little research will go a long way as you can identify suitable reviewers/discount those who are not your target market. This also gives you something to say to the reviewer when making contact, so you might mention other books they liked which are similar to yours. Reviewers will be looking for different things, but some general advice for your request:
[list_item]Keep it short, but informative – You don’t need to write an essay about your work, but it’s nice to be told a little about the book. Think of this as a covering letter for a job, it’s your first impression and if it’s a copy/paste job it can be fairly obvious and off putting.[/list_item]
[list_item]Pop a link to your Amazon product page – Nice to check out the official listing.[/list_item]
[list_item]Be prepared for a long wait – Top reviewers are offered all sorts of items to review. Books, especially ebooks, cost nothing to send out and so we’re offer a lot of them. They also take up a lot more time to review and so are not as interesting an offer as a physical product.[/list_item]
[list_item]Be OK with giving away your book – Sounds obvious, but those new to this sometimes think reviewers will be happy to spend money on the book they’re being asked to review. If you’re serious about getting reviews be prepared to give away your work. Offer to send a copy when making first contact.[/list_item]
Like applying for your first job, it’s likely you’ll need to contact a lot of reviewers before getting any replies. Certainly you won’t be the only person making contact if they’re in the top 50 reviewers. Assuming you find someone willing to review your book, send over a copy and then continue looking for other reviewers. Don’t expect a review to appear the next day, depending on the length of book, other products being reviewed, and life in general, it can sometimes take a while to get round to reading and reviewing books.
However, what if you want to just get your book read? What then?
I discovered this site while discussing methods authors use to obtain reviews with an author who recently contacted me asking for a review. His thoughts were:
[quote style=’1′ cite=” title=”]“Basically, Storycartel offers a ebook for free for a limited time, in return for reviews. I don’t know exactly how the site tracks who downloaded the book and whether or not they did actually review the book, but I was successful in getting a review out of the system. Storycartel also helps the author set up a give way as incentive for reviewers to actually review the book.”[/quote]
– Boyd Jamison, author of I plagiarized this Book from Myself
Investigating the website further I found it to be very slick, it’s a simple idea that has been brilliantly executed. The advantage of this site is that they have built up a user base eager and willing to read new material and potentially provide written reviews. However, as with Amazon reviewers, you’ll be competing with others looking to push their work out.
Similar to Amazon reviewers, bloggers can offer an objective review available to their readers. This was a method employed by another author I’m in touch with who described his approach as:
[quote style=’1′ cite=” title=”]“I search for prominent bloggers who review steampunk/sci-fi and contact them asking them for a review. I offer it free as selling isn’t as important as generating word of mouth.”[/quote]
– Lee Parry, author of Tell no Tales.
As well as searching for bloggers you should search out discussion forums and social groups on sites such as Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn that may contain members prepared to read and review your work.
So be patient, be prepared to write a lot of emails and don’t be disappointed if you don’t immediately get lots of reviews.
Good luck, if you have any further tips please leave them in the comments section below.
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