Guidance. The Business of Reviews.


Reviews on Amazon are currency. The more you get, the more people will take a chance and read your book. Here, you can engage in Review Building so you launch with currency.

Welcome to your Reviews Guidance and Resources Bar. Read our tips and info for completing the module below or click anywhere and proceed to the Reviews Module. Here's what the Reviews Module has in store do for you. ​

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Generate your Street Team.

Bring in all your Marketing Collateral.

Send Review Requests to reviewers and social media and log all reviews for your book.

Link to our Community for more Reviews Guidance and Resources

Activate your Reviews Task List and Scheduler.

Log any Costs incurred to complete the module

Ask a Reviews Pro for help.

There have never been more book reviewers available to the writer who decides to go indie.

Book reviewers are really important to your book marketing efforts. They're your Street Team and help to spread the message about your book by publishing a review to book retailers like Amazon or to their own networks.

Seeking reviews is an ongoing task for any book, whether before or after publishing. You can never have too many stars.

You just have to figure out how to get those book reviews to get you more readers.

Well, here goes.

Your email or post

As with most things in publishing, and in the wider world as a whole, personalisation is king. The email you send to a prospective review has to tell them that you've done your research and you're not here to waste anybody's time.

Research

For each reviewer, discover their favourite genres, what sort of books do they like? Also discover one or two recent reviews they've done. Are they overly harsh or are they fair? What sort of star-rating do they tend to give?

Once you have you basic reviewer profile ready, you will be structuring your email to mention their name, that you share the same genre preferences and that you are getting in touch because of their recent review of whichever book, which is kinda the same bag as your book.

That way, a reviewer knows you're not here to waste anybody's time.

You'd like to offer them a free ebook in exchange for a review, ideally on Amazon. Tell them your book launch date and ask them to post their review soon after that or that you're already published and so, post anytime.

Make your email attractive but not over the top. Not too many images. The email content is key.

And remember, reviewers do this for free, for the love of reading and growing their own reviewer stars. If it comes across as spam, they won't be interested or best pleased.

Email or post content

Structure a email template from the guidance here.

As we mentioned above, "Dear (First Name)...... It seems we share a love of (Specific Genres).... I noticed your review of (Book) and felt my forthcoming novel, (Your Book Name) would be of interest to you."

Add an Author bio and photo. This is a good place to show your qualifications, particularly if you’re a nonfiction author.

Add your book cover image and even generate a 3d book from one of countless sources online.

Add our book description from the blurb and headlines and anything you feel relevant from the press release or funding proposal and add a Synopsis.

Don't oversell it. They know what you need and they know they're free. Personalised, relevant and professional emails are the only way.

Collateral

Have your email content template to hand.

Have your reviewer details and preferences to hand.

Naturally, if a reviewer says, "Yes," you will need to have your ebook or manuscript (in .doc, .epub, .mobi or .pdf formats) ready to send to them. Some reviewers ask for a paperback but personally, I'd swerve the small percentage of them and save a couple of bucks every time you ask them for a review.

Have your author and book images to hand as jpegs.

Have your Author Bio to hand.

And you're all ready. Now where to get reviewers?

How to Find Reviewers

There are literally thousands of book bloggers online, and most of them review books even though they aren’t paid.

Nevertheless, many are thoughtful reviewers and good writers, and have a significant following.

There are also reviewers offering paid reviews. I avoid these, since there isn’t any good reason to pay for a review that I can think of.

Some review services offer free reviews and another level of service if you pay.

My opinion is that there are better ways to spend your money, and plenty of free reviewers, so at least when you start, explore those first.

Amazon

Remember, what you're looking for are folks who can post their reviews to Amazon. That's where it becomes currency.

Check out Amazon for other books similar to yours, and see who’s reviewed them. Otherwise access the list of all Amazon reviewers.

These folks are gold dust, as here they already reviewing on Amazon.

Look on these reviewers’ profiles to see if they’re open to review offers. If so, contact them. Most of them don't offer direct contact details on Amazon but you will get a Facebook or other social media page links so that's where you'll be building this list.

Post out to them on social media. And remember, you know your message is compelling.

Once you've generated a manageable list, keep it updated with any feedback such as genre changes or file requirements.

And once you've generated a sizeable sub list of reviewers who actually reviewed your book, you can chat to them about other things as well. Get opinions on topics relevant to their preferred genre, which is of course your book's genre.

And you can gain content for your social media posts in the bargain. Present it as an interview. Always look for new content.

Social Media

Search social media for book reviewers or better still amazon book reviewers. Apply to join their pages and then ask away.

Google

Turn to Google to find bloggers who review books similar to yours. Try various searches such as the name of your genre (e.g. YA, poetry, American history, vampire fiction) followed by one of these phrases: book blog, book blogger, book reviews, book review blog, book review blogger.

Try various combinations and think of some of your own, investigate the results, and you’re bound to come up with some good ones.

Other Resources

  • On LibraryThing, people catalog, review, and discuss books. The site also functions as a social networking site and is a great place for authors to connect with potential readers. There are lots of things you can do to get the word out about your book here. One of them is to find reviewers. LibraryThing reviewers can post their reviews on that site, but some often post their reviews elsewhere, such as Amazon.com and Goodreads.

  • Goodreads is similar to LibraryThing, but bigger. Only publishers can give away books for free there, but you can still find potential reviewers through their groups, some of which are dedicated to connecting authors with reviewers. (Use the group search box to find them.) Before posting review opportunities, be sure to check that the rules of the particular group allow it

  • The Bookbag. Publishes book reviews on their site, with links to the books on Amazon.

  • The Book Blogger List. A categorised directory of book reviewers, organised by genre, which makes it easy to locate potential reviewers for your book. Free.

  • Book Reviewer Yellow Pages. Offers an online directory of book reviewers. It’s free, but they also offer paid Kindle and paperback versions.

  • The Indie View has a great list of reviewers in a number of genres. They also spotlight reviews and authors.

Follow Up

So you’ve asked a lot of people and a lot of people have said, “Yes.” I imagine most of them have got things to do and you’re in the pecking order of things but you’ll have an idea of when the review is promised and you need to follow that up if it’s not provided.

Usually it’s a polite and logical dialogue but don’t get antsy about it and salvo them with emails. It might just so happen that the review you’ve been waiting for hasn’t got the stars you’d like. yes, they hold this power. Note it well. Politely remind them about it and mention any deadlines.

Once your review is in hand and posted to where it should be, thank the reviewer. It’s common courtesy, but it also shows you appreciate the time and effort someone else took to help bring your book to the attention of more people.

Give them a badge in your list equivalent to the stars they gave your book.

Conclusion

Nothing sells books as well as word of mouth, and you can get people talking about your book if you can bring it to their notice.

Book reviews will do that for you.

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