Our latest blog series is exploring unique ways to promote your self-published book. How can you go above and beyond the traditional marketing methods? One unique way to promote your book and boost your sales is to get as many book reviews as you can. Book reviews and book sales are mutually beneficial for traditional and self-published writers: the more reviews you get, the more likely other readers will purchase your book and those readers in return will review the book. And on and on the cycle continues.This blog will discuss how to get book reviews and why they’re so beneficial for self-published authors.
First, you need to get the ball rolling and find readers to review your book. Reviews can be on sites like Goodreads or Amazon, or they can be written for publications, such as newspapers, magazines, or literary journals. A good book review on any of these sites can make the difference between a potential reader seeing your book and actually buying that book.
Why are Book Reviews Important?
Nowadays, most people buy stuff online: clothes, home goods, and especially books. Part of buying something online (where you can’t see, touch, or inspect the product itself) is gleaning information from customer reviews and testimonies. Buyers want to be sure that what they’re buying is a quality product, that it won’t fall apart or disappoint them somehow.
This why accruing book reviews is crucial for self-publishers to sell their books. Well-known, established writers rely on book reviews, so too should self-publishers with a limited fan base. When potential readers see that other people enjoyed your book enough to review it, it’ll show them that this is a book worth purchasing.
How to Get Book Reviews for Self-Published Books
In order to get book reviews, people need to read your book. There are multiple ways you can get those first, precious book reviews.
How to get book reviews (when you haven’t sold any books yet):
- ARCs (or, advanced reader copies): Advanced reader copies, also known as ARCs, are preliminary runs of soon-to-be published books for the sole purpose of reviews. Publishers will send ARCs to websites, magazines, newspapers, and other authors. This way, when the book is released, reviews and blurbs can be published soon thereafter. Self-publishers can also produce ARCs. DiggyPOD makes it easy to print small runs of books to send out for reviews.
- Peer reviews: Perhaps the easiest way to get book reviews is to have your friends, family, and writing colleagues review the book. They can do this on Goodreads, Amazon, or other online marketplaces.
- Book review sites: A third option is to send copies of your book (physical or digital) to sites that review books for a cost.
Any of these options will do three things: get the word out, show readers that your book is being read, and show them that it’s worth reading. You can’t guarantee a good review, but if you’ve written a book you’re proud of you can, at least, hope for it.
Sending Your Book to Book Reviewers
If you’d rather not pay for a site to review your book, you can query book reviewers to write one for free. This option requires some work, but depending on the reviewer’s impact, sales could increase considerably.
Getting book reviews depends on how hard you work to get them—how strongly you believe your book deserves them. You’ll want to start by writing query letters. Check the reviewer’s specific requirements before sending your cover letter to them. Be sure to explain what your book is about, what makes it different, and what makes it special. Include information about yourself as well, that way they get to know you a little bit.
Once the letter is sent, be patient. Reviewers get a lot of requests, and pestering them will only lessen your chances of getting reviewed. Allow them to take their time. If they choose to review your book, send them both a PDF copy and a physical copy. Then, be sure to share the review on all your social platforms. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished!
How to Get Book Reviews After Your Book is Published
Even once your book is published and the preliminary reviews have been released, you should maintain the goal of getting more and more book reviews. These reviews will continue to promote your book and boost your sales.Book reviews act as free advertisements for your self-published book. They’re a really unique way to market your book, so why not take advantage of them?
If you use social media, you can easily post links to reviews and images of reader’s reactions to promote your book and sell more copies. When readers see these reviews, they’ll be interested in finding out more about the book. You can also ask those who have read the book to review it on Amazon, Goodreads, or whatever sites they use. You can post select reviews on your personal author website as well.
Obviously this unique way of promoting your book shouldn’t be the only way you promote your book. Run advertisements, post on social media, and utilize your author website. These are proven effective ways to promote self-published books, however, learning how to get book reviews will also help considerably. When potential readers see that others have enjoyed your book enough to review it, their decision will be made.
Do you have any other tips for how to get book reviews? Let us know in the comments.