I began thinking about who would offer “blurbs,” or testimonials, for my new book, The Author Training Manual, as soon as I delivered the manuscript to the publisher. I still had eight months until publication, but I wanted those reviews inside the book and on the cover, so I needed to have them in time for the design process. I also knew I would contact my early readers of the manuscript for early Amazon reviews as soon as it was possible for them to post them.
Reviews and testimonials help you sell books. This is a proven fact. It can feel awkward to ask for them, but learning to do so is an essential aspect of your book promotion both pre-publication and post-publication.
Today, on Day 20 of National Nonfiction Writing Month (NaNonFiWriMo), Dana Lynn Smith, the Savvy Book Marketer, provides 10 great tips on how to acquire all sorts of reviews. As part of the Write Nonfiction in November (WNFIN) Challenge, challenge yourself to ask for reviews of your work. Or provide reviews for your favorite authors. They will appreciate it, and it will help you build up some good karma for when you want to ask someone for a review!
Top 10 Ways to Get Your Book Reviewed
By Dana Lynn Smith
Book reviews are a powerful tool for getting your book noticed by potential customers and persuading them to buy. There are a variety of ways to get book reviews throughout the life cycle of a book, and it’s important to plan in advance so you can take advantage of these opportunities to sell more books. Here are the top 10 ways to get your book reviewed:
1. Pre-Publication Endorsements
Endorsements are recommendations solicited from subject experts, authors, celebrities and other well-known people prior to publication, and they are often used on the book cover and interior and in promotional materials. Don’t be afraid to aim high when seeking endorsements.
2. Critical Reviews in Book Review Publications
These reviews usually include a brief overview of the book and discuss what the reviewer liked (or didn’t like) about it. This category includes reviews in book review journals, literary magazines and publishing industry publications such as Publishers Weekly. Be sure to plan well in advance because many review journals require a copy of the book prior to publication or immediately upon publication.
3. Reviews in Traditional Media
Critical book reviews also appear in traditional media such as newspapers and magazines (and on their websites.) While traditional media is still a great place to get noticed, it’s getting more difficult for authors (especially those who are self published) to land reviews in newspapers because so many have dropped their book review sections. Nonfiction authors may have more luck getting their book mentioned in other relevant sections of newspapers, such as the lifestyle section.
4. Customer Reviews and Testimonials
Often people who enjoy reading a particular book will post a review or a brief testimonial (recommendation) on sites like Amazon, Goodreads or Facebook, or even write a note to the author. A customer review is a little longer than a testimonial and focuses more on the content of the book, rather than just recommending it.
Savvy Tip: Encourage customers to provide testimonials and reviews and make it easy for them. This customer feedback does influence many book buyers.
5. Book Blogs
Thousands of blogs post book reviews on a regular basis. Book bloggers range from individuals who post reviews of the books that they read, to larger sites that accept review copies and have multiple reviewers. Many book blogs focus on fiction or books for children, but lots of blogs also review nonfiction. Research book review blogs to determine the type of books they feature, the estimated size of the audience, and the submission requirements.
6. Topical Blogs and Specialty Media
Opportunities abound for reviews of nonfiction books in blogs and publications that are geared to the topic of the book or aimed at the book’s target audience. In addition to seeking book reviews, nonfiction authors can also offer to provide articles for blogs and publications.
7. Virtual Book Tours
Book blogs, topical blogs, podcasts and online radio shows are all potential hosts for virtual book tours, where authors visit a different site each day promoting their book.
On a virtual book tour it’s a good idea to vary the content, asking some of the tour hosts to do a book review, while providing others with guest posts, interviews, or videos. You can also do book giveaways on some or all of the tour stops.
8. Social Networks for Readers
Reader networks are another place to get book reviews for nonfiction books. For example, you can offer free review copies on reader networks like Goodreads and LibraryThing and also encourage people who read your book to leave reviews on those sites.
9. Free Days on Kindle
Offering free copies of your Kindle ebook through Amazon’s KDP Select program can be a good way to get lots of exposure for your book and also generate reviews on Amazon, along with word-of-mouth recommendations.
10. Other Book Review Opportunities
Keep an eye out for other opportunities to get reviews and testimonials. And always ask people who send you a nice note about your book if they would be willing to post their comments on sites like Amazon, Goodreads or Facebook.
It’s best to begin seeking reviews prior to publication, but there are still plenty of opportunities for books that have been out for a while. Put together a plan to harness the power of book reviews to sell more books!
To learn more about using reviews to sell more copies of your book, see How to Get Your Book Reviewed, by Dana Lynn Smith, and learn how to do your own virtual book tour in her Virtual Book Tour Magic guidebook or How to Sell More Nonfiction Books. Get more book marketing tips on The Savvy Book Marketer blog.
About the Author
Dana Lynn Smith, the Savvy Book Marketer, has 17 years of publishing experience and a degree in marketing. She teaches authors how to sell more books through her blog, newsletter, guidebooks, training programs and private coaching. Get book marketing tips at www.TheSavvyBookMarketer.com and download her free report, Create a Book Marketing Plan That Sells Books, at www.CreateYourBookMarketingPlan.com.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.
Janet K Brown (@janetkbrowntx) says
Great helpful article. I was surprised the review I got simply by asking. Novel idea. Ha!