The importance of getting book reviews

One of the best and most inexpensive marketing tools for your novel is a book review. Before shelling out money for a book, many readers like to know ahead of time if it is good. Reviews give those readers an ideal of what others liked or didn’t like about the book. Reviews add a level of credibility to your book.

So now that you have written your book, how do you go about getting book reviews?

1.) Friends and Family – I hesitate to suggest you start by asking family and friends to review your book because readers can usually tell when there are a lot of five-star  reviews gushing about how great the author is that those reviewers know the author. However, if you have a family member or friend who will write an honest critique of your work – listing both the good and the bad – then go ahead and have them write a review.

2.) Book Blogs and Online Reviewers – The best bet is to submit your book to as many online book reviewers who review your genre as you possibly can. Finding these reviewers will take a bit of work, but it is well worth the effort.

You can find reviewers by searching Google or Yahoo for “Book Reviewers” or “Book Review Blogs.”  Make sure you read their submission guidelines before submitting your book. I have found that many book bloggers do not take e-books, and some will not review independent authors.

You can also check out forums relating to your book topic to find someone to review your book or even e-mail other reviewers who have reviewed similar books on Amazon or Goodreads.

Reviewers are also often bombarded by review requests daily. They may not be accepting new requests or have a long back list of to-be-read selections. Even if they do agree to review your book, it may be several months before the review appears online.

Some reviewers will list their review on Amazon and Goodreads while others will only post it on their website. If they don’t put it on Amazon, you can still pull a quote from their review to include in your book description.

3.) Paying for a Review – I don’t suggest this method at all but there are sites where you can pay to have reviews written. There are more than enough readers out there willing to write a review for just a free copy of your book that you shouldn’t have to pay for a review Plus paying for a review is not an objective opinion of your book and readers will not give it the same credibility as other reviews.

When it comes to book reviews, the more the better. So devote some time into recruiting people to review your book. Once you have some reviews, make sure you are using those reviews or quotes from those reviews in your marketing campaign.

If anyone loves dragons, cats and sword fighting and would like to review my book on Amazon, Goodreads or Barnes and Noble, I would be willing to provide a free copy. Contact me through my “About Me” page.

One thought on “The importance of getting book reviews

  1. I disagree with your statement that by paying for a review you will not receive an objective opinion. I am a literary publicist who is not only paid to review books but also manages self published authors worldwide, helping them get sales for their book and the recognition it deserves. When I am commissioned to write a review the author is told that my review will be open and honest. If it is not great I will say so. I also review not only based on the story but the cover and layout as well.

    You can give away as many free copies of your book for review as you like but this often means harassing for the review you may never see. Family and friends are also way too often too polite to tell you what they truly think. Paying for the review guarantees you will receive it.

    I feel a balance of both is good. You also need to be cautious when commissioning a paid reviewer, making sure the person is genuine and honest. Ask questions and get a feel for the reviewer before handing over payment. Make sure you are clear of what you are paying for.

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