7 Ways to Get Reviews for Your Book
I started my own book review blog, Backing Books, in 2013. Since then, I have reviewed hundreds of books and worked with some amazing authors and publishers. However, from time to time I see authors asking, "How do I get reviews for my book?" So I have come up with a list of 7 ways for you to increase your number of reviews.
1) Ask Friends and Family
This is probably the easiest way to get reviews. Everyone has friends and family who would love to read their book and offer a short review. However, this method will only work to gain reviews on social media or websites like Goodreads. It is against Amazon and many other sellers' policies to allow reviews from friends and family of the author.
2) Host a Giveaway
If you have more than one book available, you can host a giveaway for your newest release with one entry method requiring the entrant to submit a link to a review they wrote for one of your older books. This will encourage those who have read and loved your books to finally take action to write a simple review. The better the prize, the more likely you are to gain reviews. However, be sure to offer other methods of entry, as a giveaway should also draw in new readers and not just old ones. For this reason, I would recommend perhaps giving away the first two books in a series.
Another giveaway option is to list a giveaway with websites like Goodreads and LibraryThing. While reviews will not be a required part of these giveaways, and hosting them might cost you a fee, these websites encourage reviews from their users.
3) Join Reader Groups
Nearly every genre and subgenre have groups on websites such as facebook or Goodreads. Make sure to check the group's rules to ensure that you are allowed to post review requests before doing so, however there are many that will have conversation threads dedicated to this. I suggest joining a few of these groups before you are ready to ask for reviews, as the more known you are to the group, the more likely people will trust and be willing to work with you.
4) Join Websites for Readers and Reviewers
Numerous websites have popped up on the internet that are designed specifically to help readers and reviewers connect. You can ask other authors what ones they use, but booksirens.com has numerous reviewers signed up, all of whom list what type of books they are willing to review. You can put up a general listing for your book, along with the number of reviews you are looking for, or use it to search for specific reviewers who fit your audience and contact them directly if that option is available. It is possible to use sites like this for free, however listings will often cost a fee per review you receive.
5) Submit Your Story to a Review Website
Websites like morethanareview.com and book-ninjas.com are designed to give readers a warning and summary of any potentially problematic content, from sex and drugs to swearing and abuse. Readers looking for specific things, like a sex-free adult romance, frequent these websites. No matter your level of content, these websites will read and score your story, then post links for their readers to purchase. Depending on how popular the website and how many readers they have this may not be a quick or even free option, but it can spread your reach.
6) Contact Bloggers
If you have ever read a review, you may have noticed a clause at the beginning or end that read something like "I have given an honest review after..." People who add this clause are reviewers and they may be accepting books for review. The best way to find any who may be willing to read your novel are to search for books which are similar to your own on websites like Goodreads and then find reviews by reviewers who enjoyed those books. A quick click through to that reviewer's profile should give a link to a personal blog or website. From there, you should also be able to locate an email through which to contact the reviewer and ask if they will review your book.
7) Hire a Book Tour Company
While the most expensive option, this might also be the most effective. There are so many tour companies, from JustReads, PrismBookTours, TLCBookTours, ect. For a fee, these companies will find reviewers for your book, host giveaways, and put together book tours for blogs and social media. These companies REQUIRE their hosts to posts reviews for any book they read, if that is what the author paid for. Many reviewers prefer to review books through this method, as it eliminates much of the awkwardness that may come about if they decide that a book deserves a lower rating. For that reason, you may receive more reviews than if you had contacted reviewers on your own. These are just 7 of the ways you can go about obtaining reviews. Remember that paid options will often give the best results, but that reviews can be obtained for any budget should you be willing and able to dedicate the time needed. In my next post, I will discuss the best way to approach reviewers and increase your chance of their accepting your book for review.
In the meantime, are there any ways that you have gone about getting reviews which I haven't mentioned here? Which method have you found the most effective? And for those who have not used these methods, which do you think you may try?