In a market place saturated with new books, reviews matter!
Reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, or in journals increase visibility and create reader awareness for both you and your book.
But How Do You Get Reviews For Your Book?
The answer is simple. You have to ask for them. And you need to approach this clinically and with a strategy, so here are some suggestions on asking for reviews.
The Personal Request.
This works well at book launches. Insert a personal note, into every book you bring to sell or give away, preferably handwritten, but failing that a personally signed typed note.
The note should contain your email address, and should thank the reader for reading the book, while letting them know that you welcome feedback. Request that, if they enjoy the book, they leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads.
Media Packs and Press Releases.
OK, so maybe you are a first-time author, but you should not be shy of letting people know about your new book, indeed you need to shout it from the highest mountain. Prepare a good quality media pack and get it out to local radio and print media along with a copy of the book. Pro Media is important but don’t forget, reviews from family and friends carry equal weight on Amazon or Goodreads, so email your media pack to your nearest and dearest as well, and tell them how to write a review and where to post it.
Social Media releases are now so common that they have lost impact. To succeed as an author on social media, you need to build a following. That said, if you plan to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn et al., then the best advice is to have a planned campaign, backed up by professional text and graphics that let your readers know you want to hear from them. Contact with readers is vital, and it makes requesting reviews much easier, as it is at a one to one personal level.
Become an attention seeking whore.
Your book will live or die, not based on how wonderful it is, but on how many people know about it.
Get yourself in front of as many people as possible. Seek promotional opportunities, book signings in your local bookshop, interviews, talks, anywhere that you can wax lyrical about your book before an audience. When you get these opportunities, don’t fluff them. Mention your book loudly, by title, where it is available to purchase, and let your audience know that if they enjoyed the book, you would appreciate it they would post a review on Amazon or Goodreads.
In every encounter with a reader, or potential reader, there is an opportunity, but all to often, these golden moments are lost, don’t allow this to happen. If someone tells you they enjoyed your book, either in person, by letter, online, or by email, then thank them profusely and ask if they would take time to post a review and share their great feedback on Amazon or similar sites.
Do not think reviews happen automatically, they don’t.
It is not a given that if someone enjoys your work, that they will give it a glowing review on Goodreads. The fact is, many of your readers will never have written a review, and most will not know how important they are. So be prepared—make it easy for them to write reviews. Send them links to possible sites such as Goodreads, BN and Amazon. Follow up requests with polite reminders and be sure to express your thanks when you get a positive review.
Remember, as a writer, the easy part is the writing. Once you finish your book, it is up to you to get the word out and to ask for those all important reviews.