One of the things that truly irritates me on my social media is seeing authors constantly begging for reviews. If I, as a fellow author, is sick of seeing it, can you imagine what your readers must feel? Yes, there are better ways to get book reviews than posting about it non-stop on your social media. Let’s talk about how to get the great book reviews you need without sending out multiple emails to your mom and relatives.
Here are some productive ways to get your book reviewed:
1.) Build a Street Team of people who love your book and would be happy to review because they are excited about what you are writing.
A Street Team is built through your social media. Those invited join a special newsletter list you use specifically for keeping your team informed about the lasted “inside” scoop of what you need and are doing. I also use a spreadsheet to track members and their involvement.
Just keep in mind that you will continually be building your Street Team. Some people will drop off and new ones will join.
2.) Ask your Beta and ARC readers to post a review. You’ve formed a relationship with you and hopefully will carry through because they want to see you succeed.
Beta Readers are those willing to give feedback when your story is in a final rough draft form, but is not published. ARC (Advanced Reader Copies) are final copies prior to publication given to readers willing to give reviews in exchange for seeing an advance copy. Both of these are formed through social media and joining specific online groups that provide readers (see my other posts on this subject).
3.) Sign up to website services that promote you to bloggers and reviewers.
There are specific websites that will distribute your FREE book to potential readers. That’s the hitch – they want you to give your book out for free.
The goal is that the more people who see your book, the more who will be wiling to review. Some of those groups include: Booksprout (see my review), Prolific Works (see my review), and Voracious Readers. There are also some Facebook groups specific to promoting to Beta and ARC readers. Goodreads and Scribophile also has areas to promote and request beta readers and reviews.
It seems romance writers seem to have a higher rate of return using these services than fantasy or science fiction works. If you are writing for a niche market, join niche groups to find readers.
4.) Do giveaways on your social media such as with a blog tour on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter.
Again, the premise here is that you will be giving away a lot of books to get those reviews. Realize though that giving away your book does not mean you will get a review. It just increases your chances.
I personally use BookFunnel where those who want a free copy of my book must provide their email and join my newsletter in order to receive one. This helps build your list and BookFunnel has a no-double-dipping option where you can prevent someone from getting a free book, unsubscribing, and coming back for a 2nd free book.
Another option is Story Origin. Both are good quality website services for the author to use to build their newsletter list through a opt-in (get a free book if I can have your email).
5.) Make it easy for people to leave a review by going “wide.”
Some people don’t like Amazon and won’t post a review there. That’s why it is important you have a profile on other services like: Goodreads, Bookbubs, Apple books, Google play, Kobo, and Scribd, etc… Some authors enjoy a presence on Wattpad.
I actually have more reviews of some of my books on Goodreads than Amazon because the review policy at Goodreads isn’t as strict. BookBub is also building up as a place to review books so it is easy to have an author account there.
6.) At the back of your book in Author Notes, ask nicely for a review.
I’ve read some people claiming an amazing uptick in reviews by this method. I personally haven’t seen this, however, it is a free way to ask so I’m willing to keep trying.
7.) Sell more books. The more books you sell the better your chance for a review.
Whether you are traditionally published or indie-published, the fact remains you must get as many books into the hands of people to get a portion of them to post a review. Obviously, the more people with your book the better!
This is one reason why distributing a book for free is all the rage. However, I’d caution you to figure out what you will get from these giveaways? At the very least give books away in exchange for an email that you can use on a newsletter.
8.) Show your readers how reviews help, rather than asking again for another review.
The key is not to do this in a whining way, but simply as an education of your fans and readership. For example, your fans may not be aware that without 10 reviews you can’t promote your book on certain sale platforms. They may not realize that without a certain score rating of stars that other reviewers or ad agencies won’t be willing to promote or read your book.
Help them learn about this in the nicest way possible with mico-information put in your newsletters.
9.) Network with authors in your genre.
Some of my earliest reviews were from others who wrote in the same genre as I do. While you can’t be friends with your reviewer on Amazon, that rule doesn’t apply on Goodreads, Bookbub, Apple, Nook, or GooglePlay.
Word of warning here – I’ve reviewed authors who got upset with what I said, so chose authors you feel are writing at your own level or above. Make sure you understand that you cannot influence their review – what they say is up to them. Be nice, and take the time to read and review something of theirs, but do it in honestly. No one needs fake reviews.
10.) Announce in your newsletter you are looking for reviewers.
You are building a newsletter right? I use MailerLite to collect and send out emails to my group. I also offer special deals to those who follow me. Building a newsletter is a whole ‘nother post and I will get to it soon! Start small and never get discouraged!
Okay, now you got some reviews and you are hunting down anyone who didn’t leave 5 stars and demanding to know why you didn’t give five stars??!!
WILL YOU JUST STOP THAT!?
This is the reason I have stopped advertising that I do book reviews (under another name, not my author name).
I don’t give 5 stars because you are a fellow author. I give it because I truly think the book is good.
Writing is a business and I can guarantee you that at some point you will be getting less than 5 stars. The more your book gets seen, means the higher the chance of this happening.
If you are the type to get angry when your book doesn’t get 5 stars, you have no business asking for reviews. You actually have no business being an author. PERIOD.
Also, people are growing wise to these perfect 5 star reviews and are starting to distrust those perfect ratings. A book with a few lower ratings, looks like a real book instead of one propped up by your friends and family.