We live in a digital age where self-publishing has never been so easy and affordable. The increase in the sheer volume of books available on the market has made it more difficult to find people willing to review indie books. It might be difficult, but not impossible. You just have to know what you’re doing.
Books reviews are essential to the long-term success of your book. The problem is that it’s difficult for those new to publishing to figure out how to get those reviews. That’s why we’re here! Follow this simple process and start getting book reviews.
Note: Never pay for book reviews. Not only is this an unethical practice, it’s also against the rules. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and even iBooks will ban your account if you are caught paying for book reviews.
Step 1: Develop a Book Review Kit
Before you begin the search for book reviewers, you need to be absolutely certain that you have everything you need. I encourage you to have all of the following:
- PDF of your Book: This book should be laid out professionally and formatted in the same way that you’re going to publish it. Include the book’s cover as the front page.
- Book Cover: Always have a JPG copy of your book cover available. Some reviewers will request this along with your book.
- Copies of Your Book: If your book has been published on-demand, then make sure you have a few copies on-hand. Not applicable for eBooks.
- Mailing Supplies: Have stamps and shipping supplies on-hand so that you can send your book to reviewers. Not applicable for eBooks.
- Press Release: Even if you are trying to get reviews ahead of the book’s launch date, you should still have your press release ready. Some reviewers will require it.
- Cover Letter: This is a brief introduction about you and your book. Keep it short and to the point.
- Photos of the Book and Yourself: I prefer professional headshots as personal images. Make sure that you have high and low resolution images available.
- Author Biography: Have a professionally prepared author biography ready. Some reviewers will require it.
Step 2: Learn The Keys to Unlocking Book Reviews
Once you have your kit together, you’re almost ready. Before you start approaching book reviewers, you should learn these tips.
- Choose the Right Reviewers: This is probably the most important aspect. Always do your homework before approaching a reviewer. Find out what types of books they review, how critical they are, and never go outside of your niche/genre.
- Always Query the Reviewer: Check the reviewer’s requirements carefully. Some might only want you to send them the book while others want a cover letter. Some will only review eBooks while others will only review print books. Take the time to get this right.
- Send the Book: Send reviewers a PDF of your book. If they request a print copy then mail that to the reviewer.
- Always Follow Up: Don’t harass book reviewers, but don’t be afraid to follow up with them either. If several weeks have passed without hearing anything, send them a polite message asking if they still intend to write a review.
- Always Thank the Reviewer: A simple “thank you” goes a long way. It shows your appreciation for someone taking time out of their day to help you bring your book to readers’ attention.
Step 3: Find Reviewers For Your Book
There are thousands of bloggers who are always looking for new books to review. In many cases, they will review books for free in exchange for content to add to their blogs. However, you have to be careful when looking for a book reviewer. You want to find those who have the biggest following, are unbiased, and specialize in your genre.
With that said, here are a few great places to look for book reviewers:
- Amazon Reviewers: Browse Amazon’s top reviewers for those who specialize in book reviews. Then reach out to them with a friendly message.
- Midwest Book Review: This website is very welcoming to self-published authors. Their website also contains some valuable information on reviews.
- Indie Reader: This new, innovative website allows authors to submit their books for review. The waiting time is fairly long but they seem to review every book that is submitted – at least for now. That will probably change as their popularity grows.
- Book Blogs: This website allows bloggers to come together and review books. It’s a great place to explore and meet new people.
- Social Networking: Ask fans of your social media page if they would be willing to review your books.
- Free Giveaways: You have a greater chance of readers leaving reviews if your book is being read by a lot of people. What better way to do this than to host a free book giveaway.
Book reviews are essential to getting your book to sell. The more people are talking about your book, the more copies you will ultimately sell.