One of the most effective forms of marketing is book reviews. It is impossible to have too many reviews. A positive review is fantastic because it lets potential customers know that the book was enjoyed by someone else. A strong marketing tool is a positive book review. It can be utilized by being placed on your blog. Use the social media links to share it as well. Including it on your book’s Amazon Central page is an additional strategy.
You can utilize a variety of tactics to gather additional reviews.
A good place to ask for reviews is in Goodreads groups. As a last resort, turn to these groups. Later in this chapter, we list a couple of these organizations.
Contacting a review website is an additional strategy. There are two flavors of them. Your book will be reviewed by one, typically for a price. Such a website is Self-publishing Reviews. And Booklife is. A book review on some websites is free. One such free website that will push you to upgrade to a paid review is Reader’s Favorite.
The second kind of review site will only make your book available to several potential reviewers while not actually reviewing it. A couple of these are listed later in the chapter. Other than the ones I mentioned, there are many more; nevertheless, I only included those I was already familiar with. You can find additional websites promising to receive book reviews in exchange for money by performing a simple search.
To be clear, using one of these services does not constitute the purchase of a review. When you pay for a review service, your book will be exposed to a large number of potential reviewers who may or may not decide to write a review. The review service does not compensate reviewers who decide to read your book. When you subscribe to a review service, you are paying for access to all of the potential reviewers on its roster.
Some review services won’t deliver what they promise. Although they make a convincing argument for how many reviewers they have on their email list, you won’t receive the quantity of reviews you requested. Simply put, these websites don’t have enough subscribers to deliver the reviews. Some of the rest are lone con artists out to fleece writers.
Another tactic is to provide free copies of your book, ideally in exchange for a review commitment. You can make use of your online contacts here. Inquire about requests for complimentary review copies of eBooks. This strategy is only sometimes useful in my experience. The main cause of this is that some people only request a free review copy if they plan to review it at some point in the future. Additionally, not all readers will enjoy the book and won’t leave a negative review. According to my observations, about 25% of these readers will submit a review. However, sending eBooks to potential reviewers doesn’t cost you anything, so there are no expenses involved.
I’ve seen that many people choose not to write reviews for books they like because they are unsure of how to do so. I came up with a list of questions to help readers create a succinct, straightforward book review in order to solve this issue. Both a fiction and a nonfiction version of this are available. Paste the questions into the email or create a document and attach it to the email when asking someone to evaluate your book or providing them an eBook copy for review.
Questionnaire for Book Reviews of Fiction:
1) How would you evaluate this book on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest?
2) How did you feel about the book?
3) Would you kindly elaborate on your response to question 2?
Please respond to the following questions if you like the book:
4) What made the book appealing to you?
4) What about the book didn’t you like?
6) Were the major characters convincing and real to you?
7) Did you want the story to go on after the conclusion?
Write a few sentences about the book using the answers you provided to these questions. One piece of advice: avoid writing a synopsis.
Here is a review I got for one of my books as an illustration:
Falstaff’s Big Gamble: A Fantasy Adventure to Get Shakespeare Spinning in his Grave (Gundarland Stories Book 2) is a book I really liked reading. This book’s author has created a humorous parody that is quite enjoyable to read. In crafting this witty, clever, and amusing story, I thought the author shown exceptional creativity and familiarity with the works of the illustrious Bard of Avon.
Book Review Survey for Nonfiction:
1) On a scale of 1 to 5, how many stars would you award this book? (Five is the best score)
2) What, if anything, did you like about the book?
3) If anything, what about the book didn’t you like?