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Getting Book Reviews

Book reviews are one of the most potent of all marketing activities. There is no such thing as having too many reviews. What’s great about a good review is that it tells potential buyers trustpilot reviews for sale that someone else read and liked the book. A good book review is a powerful marketing tool. You can use it by positioning it on your blog. You can also share it utilize the social media links. Another tactic is to add it to your book page on Amazon Central.

There are several strategies you can use to acquire more reviews.

Goodreads groups are a fertile area to request reviews. Use these groups as your first option. A few such groups are listed later in this chapter.

Another approach is to contact a review site. These come in two flavors. One will review your book, usually for a fee. Self-publishing Reviews is such a site. So is Booklife. Some sites will review your book for free. Reader’s Favorite is one such free site although it will prompt you to upgrade to a paid review.

The second type of review site won’t actually review your book, but will make it available to a number of potential reviewers. I list these later in the chapter. There are many more besides the ones I mention, but I only included ones I’m familiar with. A simple search will give you a list of more sites offering to get book reviews in return for a price.

Let me be clear: if you use one of these services, you are not buying a review. You’re paying for a review service that will put your book in front of many potential reviewers who may or may not elect to review your book. Reviewers who thought to read your book are not paid by the review service. What you are paying for when you sign up for a review service is access to all the potential reviewers on its list.

Some of the review services will not deliver materials. They talk a good story about the many reviewers they have on their email list, but you won’t get the number of reviews you decided upon. These sites simply don’t have enough readers on their list to produce the reviews. Others, a small number, are just scammers looking to deal to off authors.

Another strategy is to offer copies of your book, hopefully frequently for a promise to review it. You can use your social media contacts here. Ask if anyone wants a free ebook review copy. I’ve found this tactic to be to some degree effective. The main reason is that some people ask for a review copy only because it’s free and they have no goal of ever writing a review. Also some readers won’t like the book and won’t write a negative review. My experience is that around 25% of these readers will write a review. However, e books don’t cost you anything to send to potential reviewers so you aren’t incurring any costs.

It’s my question that many people don’t write reviews for books they enjoy because they aren’t sure how to go about writing one. To alleviate this problem I wrote up a series of questions to help readers make up a short, simple book review. There are two versions of this: one for fiction and one for nonfiction. When asking anyone to review your book or when sending along an ebook copy for review, sauce the questions into the email or you can create a document and attach it to the email.

Fiction Book Review Questionnaire:

1) On a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the highest) how would rate this book?

2) Did you like or dislike the book?

3) Please explain why you answered 2) as you did.

If you liked the book, please answer the following questions:

4) Why did you like the book?

4) What didn’t you like about the book?

6) Did the main characters seem real and believable to you?

7) Did you want the book to continue beyond the ending?

Use your answers to these questions to write a few sentences about the book. Hint: don’t write a brief synopsis.

As an example, here is a review I received for one of my novels:

I enjoyed reading “Falstaff’s Big Gamble: A Fantasy Adventure to get Shakespeare Rewriting in his Grave (Gundarland Stories Book 2)”. The writer has written a hilarious lampoon and is a very entertaining read. I felt the writer was highly creative and knowledgeable of the documents of the famous Bard of Avon on paper this light, imaginative, and delightful tale.

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