Getting your book reviewed is a very inexpensive yet excellent way to get publicity. Finding a reviewer to do a book review will take a bit of work, but it’s well worth the effort. Here are some tips on getting your book reviewed:
Friends and family
The quickest and easiest way to get book reviews is to ask family, friends, and fellow authors to write a review for your book and post it to their blogs. Most of us know at least a handful of people who have an online blog or journal page.
Once you’ve asked everyone you know to do a review, you’ll want to approach professional review sites and bloggers.
Do your research
Get on Google or Yahoo and type in “Book Reviewers” or “Book Review Blogs.” Check out the sites and see if your book would be suitable for submission. You want to be certain that the reviewer is interested in your type of book and its style. Don’t send out copies of your book cold. You’ll want to contact these people first.
Read their rules
If they take only romances and you wrote a nonfiction book, you’ll obviously want to find another reviewer. Also, pay attention to whether they want your book in PDF or a physical book, who you should contact, and how. Many authors waste valuable time and money by not doing their homework and send their books off to the wrong places or wrong people.
A friendly approach
When approaching a reviewer, keep your email or letter to them brief, informative, and friendly. Most people enjoy a personal touch so mention something you like about their site or previous reviews and let them know this is why you’re seeking their service. Be sure to include the blurb of your book and any endorsements you’ve had.
Prove your worth
Since reviewers are bombarded with books each and every day, you need to rise above the crowd and be noticed. One thing you can do to prove that your book is worth her/his time and effort is to include previous reviews in your initial email or letter. If others took the time to review your book it lets the reviewer know that you have something worth reading.
The waiting game
Try not to contact the reviewer daily, asking if they’ve read your book yet. This can result in no review at all or a negative review. If you send a physical copy of your book, you can get delivery confirmation from the post office when you first send it out, that way you’ll know it arrived safely.
It’s usually acceptable to send a brief yet friendly email touching bases and asking if they intend to review your book and if so what sort of time frame you can expect. The typical range is from a few weeks to a few months.
Thank the reviewer
Whether sending an electronic or physical copy of your book, be certain to send a friendly cover letter thanking the reviewer in advance for taking the time to read your book. People like to be appreciated. And, always be sure to send a thank you email or letter if they did indeed review your book. When you write your next book you’ll be able to approach these reviewers again and will have an easier and quicker time of getting reviewed.
Still no word?
Sometimes it can take months before a reviewer gets to your book and posts it to their site. A good rule of thumb is to type your name and book title into the major search engines and check to see what reviews come up. You can also look up the review sites you sent your book to and check out the latest reviews. Many authors who never knew their books were reviewed found out this way. Reviewers are overwhelmed with work and may not contact you to let you know your review was posted.
What if you got a bad review?
This happens to just about every author from time to time. If you receive a negative book review, you can handle it a few ways. One would be to just ignore it. You can’t please everyone. Another thing you can do is to take only the most positive words or sentences from the review and post that to your website, press kit, etc.
Or, you can actually use a bad review to generate buzz about your book. Like the saying goes, “Any publicity is good publicity.” You can post something like, “Find out why (name of review site) trashed my book (name of book.)” You’d be surprised at how many books this method actually sells! Of course, you’ll want to be careful about using this last tactic. Please use your own discretion in posting negative reviews.