Five Tips to Get Book Reviews

Five Tips to Get Book Reviews

Good morning, Rebels, and welcome back into my life.

So I want to talk to you about reviews today, and specifically about book reviews.

Every indie author wants to get book reviews. They mean people are reading your book and talking about it.

I have an open submission line on my website and I get people asking me to review their books all the time.

Since I’m on BOTH sides of the writer/reviewer spectrum, I think I can offer some valuable advice to other authors who are trying to get their book reviewed.

I went over this list with two good friends of mine: Laura Gallier, who runs a great book review site at TheReviewHart.com, and Eric Guindon, who runs the excellent Siege Perilous Review Podcast.

#1: MAKE SURE YOUR BOOK IS GOOD, OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES WITH DIGNITY

This is important for more than just reviews, but make sure your book doesn’t suck! Get honest opinions from people you trust before you even try submitting it. And if you DON’T do that and you get a bad review of your book, accept it with dignity.

Which leads us to point number two:

#2: DON’T ATTACK REVIEWERS, NO MATTER WHAT

Holy crap, guys, book reviewers spend a LOT of time on their reviews, or at least the good ones do. First of all, there’s the time they spent reading your book. Second of all, there’s the time they spent writing and crafting their book review.

These people slave over their reviews, making sure they present their points in an honest, fair and hopefully interesting way. No matter what they have to say, DON’T ATTACK THEM.

If they didn’t like your book, one of two things is true: it’s a bad book, or they’re just not the right audience for it. Either way, attacking them does nothing in the long run. Try to learn what you can from what they have to say, no matter what. And appreciate the work they put in.

#3: IT’S A NUMBERS GAME

Book reviewers do not review everything that comes to them.

If I get a book review request, I read the blurb. If the blurb seems at least passable, I pop over to Amazon and read the first few pages of the book. If I’m interested so far, I ask for the whole book. If I’m not, I WILL NOT REPLY TO YOU.

I don’t want to spend time crafting replies explaining WHY I don’t want to read your book, making you feel bad and feeling slimy myself.

So send a lot of requests, realizing that only a small percentage of them will get back to you.

#4: TALK TO THE RIGHT REVIEWERS

Scope out reviewers first.

Do they review your genre? Are their reviews well-written? Do they seem to favor your style and other books similar to yours?

If the answer to any of those questions is “No,” DON’T SUBMIT TO THEM. You’re wasting your time, and theirs, and if anything you’ll probably get a snarky comeback or worse, a bad review.

I feel obligated to mention here that AuthorMarketingClub.com has an awesome tool for its premium members. It lets you scope out books similar to yours on Amazon, pull the top reviewers of those books so that you can reach out to them. But with that tool comes a huge responsibility, and that brings us to:

#5: DON’T BE A JERKFACE WHEN YOU’RE ASKING FOR REVIEWS

First of all, don’t be spammy. DO NOT SEND A FORM LETTER TO REVIEWERS. Even with the amazing tool from AuthorMarketingClub.com, you’ve got to craft your review request carefully.

Let the reviewer know that you scoped out their site and you like their work. Mention them by name. Do NOT start your email out with “Dear Sir or Madam.” Send them an honest, earnest request, keep it SHORT so they don’t have to read a 1,000-word email, and thank them for their time.

And for god’s sake, follow their submission requirements. They wrote them for a reason, don’t ignore them. They will NOT get back to you if you ignore their submission requirements.

Those are my five big tips, because those are the five most common mistakes I see people make.

It’s still a lot of work. It’s a NUMBERS GAME. You’ll put in a lot of time emailing and get a small percentage of replies and/or reviews. But in the long term, honest reviews from good reviewers can have a huge impact on your success as an author or any other kind of artist.

I’ll see you soon with an update on Wyrmspire. Byyye.

Garrett Robinson

Over 100,000 readers have read and loved Garrett's books, like the fantasy hits Nightblade and Midrealm. He's also a film festival favorite with movies like Unsaid, and a tech guru who posts lots of helpful how-tos for writers and filmmakers over at garrettbrobinson.com.

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