Book reviews are essential for social proof and getting marketing opportunities. Imagine the day you launch your book. You’re sitting in front of the computer, blissfully reading all the five-star book reviews that will soon be yours. However, days passed, and reviews didn’t come.
You want people to buy and read your book so that they can leave some good reviews. If you’re going to make your first sales, you need to display some positive book reviews.
Getting Reviews for Your Book
Below are some of the ways on how to get reviews for your book.
- Use a Call-to-Action Button at the back of your back.
A call-to-action is the simplest, easiest way to start getting reviews, and once you’ve set it up, you can already forget about it.
Add a simple, call-to-action (CTA) on the last page of your book once it is published. You can add something like, “Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this book, please consider leaving an honest review of your favorite store.”
- Make your eBook available for free.
When more people are reading your book, you will also get more reviews. Free books usually get more downloads over time so that you can get more reviews.
If you have published your eBook with KDP Select, you will receive five days every period where you can make the eBook free.
- Ask your mailing list.
A good marketing strategy for every author is creating a mailing list to provide direct access to your readers. Once you have a few readers on your list, you can ask them hones reviews of your book.
An easy way to do this is by setting up a series of automated emails that go out when someone joins your list and include a request for reviews within the sequence.
- Create an Advance Reader Team
As your email list grows, you can recruit keen readers who want to be on your advanced reader team (also known as a Street Team). You can send them your new books before launch and ask them to review on publication.
Importantly, the free book cannot be contingent on a useful review. It needs to be their own opinion with nothing offered “in exchange” so you adhere to the Amazon Terms of Service.
To recruit new readers to the team, just send out an email periodically asking for volunteers or include the email as part of your automatic email sequence.
- Email book bloggers who love your genre.
This is a free strategy, but it takes some time to research.
Many blogs offer book reviews. They usually specialize in specific genres, so it’s essential to do your research and find bloggers who fit your genre and who are accepting books for review.
If you are accepted, the blogger will often review on their site, plus Amazon and GoodReads.
- Look for Amazon reviewers through their review profiles.
Some book reviewers on Amazon will have their contact information connected to their profile. You can sometimes click on their name and find their review site or email. Then you can approach the reviewer to see if they’d be willing to review your book.
This is free but takes some time to research. You need to find books similar to your own and then drill down into the review, and then further into the reviewer’s profile to see if their contact information or website address is available.
If you find that information, send a polite and personal email asking if the person would be willing to review your book. Explain that you saw their review of the book that’s similar to yours.
- Use social media to ask for reviews.
Choose one or two social media platforms and master them. Don’t try to conquer them all at the same time.
Use automated posts with a service like Buffer or HootSuite. Remember to have conversations with your followers. Don’t just post about your books.
You could have a regularly scheduled post that asks what your followers are doing on the weekend, or a Throwback Thursday post with a nostalgic picture to get the conversation started.
You could then ask for reviews as part of this regular posting schedule. Remember to include a link to the book’s page, so it’s easy to click through.
- Find Goodreads Groups that are open to authors.
Goodreads, now owned by Amazon, has reader groups organized by genre. Make sure you check the rules as many are for readers only and actively discourage authors from posting, whereas others are designed for reviews and promotions.
It’s an excellent strategy to use GoodReads first as a reader and get used to the culture.
Note that GoodReads does have sites for different geographic regions so that reviews can show up in any of those.
- Ask for reviews in your Facebook Ad comments
If you run Facebook ads for your book/s, you might receive comments below the ads from readers who have bought and read your book.
Responding to comments on your Facebook ads is an excellent way to build community with your readers. And if someone leaves a glowing comment, you can say a sincere thank you and then ask if they’d be willing to leave an honest review for the book.
Anytime you request a review, be polite and professional. Even when you send out the books for giveaways, be polite. Don’t get upset when you don’t get a review. It is the choice of the reader. They might not have liked your book and just choose not to review it. Or life came in and they haven’t read it yet.
Even if you get a bad review, be nice. Your responses to people can go a long way in the success of your book.