You’re eagerly waiting for that five-star review to show up on your listing. But why wait? It can sometimes take a while for reviews to start rolling in, and you don’t want your listing to look empty until then. If you’re in this position, well, it’s go-time to find the reviewers yourself! Read some of our tips and ideas below to learn how to get the best reviews for your book.
What Do Reviews Accomplish?
About 95 percent of consumers consult online product reviews before purchasing their order. In other words, if you have good reviews, you’re more likely to make the sale.
Not only can consumer reviews help you sell books, but they also establish your credibility and drive traffic to your listing. Getting trade reviews is a huge success and something all authors should put effort into (which you can learn more about in our guides), but it’s also highly valuable to have reviews from your everyday reader since those are the people checking out your book anyways.
Amazon’s algorithm factors in reviews— the more reviews your listing has, the higher your book will appear in the search results. Amazon calculates reviews by particular quantity benchmarks, speed, and density (even if they’re negative reviews). Therefore, you should try to encourage your network to post a review on the release day to spark your visibility (Amazon won’t open the listing up for reviews before the release date). Please keep in mind that consumers will have to purchase your book on Amazon in order to leave a review or else that review will get flagged. Learn more about their customer review rules here.
Compile a Press Kit and Pitch
Before implementing any outreach, compile an electronic press kit consisting of all the materials that can help reviewers review. Your press kit should include:
- Press release
- Cover image
- Author bio
- Testimonials, press coverage, and other reviews
- Any promotional materials or platforms ( i.e., flyers, website, social channels)
Assemble these materials into an organized electronic or physical folder, and include your pitch in a printed cover letter or email. Your pitch should be concise, courteous, and direct.
Take your time writing a sincere pitch for your potential reviewers along with a follow-up email if they don’t respond. Do some research on them and reference anything that can make the pitch more personal. Tell them why you loved one of their previous reviews or why you think they would be a great reviewer for your book. Be persistent and thank them when you’ve received their review!
Make a Goodreads Account
Goodreads is a social cataloging website that allows millions of bookworms to rate, review, and create threads about books. This is the platform you want to be on if you need reviews. Take a few minutes to sign up here.
Consider an Ebook Sale
The beauty of an ebook is that Kindle will automatically ask readers to review a book once they’ve finished it. If you don’t have an ebook, you might want to consider creating one. If you do, try discounting it to rack up sales and get reviews. An ebook will open up way more opportunities for reviews!
Bonus: this option won’t exhaust your royalties since ebook retail prices are significantly lower than print books and don’t bring in as much profit regardless.
Embrace Your Local Community
This is your gimme and might be obvious, but we have to say it. Asking your friends and network for reviews is the easiest way to receive them. Go the extra mile and ask them to ask their families and friends for reviews. Word of mouth can go very far. Aside from them, engage with your community! Use your promotional resources and invite people to virtual or in-person events, meet-ups, and signings.
Contact your local bookstore and ask them if they would be willing to a) stock up on your book and b) review it! Prioritize anything local because people are usually more willing to review an author who is from their area. While you should, of course, “go big” by finding prestigious reviewers, don’t forget the smaller organizations or clubs in your area that will appreciate your outreach and be more likely to get back to you.
Oh, and while you’re on the hunt for local reviewers, find local authors in your area that you can connect with. They might even ask you to review their book in exchange!
Know Your Genre, Then Your Audience
It will save you a lot of time if you put your attention on the consumers who are your favorite readers. Your most successful reviews (in terms of content and quantity) will most likely come from your target audience. These are the people who have a special and personal connection to the book. Figure out your book’s genres by looking at Amazon browse node categories and thinking about where your book fits best. Perhaps you had a genre in mind while you were writing, or you’re noticing a trend in your readers. Come up with a few — books can never just be put into one category — and then reach out to organizations, groups, etc. that fit within those categories.
Social Media and Hashtags Are Your Best Friend
In this virtual age, neglecting your social media channels to search for reviewers is a huge mistake. There are many book bloggers and reviewers on Instagram and even TikTok. It’s as easy as searching terms like #bookreviewers, #bookbloggers, #childrensbookreviewers, or #fantasyfictionbookreviewers (with and without hashtags) on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Find your reviewers on social media and don’t forget to post on your personal and book’s social platforms asking your own followers for reviews.
Outside of social media, there are thousands of book reviewers online that you can check out. Warning: you might find yourself in a deep rabbit hole going through these online lists, but we dug up some popular book review sites to get you started:
Create that Excel Spreadsheet
Stay organized by compiling a list of the book reviewers, authors, bookstores, libraries, book clubs, book-related media, and any other literary platforms you’re planning on reaching out to. Keep track of who you’ve reached out to, who you’re going to contact, and who you have to follow up with.
And with that, we’d love to hear all about your book’s praise! Send us your reviews by messaging us on any of our social media platforms. Search @Mascotbooks on your social channels or click on the following: