They say that no press is bad press. I would venture to say that book reviews are similar. The more mention your book gets throughout the web, the more likely people are to hear about it and decide to check it out for themselves. Of course, a rave review will garner far more interest than a bad review, but getting your book reviewed at all can only be a good thing.
With that in mind, here are four ways to start racking up those online book reviews…
1. Think GoodReads. Scour GoodReads to find people who regularly review or recommend books in your genre. According to a blog post on Build Book Buzz, “With more that 7.3 million members, Goodreads.com gives book lovers a chance to create virtual bookshelves (with more than 260 million books!) that others can peruse. Those members not only share what they’re reading with their personal Goodreads networks, they also review and recommend those books, or create lists that announce what they want to read next.”
2. Contact Amazon reviewers. Go to the Amazon pages of other books in your genre. See who is reviewing them. Then, compare some of those names to the list of top Amazon reviewers (which you can find here). This will allow you to identify the regular reviewers who are most respected on Amazon. Reach out to each of them, tell them about your book, and offer them a free copy of the ebook. If you’re lucky, they’ll take you up on it.
3. Think bloggers. If you’re a nonfiction author, track down bloggers who regularly write on the subject matter of your book. Reach out to them, tell them about your book (and how it would benefit their audience), and ask if they’d be willing to review it. You may also want to consider offering something to sweeten the deal, like a link to their blog from your site or an article you’d be willing to write exclusively for them. Again, this is a great way to get your book right in the face of your target readership.
4. Mind your manners. There’s a blog entry on the Infinity Publishing site about the to dos (and not to dos) when contacting a book reviewer. You can read the full list, but here are some highlights:
- Don’t ask when the review will be completed.
- Don’t tell the reviewer what you want them to say.
- Don’t be offended if they don’t like the book.
- Always send a “thank you” note
Remember, even if a book review isn’t as positive as you’d like, you can probably find a sentence or two to pull and use in your promotional material. As I said … no reviews are bad reviews.