After the launch excitement died down a bit (read: I am no longer a zombie), I’ve got stuck into my next steps. As I wrote in my last post, word of mouth trumps in marketing, and a big part of that is getting more reviews for my work.
Friends & Family
Okay, so I know they can be a bit biased but you’ve got to start with what you’ve got, right? I’m confident that none of my friends or family who have reviewed my work have been at all dishonest in their rating or their written review, so I’m grateful for their support.
The drawback to these guys is that they’re often not familiar with Goodreads and Amazon, and usually don’t have a blog, so it’s not necessarily an ‘easy’ task.
This is the step I’m currently on. Book bloggers know what they’re doing, are familiar with the major platforms, and usually ask nothing in return except a free copy of your book, and sharing once the review is up.
They usually have clear review policies, so it’s easy to pick the reviewers that are likely to enjoy your book. So far, the book bloggers I have contacted have been friendly and professional to work with, making the process more fun than scary. Yay!
The two main blog lists I have used are:
I think it’s also good practice to look at their previous reviews, or at their Goodreads ‘read’ list. This gives you more of an idea about whether your book will be a good match for them.
If other authors are willing, you can sometimes swap reviews. I’ve done this with author friends before, setting the ground rule that we’ll only post honest reviews or not review at all. There have been books I’ve chosen not to review because I couldn’t honestly give them more than two stars (mostly I just haven’t made the time to review though, so writer friends – please don’t take that personally!).
My Goodreads giveaway hasn’t ended yet, and I’ve heard that there’s pretty much a 50/50 chance of the winners reviewing your book. I figured it was worth a shot anyway, and I’m glad I went for it.
Since creating the giveaway, I’ve been contacted by a couple of book bloggers that are interested in reviewing. Even if the winners of the giveaway don’t leave a review, I’m still getting reviews from having a go. Because these are from people who have chosen my book, I think there’s a higher likelihood of getting a review.
Other books’ reviewers
This is a strategy I haven’t tried yet. I first heard of it from a webinar by Jim Kukral (which I’ve embedded below). The idea is to go to books that are similar to yours, and click through people who have left reviews. This takes you to their profile page, and if their contact information (or website) is available, you can see if they are accepting review requests and contact them.