Friday, February 22, 2019

Book Reviews: How to Get Them

Reviews. We’re told we have to have them. No one will take a chance on a first time indie author without some reviews. Maybe once you have a few books out there and have established a reader base they are less of a need, but for that first book – you’re going to need them.

But, how to get them? I ask. I recently sent out an email asking anyone who bought Book Formatting Demystified to review it. I see nothing wrong with that. Though, Amazon says that friends and family cannot review your book. When it first comes out, who else is going to review it? I saw the following article recently and the author addresses that issue, and others.

From the article:
"You need to focus on reviews and getting the ball rolling. You don’t need to manufacture hundreds and hundreds, but if you don’t get people to review your book, it will be next to impossible to gain momentum and your book will sink. 
Getting reviews must be a part of your launch and book marketing strategy—plain and simple. 
* * * 
Amazon Verified Reviews vs. Unverified: Verified reviews are the cream of the crop. They show up higher in your book reviews list, and from all that I have seen and heard, they count for more in the mysterious Amazon algorithm that ranks your book vs. other books."
This means that if you send out advance copies, or use giveaways, the resulting reviews are not nearly as valuable. Also, another reason to get people to buy your book online as opposed to attending readings, signings… (KM)
"Amazon’s TOS (terms of service) state that no friends and family can review your book."
How do they know? Social media. (KM)
"Paying for Reviews: Don’t do it! There are definitely people out there that will take your money and leave a review. 
To sum up, don’t pay for reviews, don’t swap reviews with other authors, and don’t heckle friends and family to leave reviews (if it happens naturally so be it). Don’t wait for reviews to come in, go out and get the ball rolling. 
By all means read Amazon’s TOS, but follow the above advice on what not to do, trust your gut if something seems off, and you should be okay."
What should you do? The author lists 7 strategies. (KM)
"1. Put a Call to Action in the Back of the Book 
2. Search for Readers that have Reviewed Similar Books on Amazon 
And ask them to review the book. (KM)
3. Send Emails and Set Follow ups. 
The author recommends Gmass. This only works for 50 recipients or less. I say go with Mailchimp. (KM)
4. Use an Email Follow up Sequence
Incentivize people to give you their email address by offering a “bonus” in the back of your book and then aske them for reviews. (KM)
5. Go Beyond Amazon and Find Book Review Blogs on Google
You find the blogger, send them an email talking about the book and offering to send them a copy if they would review it. (Could be a digital copy. Keep your costs low and send out digital wherever possible!) (KM)
6. Book Review Sites? (Be Wary!) 
There are services that will request reviews for you. But, like everything in the indie publishing world, you have to be careful. There are scammers out there who will take your money, but then not do the work. (KM)
Concept: The reviewer is not compensated other than receiving the free copy of the book, and they are not required to leave a review. 
What’s not allowed is paying directly for folks to review your book, or providing any type of incentive to do so. (Again, any incentive other than a digital or print copy of your book.) 
7. Have an Audiobook? Get that Reviewed Too!"
Seems kind of stupid to me. Indies should not go to the big expense of audio if the ebook or printed book isn’t selling. (KM)

Read the entire article.

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