We all know the positive effect that reviews have on our books, in particular when it comes to sales, and this is true whether you are independently published or mainstream published. Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula; then again, maybe this is a good thing, because if there was a magic formula, then everyone would be doing it, and we’d all be in the same quandary.
There are three keys to the review journey: Research, Patience, and Outreach.
First, never underestimate your existing fan base. This includes your social media followers, the business organizations you support, your email list, the writer’s groups you belong to, and your family and friends. These wonderful folks are already onboard in many ways. Many have already bought your book. Reach out to them. Ask for their help in creating a first wave of reviews.
Next, Amazon’s list of top reviewers. Do not assume these people are out of reach. Yes, they receive an avalanche of requests every day, but the effort is still worth it. One of their reviews is golden. Two, three, or more can be a serious momentum boost. The key: do it the right way. Do your research. Follow the guidelines. Write a killer pitch. Don’t be put off by rejection. Keep moving forward.
Third, enter the world of book review bloggers. Do not underestimate their importance. They provide an essential service. So, the question of the day is how best to pitch your book to them. The blog tour is one way. People like to describe a blog tour as an online or digital version of an actual, in-story book signing. Picture meeting potential readers of your book online and pitching your book to them. A blog tour is set up by a “blog tour company.” The “tour” introduces your book to a number of book bloggers and each blogger’s followers. In some cases, you might write a guest post. They might ask you to do an interview. You might be able to post an excerpt. The caveat: Blog tours are not free; do your due diligence.
Finally, bypass the blog tour idea and send out your own “pitch” to book bloggers and book reviewers. Soliciting reviews for your book less an agent or tour company is very acceptable. It does take time and it does take commitment. You have to research book bloggers and book reviewers in your genre. Then, you have to craft a pitch that will garner the interest of the blogger and/or reviewer and convince them to feature your book and present it to their followers.
Remember: Research, patience, outreach.