The million dollar question almost every author asks (one which I’m continuously battling myself) is how to get more reviews short of shaking your friends by the collar and yelling “What’s wrong with you fool?! Don’t you know this is as good as money for me? You can’t take 30 seconds of your Facebook time to write me a review on Amazon or Goodreads? I’m not desperate, I’ll even take one over the other if it’s too much work…”
Yeah… that might now work. (or it might, I haven’t tried it — in its entirety)
But seriously, how to get reviews? Well, we’ll go by what I’ve been told – because thousands of book sales later and I’m still short on reviews. But hey, I have reviews? From what I’ve heard and my own personal experience is you’ll get 1 review for every 500-1000 book sales. Yikes!
But here are some shameless ways to get those reviews
- Ask your friends, in a private message. Hey, try picking up the phone and asking them. Seriously. If they’ve read your book ask them if they’ll leave a review. If they say sure, say “Great! As soon as we hang up, I’ll send you the Amazon and Goodreads links so that you don’t have to hunt them down.” Here’s another tip, let them know you’re not looking for a NY Times type review. From what I’ve heard from my own friends and why they spent so long before leaving reviews is because they didn’t want to just leave some lame review. They didn’t realize that anything is better than nothing. So help them out. “I’m not looking for anything crazy – something as simple as “good book!” or “this was decent” will work!” (Please don’t ask for a 5 star review. Let them know you’re looking for honest reviews and let’s just hope they give you 5 stars.)
- Do a Goodreads giveaway. You can giveaway as many books as you like (they need to be in print of course) – but no need to go more than 5 books. Most Goodreads reviewers are kind enough to leave reviews (just not kind reviews in many cases).
- Have an ARC sign up. Don’t know what an ARC is? See my post here This is a great way to get reviews before your book is even out
- Send your book out to official sites like Kirkus, MakeUseOf lists off some of the official sites (it’s also worth nothing that the comment thread actually almost provides better info than the blog link itself) Also, places like Kirkus are costly – but hey, it’s another way to get reviews, you asked.
- Blog tours like Xpresso Blog Tours, etc are official sites that set up blog tours where a lot of the bloggers will review your book for free. (The tours aren’t free though)
- Book sales – I know, this is redundant. But really, that’s what it comes out to. It’s a numbers game. The reason why Harry Potter has over 3 million reviews is because 400 million copies in 68 languages have been sold. (Whoa) The book world is a slow one – from writing it, to publishing, to reviews, readers, and sales. It really should be called Turtle world – except I think turtles move faster.
- Review exchanges. This is my least favorite. Mostly because I hate reading things I wasn’t compelled to read in the first place – but not everyone is like me. Find other authors who are wiling to do a review exchange and just hope they hold up their end of the bargain. (Hopefully they’re not like me with a pile of books from friends that have been waiting to be read)
- Review giveaways – Host a contest. First 25 people to leave a review for …. book will be entered into a contest for … signed book, or something. Remind them to leave reviews once they’ve read the book and not leave a review just to be entered into the contest.
- Remind your fans you need reviews. Post on your fan page that you’re looking for reviews and remind them how it helps you out.
- Network and ask. The #1 key to success is networking. The best thing to do is ask around. “Do you know anyone who would read and review my book for me?”. Keep asking, you’d be surprised how many people are willing to help out.
BONUS: Rank on Amazon. The higher you rank on Amazon the better sales you’ll have which will result in more reviews. (read #6 again) But just to help out with some stats, here’s what it takes to rank according to MakeUseOf:
Amazon Best Seller Rank 50,000 to 100,000 – selling close to 1 book a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank 10,000 to 50,000 – selling 5 to 15 books a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank 5,500 to 10,000 – selling 15 to 25 books a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank 3,000 to 5,500 – selling25 to 70 books a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank 1,500 to 3,000 – selling70 to 100 books a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank 750 to 1,500 – selling 100 to 120 books a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank 500 to 750 – selling120 to 175 books a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank 350 to 500 – selling175 to 250 books a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank 200 to 350 – selling 250 to 500 books a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank 35 to 200 -selling500 to 2,000 books a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank 20 to 35 – selling 2,000 to 3,000 books a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank of 5 to 20 – selling3,000 to 4,000 books a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank of 1 to 5 – selling4,000+ books a day.
AUTHOR REVIEW ETIQUETTE
In case you’re new at this (and we all were at one point) you might not have been warned about review etiquette. Here’s a brief review on reviews.
- Do not ever ever ever comment on a review of your book — ever. I don’t care how tempted you are to correct the 1 star reviewer that your book is not a Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings knock-off (which would be cool, by the way) but a true fantasy inspired by the likes of Joe Abercrombie instead. Here’s another key, don’t even comment on the positive reviews. Those reviews are for other readers – they are not there for us. I can’t stress this enough, DO NOT COMMENT ON REVIEWS!
- Don’t comment about reviews on your blog, Twitter, etc. Are you seeing a pattern here? Basically pretend reviews don’t exist. Just don’t comment on them. Reviewers hate this and it makes them feel awkward.
- If someone sends you a review (be it positive or negative) which happens with official reviews from bloggers, newspapers, etc – thank them profusely for reading your work. (regardless of what the review says)