Book reviews play a vital role in the success of any book. When you see books that have gone on to achieve wild success, such asTwilight or Fifty Shades of Grey, what do they all have in common? They each maintained a strong presence online and benefited from glowing book reviews that spread like wildfire. In this article, you’ll learn the tactics used to get free book reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and more.
How to Approach Reviewers:
When you submit your book to reviewers, there are a few things that will help convince them to review your book in favor of others that they might be reading. This includes the following:
- Book cover – The art used on the cover will be an immediate hook for some, but not all. Some people care more about the publisher than the artwork displayed on the front of the book.
- Blurb – This is a short summary that appears on the back and/or inside of your book and should be compelling and seductive to anyone who reads it.
- Reviews – You’ll want to include at least ten customer reviews on your product page before you upload your manuscript. Many reviewers won’t review your book if they don’t think it’s good enough to get four or five stars, so that’s why it’s important to find a number of people who like it and ask them for their feedback.
The 5 Best Book Review Sites and Book Rating Sites
It’s a great website that allows authors and readers to interact with each other. On Goodreads, you can keep track of all your favorite books, what your friends are reading, and much more. Readers can provide feedback on books they’ve read by writing thoughtful reviews that help guide other readers in their choice of reading material. You can’t upload a book until it’s been professionally published, but you’ll want to create an author page for yourself before uploading your first book so people have something to see. You can also link your Amazon author page on Goodreads, which allows readers to find your book and review it.
The biggest challenge with Amazon KDP is that you first have to upload a professional manuscript before anyone can review it. Authors typically provide a manuscript to the first few reviewers they know in order to get reviews up quickly (we’ll discuss this in the next section) and then update the book with new content periodically. You can visit Amazon’s “Product Description” page, where you’ll find a spot for readers to leave reviews.
Another place to go through is Author central. Once you sign up, you can provide details about your book, including a short description, author biography, and more. You can also link to all your social network accounts, allowing readers to follow along with what’s happening in your life. If you plan on running any promotional giveaways, this is where you’ll find a spot to promote them.
Barnes & Noble
Go to your account settings and click on “Reviews,” where you can turn on the ability for users to write reviews. Once you do, any user who has purchased your book on Barnes & Noble press can review it on your product page, where they’ll find a link that says “Write a Review.”
Kobo is similar to B&N, go to their account settings and click on “Profile,” then check the box next to “Allow customers to write reviews.”
This is the only self-publishing website that I know of where readers can review books before they’re published. The Lulu self publishing company works with traditional publishing houses to sell their print books and uses an innovative process called Print On Demand (POD), which eliminates the need for inventory.
Step-By-Step On How to Get Free Book Reviews
All your writing dreams can come true with a little help from Amazon and Goodreads. The best thing about the internet is that we both have the opportunity to promote our books and obtain reviews in one fell swoop. How? With Amazon’s Kindle Select program and Goodreads.
I’ll take you step-by-step through the process of getting free book reviews, and I’ll also show you how to avoid common mistakes writers make when seeking reviews.
Step 1: Check out Amazon’s Kindle Select Program
Do you have a book that would fall under “Fiction” or “Non Fiction” on Amazon? Then you can enroll in Amazon’s Kindle Select program. That means you can offer your book through Amazon at no cost for a few days (you get to choose the duration) and in exchange, Amazon will allow readers to choose one of your books as their free download each month.
Whether or not you have romance or sci-fi, you can still sign up with Amazon for a reduced royalty rate of 35%! Free books equal more reviews, and once your book is selected as a free download by a reader, Amazon will provide you with the email address of the person who claimed it. Your readers are now primed to leave reviews on Goodreads or Amazon, which brings me to Step 2.
Step 2: Make sure your book is listed on Goodreads
Goodreads allows you to list both your paperback and Kindle editions in one listing, meaning that if a reader checks out one edition of your work and likes it, he or she will see that you have other books for sale and can easily purchase them. This also means that readers who leave reviews on Goodreads will be able to add the review to both Amazon and Goodreads!
Of course, you should still offer these readers a free download through Amazon’s Select program because if they like your book enough to read it all the way through, there’s a good chance they’ll want more from you. In addition, each book listed on Goodreads serves as a mini-marketing tool for your other books.
Step 3: Reach out to your readers!
You’ve given your readers a free download, and they have their reviews primed and ready to go on Amazon and Goodreads, so what’s the next step? Unsurprisingly, it’s reaching out to those readers by offering them a coupon off another of your titles if they leave a review.
You’ll achieve maximum results if you offer a coupon on the book that is most closely related to the one being reviewed. For example, if someone enjoys The Hobbit but wants more fantasy from J.R.R. Tolkien’s universe, you could offer them an eBook copy of The Fellowship of the Ring for 99 cents (or even free).
You can tag these reviewers with a message in your newsletter, ask them how they found you on Goodreads or Facebook, or try to get in touch with them by email if they have a public profile. The important thing is to connect with these readers so that they can find more of your work when they are looking for new books to read!
Step 4: Repeat step 3
This step should be obvious but let me give you one last tip. It never hurts to thank someone for their time and dedication in leaving a review. It’s courteous and it will encourage the reviewer (who may or may not choose to remain anonymous) to leave another review for an additional book of yours that he or she enjoys later down the.
In addition, once your book is no longer being offered for free through Amazon’s Kindle Select program, don’t forget to check back in with all of your reviewers and offer them a coupon for another delightful read. What did I tell you? Your new mission is to simply repeat the steps!
The only difficult part of this process is remaining patient. It might take a while for readers to discover your book, but once they do, you could potentially see dozens or hundreds of reviews coming in within just a few months! So what are you waiting for? Get out there and repeat the steps.