You finally did it. You wrote and published your first book and officially sent it out into the world. Congratulations! You are super excited and the print copies you bought are selling like hotcakes from your family and friends buying them all. You are on top of the world!
But what happens when all the momentum slows down? What happens when everyone you know has bought your book and you kind of become at a standstill?
I don’t say this to burst your bubble but sometimes it does happen. Especially when you are first starting out. This is why reviews of your book online are so important. What’s in a review? More than most new authors realize.
What’s In A Review?
- Reviews are the lifeblood of your book.
- Reviews are the social proof that you have written a book that can sell.
This is so, so important because if you have no reviews or few reviews, chances are people will pass by your book. This is definitely heartbreaking, but it’s reality. Not to mention, finding your first reviews can be really tough and there are good ways and not so good ways to go about this.
Getting Reviews: What NOT to do:
Ask friends and family. There are two main reasons not to do this.
- It taints your relationships. People will think they owe you a review regardless if they liked your book or not and it’s just awkward for both parties.
Buy Reviews. Yes, you can go online and buy reviews for your book.
Barter for Reviews. I’ll read and review yours if you read and review mine.
- I guess way back in the day people used to do this but no more.
So, what do you do? Immediately everyone thinks of asking their friends and family but beyond that, what’s left? Don’t despair new author, you still have options to get those first reviews.
Getting Reviews: Ways to Legally and Ethically Get Reviews.
- Ask your email list-If you have a mailing list, when you release a new book, ask your readers for a review. Discount your e-book deeply so people are more enticed to pick it up and follow your call to action for leaving a review. This is totally ethical because these people are not your friends or family and love your books anyway.
- Use Librarything–Librarything is a social platform like Goodreads that allows you to set up giveaways of your books (either in print or e-book form) in exchange for reviews. This platform comes highly recommended by a best-selling Amazon author that I follow named Jonathan Green. He says that the people on Librarything take their reviewing seriously. I have not tried this yet but when I do, I will let you know my results.
- Use Book Review Targeter-Over the holidays I purchased a program called Book Review Targeter. However, I haven’t had a chance to use it yet. This system targets people on Amazon who have reviewed books similar to yours. Once again, I will let you know of my results with this in the near future. For more information, check out this link: http://www.clkmg.com/ddrum/brthome
Just because reviews are the lifeblood of our books, it doesn’t mean we have to struggle to get them. These are three good ways to get started to get some reviews coming your way.