How to Get the Most Trusted Type of Promotion—the Elusive Book Review
Do you know that most people say that an authentic product review is the most-trusted type of promotion? It influences their purchasing decision far more than paid advertising. Because reviews are from a third party and perceived as non-biased, people will read reviews before buying a product, going out to eat at a new restaurant, employing a service provider, or in our case, picking out their next book to read.
In the land of books, reviews are one of the most sought-after types of promotion. Having also worked in consumer goods and manufacturing, I’ve seen the benefits of a solid review strategy. If you are now starting, or are beefing up your review game, consider these four book review tips:
1. Know When and Where to Get Advanced or Editorial Reviews
Whether you are self-published, traditionally published, or working with a hybrid publisher, getting reviews in advance of your book’s release is important. There are several types of book reviews and a variety of respected places one can go for them.
Chances are, if you have a professional publisher, they will submit your book for review with places like Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus and Netgalley. It is always good to ask to make sure—at Black Château we’ve encountered authors who are traditionally published, whose books are not submitted in advance by their publisher, so one should never assume anything.
Make a list of submission deadlines and requirements, as well as what version of the book is acceptable. Everyone is different. For example, Midwest Book Review doesn’t accept ARCs, (advanced reading copies). Netgalley works best if you list your book two to three month in advance, and ARCs are fine. Do your homework so you know all the requirements in advance.
2. Book Blogger Reviews
There are many book bloggers and regular folks out there who might be interested in reviewing your book. Spend some time searching for bloggers on line and through social media. Think about your audience when doing your research. For example, Instagram tends to do well for YA and genre fiction, so if that’s where your book falls, consider starting your search there.
Black Château has a team of Book Bloggers who we work closely with for reviews. We value our Book Bloggers and offer them a selection of books to review on a monthly basis. When you find a blogger willing to review your book, I recommend you being respectful of their time and effort. Give them a copy of the book far enough in advance so they have a chance to read it. When you see them post about your book on social media, comment, like and share. Be engaging with them if you hope that they will engage with you.
3. Come Right Out and Ask for Reviews
Once your book is out, don’t be afraid to ask for reviews. While you don’t want to ask for a review right away—you need to give your readers time to order, receive and experience your product—you don’t want to wait too long either.
While you don’t want to be annoying, sending a friendly reminder to write a review by email or making a request through social media, is a great way to remind those who have read your book that they can review it. Don’t forget to offer tips on where to leave a review. Amazon, Goodreads, Instagram, blogs, Facebook, and other social media sites are all places authors like to see reviews.
4. Thank Your Reviewers
While you want to make sure your reviews are authentic and sincere—and do be careful as companies like Amazon frowns on compensated or incentivized reviews—you could offer something to thank those who leave reviews of your book.
Something as simple as a discount coupon, or a free download, could be a wonderful way to thank those brand evangelists who reviewed your product. Even a simple thank you sent to your reviewers can go a long way. A friendly email or text acknowledging their review is positive reinforcement and one of the best touch points you can have with your audience.
Cultivating reviews is an art that evolves. It takes trial and error to figure out what methods work best. If you have a good book, you will be able to reap the benefits of getting good reviews. If you need help, let us know. Black Château is here to help with all your book promotional needs.
By Desireé Duffy, Founder of Black Château