Get book reviews so your book has momentum right out of the gate. There are various ways to get reviews.
- Trade reviews are reviews by professionals that publishing trade that the booksellers and librarians read. Trade reviewers offer free and paid review services and advertising. (Listed in the next chapter.)
- Review services that are not trade.
- ARC (Advance Reading Copy) delivery services help you deliver your ebook and print book to your readers in formats that match their devices.
- Book matching sites that match your book with reviewers on their list who read and review your genre.
- Apps and tech tools that help you find reviewers.
This is a list of all non-trade review services. Trade review services can be found in the next chapter.
IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
Amazon Top Reviewers
You can find the top reviewers at the URL above, but figuring out which ones read your genre and finding their email addresses is arduous. Which is why products like Book Review Targeter exist. See below.)
BookSprout is an app that delivers your ARC to your readers’ Apple, Android, and Kindle Fire devices. Create an ARC and share a link with your readers. BookSprout sends the book to your readers and keeps track of who leaves reviews and who doesn’t so you can clean your list. The app sends an alert to your readers two days before the ARC reviews are due. What’s cool is that it allows you to import books you’ve already published on Amazon.
Book Blogger List
Some avid readers have become book bloggers, taking the challenge to find and recommend great books. Find them at The Book Blogger List, a place to “help book bloggers find like-minded bloggers and help authors find book bloggers that might be interested in their book.”
Book Review Targeter
Book Review Targeter is a fantastic, time-saving tool to automate the process of finding Amazon book reviewers who have listed their contact information. For both Mac and Windows at $247 but looks to be on “permanent” sale for $197. This tool finds all Amazon reviewers who have provided contact information. Just type in your keywords and search results for the relevant books will appear. Then the tool filters out all the reviewers that do not have contact information. Export the information into a CSV file: reviewer names, email addresses, profile URL, the URL of their review, name of the book they reviewed, book author, and ASIN. The creator of this program, Debbie Drum, has also provided a contact email template with wording that works to attract reviewers, and connected it to a Google mail merge add-on called YAMM. This lets you automatically populate the email and send 50 emails per day to these reviewers (because Amazon doesn’t let you send more than that.) Training videos come with the tool.
Readers sign up to get free Kindle ebooks. Authors promote free books that are already in the Kindle store. You must already have at least 10 four-star reviews on Amazon. You get a listing of your book in their free ebooks page and in Freado.com, inclusion of your book in our daily best ebooks email which goes out to 10k+ readers, a tweet with your book cover in their Twitter account, and a post in their Facebook page. They’re affiliated with BookBuzzr, a marketing tool. (See Book Marketing Tools & Services.)
Don’t do it. The algorithm favors people who have a ton of books on their reading list so 8 out of 10 (est) books go to them and 2 go to random readers. eBay sellers have realized they can game this system, so they load up their reading list, win books, and sell them on eBay. Until Goodreads fixes this, don’t use it.
Hidden Gems Books ARC Program
The Hidden Gems ARC program sends your novel to their list of reviewers to match your type/genre of book with readers that are most likely to enjoy it for a registration cost of $20. Further costs are $2.00 per reader between 50 and 149 readers. For 150 or more, the price is capped at $300 They claim a review rate of over 80%, cleaning their list frequently to remove readers who ask for books but do not leave reviews.
IndieReader offers reviews for $225 and RUSH reviews (4-6 week turnaround) for $300. If your title earns 4 to 5 stars, it will be included in IndieReader’s monthly “Best Book” roundup in the Huffington Post (from Paul Kilpatrick and Amy Edleman).
Register to see the list of book review bloggers on The IndieView. The list starts with “prolific indie reviewers.”
LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program
LibraryThing connects authors with potential readers, playing matchmaker with their LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.
The program helps you distribute advance copies of books to interested readers. You submit your book and LibraryThing members sign-up to request ARCs.
LibraryThing matches books with readers based on the books in the readers LibraryThing catalog.
- You supply LibraryThing with a list of the titles that you’ll be offering to the Early Reviewers.
- They announce the titles (in monthly batches), and LibraryThing members sign up for whichever books they’re interested in.
- They use an algorithm to find the members most likely to enjoy and create buzz for your titles.
- They send a list of the winning members and their addresses to you. You send out the books.
- Early Reviewers read the books, and then post reviews to LibraryThing. They are encouraged to also cross-post to their blog and social media.
NetGalley allows you to pitch your book to professional readers (media, reviewers, booksellers, librarians, bloggers, and educators) who can review and recommend your title, from one location for $399. (Get a deal on NetGalley if you’re a member of IBPA.) Miral Sattar of Bibliocrunch published a useful interview with NetGalley on how self-published authors can use the service.
Writers’ Blog Finder
Check out this free search engine for finding the top blogs in your genre.
How to get book reviews
The Self-Publishing Boot Camp courses will help you with every aspect of self-publishing. Marketing starts at the very beginning in the Self-Publishing Freedom course, with finding your readers and turning them into super fans. In the Marketing & PR course you’ll find out how to get trade book reviewers to notice your book, too.