Improving Your Chances of Receiving an Honest Book Review

When you became an author, you probably did it to pass on a message or a grand universe to a reader. Writing was a passion and you couldn’t wait until the final edit and the published book.

No where in your dreams did you believe you would also be the publicist and marketer of the book.

Although, that is the reality of the author in modern times. Even if the book reaches a top publisher, the writer must market the book and get good reviews.

Reviews, preferably four and five stars, make or break a new book and new author. If no one reads the book, there will be no reviews. And if there are no reviews, then no one will read the book.

Quite the Schroeder’s Cat(“Die Gegenwärtige Situation in Der Quantenmechanik” n.d.) paradox.

So, how do you collect reviews and put yourself out there to be read?

Start with the End

The best place to ask for a review is at the end of the book. Place a well-drafted request from the reader to leave an honest review of the book. Not everyone will like the book, which is for another topic on How to Take Criticism, but a fair share of readers will like your novel and will want to heap on the praise.

Smart authors always add a book review request, often with a link to the direct page where they want you to leave it. If the reader purchased the book at an online store, send them to the book page to leave a review.

Reviews help other readers decide if it’s worth their money and time to purchase and read a book. And on the other side of that, lots of good reviews mean more sales for authors. You should encourage your readers to leave reviews by including a call to action at the end of your book, and there are other ways to obtain honest reviews too.

Ask Readers and Other Authors for Help

Book communities, such as Goodreads, exist to talk about new books and authors. And there are plenty of places to find a reader who will offer an honest review. Also,many book bloggers need of a fresh topic or book to review. All you have to do is contact them. If you are doing a blog book tour, some of those bloggers might be willing to review your book on their site and even add a shorter version to Amazon on Goodreads.

Other authors definitely understand the importance of reviews for exposing a book to readers, so don’t be shy about offering them a free copy of your manuscript in exchange for a honest review.(“Why the Right Book Reviews Are So Important for Authors” 2016) They usually want to help out a fresh author because somebody probably helped them in the beginning too.

The List is Life

If you are a new author, you should have been working on a mailing list – subscribers, fans, or past readers – to build your author profile. Always consider your list as a ready-made tool to build momentum for your book.

Email your list and ask your subscribers to read the book and leave an honest review. You might even want to segment your list so that those who don’t add a review after the first email will receive a second reminder.

Whatever you do, don’t sound desperate. People tend to avoid authors who beg. Just tell them you have a new book, maybe the second book in a series, and offer them a discount in they leave an honest review. Let them know that they can help other readers find your book by leaving a review.

Ask the Mighty Oz for Help

Research the world of Amazon to find people who review many types of books in your genre and then contact them. If they have already reviewed one of your books, then you have a leg up on other authors. Ask these reviewers if they would write a review for you.

You can give them a PDF or other type file free to read in exchange for it, or if you are enrolled in the KDP Program, you can make the book FREE for a limited time.

Make sure to add “an honest review” into the text because Amazon will penalize you if it looks like you are ‘buying reviews.’ You can find reviewers here:

  1. “Die Gegenwärtige Situation in Der Quantenmechanik.” n.d. SpringerLink. Accessed April 4, 2019.
  2. “Why the Right Book Reviews Are So Important for Authors.” 2016. The Write Life. April 21, 2016.

© 2019, Michael Shawn Sommermeyer. All rights reserved.

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