Get reader reviews fast

“Ambassador of Goodwill” Michael Thomas Sunnarborg, one of my June 2012 book publicity e-course students, has been very smart about soliciting testimonials for and reader reviews of his newest book, so I asked him to share some tips here. The author of 21 Days to Better Balance and 21 Steps to Better Relationshipsboth part of a series of books, workshops, and presentations designed to help people find better balance and happiness in their lives, Michael is a also a popular speaker and wellness coach. Learn more at his website.  

Get reader reviews fast

By Michael Thomas Sunnarborg

Solid testimonials and book reviews are critical components in the book writing and self-publishing business. Promoting your book takes effort. But some of the load can be eased by tapping your resources and collaborating with your network—specifically those people who understand and support your vision. These people will be your best advertisers.

I recently released 21 Steps to Better Relationships—the second book in a series designed to help people find better balance and happiness in their lives, relationships, and career. As part of the final publishing process, I began sending out copies of my final edited manuscript requesting quotes from those people who understood my vision, and who I knew would be happy to provide a testimonial for my book.

Once I received their testimonials, I edited their words for length and content—making sure I sent them their edited testimonial for final approval—and voilá! My testimonials were ready to add to the back cover and the book web site.

“How can I leverage those valuable testimonials . . . ?”

Being a creative thinker, my next question became, “How can I leverage those valuable testimonials as reader reviews on Amazon?” So I came up a the following process for getting book reviews quickly on Amazon, Goodreads, or any other site that allows public book reviews.

First, use the following steps to create an e-mail requesting their help:

  1. Thank them for providing the original quote and supporting your vision.
  2. Ask them for what you want (i.e., “I would love to have your testimonial and a five-star rating next to your name in my book reviews.”)
  3. Provide them a direct link to your book site on Amazon, Goodreads, etc.
  4. Provide them with their full original quote.
  5. Encourage them to copy/paste their quote, add to, or write a whole new quote.
  6. Thank them (again) for supporting your vision.

Then send this e-mail to each person who provided you a testimonial, editing content as needed.

Thanking them for being a part of your publishing vision, asking for what you want, and making it as easy as possible for them to support you (i.e., adding links and a copy of their own words), increases your chances of getting an excellent book review. You can also use a similar process for reader reviews from new people—even adding a “sample quote” to give them direction. Never be afraid to ask for what you want!

What other advice would you offer authors looking to generate more reader reviews online?

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  1. Thanks Michael. I appreciate your pre-launch advice. I have one testimonial inside our books, but your point about putting it on the back cover makes much more sense.

    Now I’m motivated to solicit additional testimonials that can be added to the back and will generate good will and support from the “Expert” and will add credibility to our series.


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