I’m not going to start this article by explaining why you need to get reader reviews for your book. You already know why. It’s the reason you’re reading this.
You want to know how to get reader reviews. You need to know where to start.
And you probably want to discover the “secret sauce that will help you get those reviews.
The secret sauce
That’s simple: Give books away.
You just have to give a copy of your book to people in exchange for an honest review.
But who do you give books to? Where do you find those people? And how do you make sure they review it?
Follow these five steps to getting reviews from people who will love your book.
Step 1: Give your book to people in your target audience.
Think of those in your target audience as your ideal readers. They’re the people you wrote the book for, so they’re going to be the most interested in reading and reviewing it.
Giving them the book is the easy part. Finding readers to give it to is harder, isn’t it?
That’s why I created a list of nine places where you can find readers who write reviews. You can download it here.Don’t expect reviews to appear organically. Create a plan to get reader reviews – when to ask, who to ask, how to ask – and work it.Click to tweet
You might be concerned that giving your book away in exchange for an honest review will cannibalize your sales. I understand that, and I can’t say that it won’t.
But I will say that you can’t count on people (especially strangers) who bought your book to review it, either. And you need reviews if you want to sell more books. So, you have no choice but to lose just a handful of sales to gain a whole lot more of them.
Step 2. Make it easy for them to review your book.
There are a few ways you can do this. One of them is to include a copy of my Build Book Buzz Reader Book Review Form with your review copy. It’s a fillable PDF file that walks them through the process. They can type their review directly into the form, then copy and paste it into a review template on Amazon, Goodreads, and elsewhere.
You can also offer a few review ideas when you send the free copy. Share information about what you’ve heard from endorsers or other earlier reviewers as subtle prompts for their own reviews.
Be sure to include a link to your Amazon review page in the back of your book, too. I show how to do that in this video.
Step 3. Follow up to get reader reviews.
Follow up with the people you’ve sent review copies to. Remind them that their review will help other readers decide what to read. And, give them a link to the review section of your Amazon and Goodreads book pages (here’s how to do that again).
Email follow up isn’t always possible because you might not have email addresses for everyone who’s downloaded a review copy. But when you do, check in with them.
People are busy. They forget. We all need and appreciate reminders.
Step 4. Follow up again.
Just one more gentle nudge.
Step 5. Start the process over again.
Unfortunately, most aren’t going to write that review, even though they accepted your book fully intending to do so. You know why that is – you have the same problems when you have a “want to do” versus a “must do” on your to-do list and can’t do both.
It’s a numbers game, so you have to continue to get those review copies into the right hands until you get at least 10 to 20 positive reviews posted. To do that, you need to continue to work on this until you’ve got enough.It’s a numbers game, so you have to continue to get those review copies into the right hands until you get at least 10 to 20 positive reviews posted.Click to tweet
Don’t expect reviews to appear organically. Create a plan to get reader reviews – when to ask, who to ask, how to ask – and work it.
Then work it again.
Your book deserves the support offered by reader reviews. Please do your best to make that happen.
How do you get reader reviews? Please give us your best tip in a comment!
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