As each month goes by, there is more and more evidence that proves the internet has taken the publishing industry and pulled the dusty rug from beneath it. The Web 2.0 Quake as shaken many of the industry giants right down to their ink and paper foundations. And, bit-by-bit, the hallowed halls of the untouchables are crumbling around them.
In case I’ve instilled unnecessary fear into your heart about the impending publishing apocalypse, I’ll reassure you by explaining why and how the power is actually in your hands now.
With most major magazines and newspapers cutting their book sections, book reviews are moving back into the hands of the people—the readers, not the critics.
The power-house reviewers: Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal, Booklist, and ForeWord will still sit atop their jeweled thrones—at least for a little while longer. But readers are done relying on the dictators for the “good book” nod.
One of the biggest influences in this trend has been Amazon.com, the behemoth of book reviews. This is the one-stop shop where an author can find reviewers for her book. It is, by far, the greatest resource to target reviewers, in any genre.
When you are ready to seek reviewers, keep in mind that your goal is to look for the badges for “Top 10 Reviewer, Top 50, Top 100, Top 500,” etc. These are the most prolific reviewers who are serious about their craft. You will find that their reviews are carefully and thoroughly written, much more comprehensive than what you will find posted by the casual reader. The Top Reviewers love books, are avid readers, and are committed to reviewing. Many of them also work with other sites to submit their review content, so being reviewed by these reviewers will give your book visibility on other sites as well.
There are two ways to seek out the best reviewers for your book. It is research, so yes, it will be time intensive. First, you can do a search for books that you know are similar to the book you have written. Cookbook? Historical romance? Dog-Training Guide?
Scroll through the reviews and look for the Top Reviewer badges. The names are clickable links to the reviewers’ Amazon pages. Once you go to their page, click on “Browse profile” and you will be able to see their lists of interests.
There is also another feature, once you are on their profile page, scroll down and see every review they have ever posted on Amazon. Read their reviews. See if you like their voice and their style. Are they overly generous with their stars or stingy? Do they give useful and fair commentary?
After you’ve analyzed their reviews, if you believe they would be a good fit, look for the contact information in the “Your Actions” box in the upper right corner of their profile page. There are several options, but look for the “Send this person email” link. When you click on it, it will open in your mail program or if you hover over the link, the email address will appear in the lower left corner of your browser frame.
Read the rest of the article, which includes numerous links to online reviewers, on the W.O.W. Women on Writing site.