This post originally appeared on the Alliance of Independent Authors site on 9/19/12.
Trying to get readers to write a review is like getting your two-year-old child to take a horrible-tasting medicine, says ALLi member and regular contributor, Giacomo (Jim) Giammatteo. But it is possible and it is worth it. In the first of a three-part series on reviews, he explains how he gets more than twenty reviews a month.
The Process of Getting Reviews
I launched my book in mid April 2012. Since then I have managed to get seven editorial reviews, 77 reviews on Amazon, and another 44 reviews on Goodreads. No matter how you look at it, that’s a lot of reviews (more than 20 per month) so how do you get that many reviews?
I can tell you it’s not by having a big family. I didn’t have my wife write one (mostly for fear of what she’d say) and I didn’t have either of my sons write a review. A few family members did write reviews—the ones who read the kind of books I write. And guess what, one of those reviews was not a five star. (Yeah, I know. Tough family)
For what it’s worth, here’s the secret—work your butt off and put in a lot of time. Here are my suggestions.
- Your Book—In the back of your book put a statement about how important reviews are, and ask the readers to please leave a review. Don’t ask for a good review, just an honest one.
- Internet—Spend time scouring the internet for sites that review books, and then send out emails asking them to consider your book for a review. There are a lot more sites than you might think. (I am in the process of putting together a comprehensive list of reputable review sites, so check with me in a few weeks if you’re interested.)
- Bloggers—This one is perhaps the most important. Do your research. Find the bloggers who read and review in your genre. Follow their instructions and guidelines. Most of them have their policies posted on the site. Read them. Did I mention, Read the Review Policies?
- Make sure you send your book to reviewers who are interested in your kind of book. I made this mistake, resulting in three of my worst reviews. These reviewers were appalled at the violence and use of language in my book. I don’t blame them; it was my fault. I should have done more checking.