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HOW TO ASK FOR BOOK REVIEWS
If you're looking for a quick way to materialize lots of authentic book reviews, I'm sorry to say this article does not include a witch's cauldron. If you know that spell, please contact me immediately, because your knowledge is worth a pretty penny to thousands of self-made authors! For those of us without big marketing budgets, getting reviews is going to take effort with results expected over time. But before you put hours of research into requesting reviews, I have to ask: Are you confident in your book? Objectively speaking, for someone who isn't your neighbor or your relative (thanks for the support Uncle Drew), do you think your book brings value to an audience? Is it well-written and edited; does it have a compelling cover and a clear audience? I hope the answer is yes (if not, what do you need to do to make it yes?). It is important for you to believe that your book is valuable, because that will come through in your pitches. If you're confident and determined, try the following guidelines when asking for reviews:
1. Know your audience
When I saw a pop-up ad about the "Get to Sesame Street Challenge", I was so excited. I have always wanted to be on that show. Now, turns out it was a campaign to get people to walk 100 miles and get Sesame Street character pins, but the point is, the ad made me excited. You'll hear a lot of people say they don't like ads, but probably what they don't like is irrelevant or insistent ads. When your favorite musician comes to town, you want to know. And if you're an avid reader or part of a niche group, you want to know about intriguing new books too. Think about who that excited audience is for your book, and make a list of all your potential reviewers. Of course that includes anyone already on your email list, but are there additional people who have liked and commented on your social media posts? What about the posts of similar books in your genre? In addition to the everyday reader, you can contact book bloggers and reviewers for your genre by searching websites like Medium, Goodreads, Amazon, and of course, the social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also join groups on apps like Meetup and Likewise. You never who might buy your book, so put a request for reviews in the front or back of your book as well.
If you're not familiar with the Goodreads app, get a full tour here:
2. Make the benefit clear
Now, obviously the book review is going to give you, rather than the reader, the biggest benefit. And that's okay. People enjoy being helpful. Instead of sending a generic request for a review, write about what the review could mean for you and your book. Even better, connect the review to your hard work and achievement. For example, send a request for reviews when your book is being distributed by an independent bookstore, celebrating that moment and telling readers that a review would help it reach an even wider audience. If you don't have any specific achievements, you could write about how, even with incredible technological advances, personal recommendations are valued above all other sources of information. While it helps to have a template of what you want to write to each recipient, make small tweaks like including their name and what you know about their reading interests to ensure that they know you care about their individual opinion. You can also provide some of value related to the book for added incentive.
3. Set a deadline
A deadline has two major benefits: It gives a sense of urgency to your request, and it creates a natural opportunity to send follow-up emails. You can set your deadline at the end of the month, and then send a reminder midway and on the final day. This can work for launching or re-launching your book. Another option is to connect your deadline with a holiday or special occasion. Does your book have a strong female lead - why not request reviews during Women's History Month? Has it been exactly one year since your book release? Do you have birthday coming up? It might seem arbitrary, but special occasions tie your request to something the reader already has in mind, making it more likely for them to remember your deadline.
4. Make it as easy as possible
The best hack I learned from my research of reviews is related to the world's largest bookstore - Amazon. Did you know that you can put a direct link to your review page? You'll definitely want to add a direct link to your request for reviews. Amazon doesn't exactly make it easy, but you can use this prefix and add your book's ASIN number: https://www.amazon.com/review/create-review?&asin=
For example, the book How to Get Book Reviews on Amazon (Authentically): 30+ Email Scripts That Help You Get Reviews & Testimonials Without Breaking the Rules can be reviewed at https://www.amazon.com/review/create-review?&asin=B08XPNRCWV
With these tips in mind, you might still be looking for advice on how exactly to word your request. The following script should help you out:
You may have heard the exciting news that my book, [title], was [achievement]. When I wrote my book, it was my goal to [reason you wrote the book], and this is one more step in that direction. Of course, I couldn't have gotten there without the support of people like you buying the book and telling others about it. As you can imagine, there is great potential for my book to reach more readers ahead of [holiday, special occasion]. If you've read the book and enjoy it, could you please leave a review on [site]? Even with all our technological advances, word of mouth is the most trusted way that people get recommendations, so your opinion counts. You can review the book at [link].
Thank you for your time.
P.S. If you'd like to unsubscribe to my email list, you can reply "Unsubscribe" at any time.
For more ideas on email scripts, the book How to Get Book Reviews on Amazon (mentioned above), provides 30+ scripts.
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