Role of an Author - Contact Book Reviewers
A big role the author has in marketing their book is to contact book reviewers. Many think publishers should contact them. In fact, they do make many contacts but mainly with ones they already have relationships with. But there are thousands more out there who love to read and review books. The author should be contacting reviewers for their books.
Why? Here are several reasons you as the author should be contacting the book reviewers.
Developing personal connections are important in marketing your book. As reviewers get to know you, they promote you more and more. Think about it from the perspective of the reviewer. If you know the author and like the author and his work, you’ll go above and beyond to share their works with other people. I know I do for those I have developed relationships with.
If you let only your publisher contact reviewers, you are in putting a wall between the reviewers and you. You want your readers and reviewers to feel comfortable with you. When you reach out, you aren’t putting up a sign declaring “Best Friend Wanted”. You are professionally networking.
Connections are vital in business success. They are what help most businesses succeed.
Now I want to note that having as many people helping to get reviews is also wise. You don’t have all the possible connections that can help you. Networking is vital. Let others contact reviewers for you, but don’t ignore doing it yourself.
Taking Ownership in Marketing
One thing every author needs to do is taking ownership of the marketing of their book. Many who are with small presses or are self-publishing refuse to do this. Authors need to know they are crucial in the marketing of their book. That is why they need to be the ones contacting the reviewers.
Much of an author’s success depends on how involved they are in marketing their books. The less they are, the more likely they will fall under the wheel of the marketing train. How bad do you want to sell hundreds if not thousands of books.
Networking is vital in success. It is nothing new that has come with the internet. Networking has been vital for centuries. It is the tool for moving forward. The key is the future connection it holds for you.
Think about it this way - You ask a reviewer to read your book and post a review. They do. A year or so later you have one coming out that you really need help in promoting. If you already have this connection, you are already ahead of the game. They know you and might move your book up in their queue. They will be quicker to help you out. When you need them, they’ll come through for you. That is a networking result that should be cherished like gold.
A little work now can give you a leg up in the future. Do you really want to miss out on that?
How to Find Reviewers
Okay, now you know you need to be active in finding reviewers for your book. But where can you find them? Don’t they just buy your books and review them. It’s not that simple. Yet finding them can be a very simple though time consuming job.
The easiest place to start is to ask your family and friends to review your book. They are more inclined to agree to read your book because they know you. They feel guilty if they say no. Use that to your advantage. But… There is a downside to using them as your reviewers.
They will lie for you. You want your reviewers to be honest. Too many family members and close friends tend to sing the praises of your book because they don’t want to be ‘mean’ and say anything negative. As a reader, I would be turned off to see a review that is all 5 stars and never ever says anything negative and then is revealed to be written by the author’s mother.
Virtual Book Tours
I have to admit, that as an author trying to get sales, I don’t think Virtual Book Tours do much. But they are great to get book reviews. These are online tours that go from blog to blog featuring your book. Bloggers sign up to help you out. You help them out in return by posting their review or other feature for your book. Many hosts will choose to review your book and post it on their site and on Amazon and Goodreads.
Try looking up reviewers on Amazon. Choose a book in the genre as you. Look at the reviewers who posted on it. Click on their name and see how many books they review. If they do quite a bit, contact them and ask them for a review.
List of Reviewers
Here are a few places you can go to and find the names and websites of bloggers who review books and post these reviews. Read over each site carefully. Some list restrictions such as book formats and genres.
EBook Crossroads - http://www.ebookcrossroads.com/book-reviewers.html
The Indie Book Reviewers - http://www.theindieview.com/indie-reviewers/
The Book Blogger List - http://bookbloggerlist.com/
Check out your local newspaper or magazines. Many of them have book reviewers that share local interests. And if you are a local author, that counts. You might find this easier in small towns as big cities have so many that some won’t accept submissions.
There are professional review companies. Here you pay for the review. Keep in mind that you are not paying for a positive review. You are paying for an honest review. The amounts can be reasonable or into the hundreds. There are many out there, but these are the two I see the most.
Online Book Club - http://onlinebookclub.org/review-requests/