Hi All,

I am having the damnedest time trying to get reviews of my books.  I know folks are reading my books--I can tell from my sales report--but, it's not translating into reviews.  I'm trying to get to at least 15 reviews on each of  my works, and have tried a 12 different ways to get them.  Does anybody have any foolproof strategies?

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I think the best way is to ask people directly.

Much like linkedin recommendations are very important. Most people are very busy but will stop and do one if asked directly. 

Another way is to send free copies to reviewers with that express intention. I've seen this done before. 

I've tried those sand keep trying them, but the results are slow going.  I look at some of my counterparts and they have forty and fifty reviews within days of releasing their books.  I guess maybe I'm trying to figure out how to cultivate believers; you know the folks who not only support you, but champion your work.  If I could cultivate 20 or 25 readers like that, I think it would go a long way.

Keep at it those same counterparts are very strategic. Some group together and agree to review each other's books. Also enlist family members and friends. For some strange reason I've noticed once you get a couple reviews others will chime in. Here is some info i found in that area from: http://authoritypublishing.com/book-marketing/how-to-get-more-revie...

How to Get More Reviews for Your Book on Amazon

Like it or not, reviews on Amazon help sell books. The vast majority of potential buyers will look at your reviews to assist them in making How to get book reviews on Amazona buying decision (I know that I do). If you don’t have many reviews, it can make your book look less popular than competing books with many reviews. And if you have too many negative reviews, you will undoubtedly lose buyers. If this happens, take a step back and look objectively at the negative feedback. Often you will find a trend that needs to be addressed in a revised edition of your book.

The point is that all authors need to focus on generating reviews on Amazon on an ongoing basis. Legend has it that reviews also help Amazon rank your book. The more reviews your book receives, the more likely Amazon will be to display your book as an option in related search results.

Following are ways to generate more book reviews on Amazon:

Start with friends who have actually READ the book – This one is tricky. You don’t want to ask great aunt Edna or your mom to write a review. It will be too hard for them to be objective, and the results will show up in the reviews. But you do want to reach out to friends and family—those who have actually read the book—and ask them to take a few moments to write one for you.

Reach out to your email subscribers – If you maintain an e-newsletter list, and you should, ask your readers to write a review. It’s amazing what happens when you simply ask.

Ask via social media – There is nothing wrong with reaching out to your social media audience and asking for their help. A post like this should work: “Did you like XYZ book? I’d appreciate it if you’d post a review on Amazon!” Don’t forget to include a link to your book’s page on Amazon. Make it as easy as possible.

Give away review copies – Many authors host campaigns where they give away free books specifically for review. In exchange, if the reader likes the book, he/she should write a nice review on Amazon. You can offer up this option via any means at your disposal (email, social media, to trade associations you belong to, etc.). Dan Poynter also facilitates campaigns like these through his publishing newsletter. Sign up at ParaPublishing.com .

Ask buyers – When you sell books through your website or at a live event, consider inserting a note inside the book asking the reader to post a review. You could print this request up on a postcard or even on a business card, or if time allows, hand-write a note to include in each copy.

Offer incentive – Last fall I reached out to my audience and offered up a bonus report to anyone who posted a review within a specified time period (several weeks). This simple campaign inspired several dozen reviews from my readers with very little effort.

Remember, sometimes all you have to do is ask. The key for most of us is to remember to ask!

- See more at: http://authoritypublishing.com/book-marketing/how-to-get-more-revie...

Thanks for this.

Well you can pay me. I'm an African American writer and reader. It would be $50 bucks for the first review and $100 dollars after that. I think I could make a living at it. I'm really really good if that helps. I'm the only black person here who has reviewed for Locus, although I think I might have lost that gig once they found out I was black. Or perhaps because I criticized Harlan Ellison and they lost subscriptions. Hope its the latter!

I was thinking about offering this service to the entire board in the next week or two but since you're complaining...! As you probably know there used to be a critical review of black books that was on the stands (Black Issues) until they went out of business. I think I can bring it back, or something like it, online.

Here are some of my really really good reviews or so I claim:

http://www.locusmag.com/2002/Reviews/Shropshire04.html

http://www.locusmag.com/2001/Reviews/Shropshire1.html

http://www.threerivertechreview.com/redhourdown.htm

It would be a blog/website and I would call it "Writers of Color". I'll give you guys a full proposal in a week or two.

I wish I could give you ideas, but I myself am just starting out as a short story writer. If anything I need tips on writing from you. LOL. 

I am a reader and wouldn't mind reading your works. But, you need to hit social media to locate book clubs interested in your genre. For example, Meetup.com, Facebook, BlackPearls (Ella Curry) could offer you opportunity to reach black readers interested in reading something other than traditional urban literature. Put up a Facebook page - it's free. Update it often (every day). Put pictures on there of you at events... I'd also like to suggest that you show up - where? Where people meet - provide readings of your book at small book stores, get out there and have book signings, put press releases out there. Stand behind your product. Visit local book clubs, tell them about your self, your book, etc.  Where can I purchase a copy of your works?

Our wise and well-informed Administrator has provided an excellent list of ideas for book promotion. I have one more.

ForeWord Reviews is a well-established magazine (paper and online) running *only* book reviews of works published by independent (self-published), alternative and university publishers (aka small press) as well as two editorials. Their advertising space is 100% made up of books and publishers. The quarterly magazine celebrates its 15th year of publication this year, and continues to review a variety of categories in both fiction and nonfiction. For our purposes, they separate SFF into science fiction, fantasy and horror. The online edition is here:  http://www.forewordreviews.com .

Two services are offered to publishers and authors.

ForeWord Reviews magazine pays independent reviewers for reviews on books selected by their editorial staff from the hundreds they receive every month. "Good books independently published" is their motto.

Clarion is a fee-for-review service for reviews and is not included in any edition of the magazine or website. This review is not published because it's intended to provide feedback from a skilled reviewer for a fee provided by the author (sometimes also the publisher if the author wears that hat). Any book sent to the Clarion service will be reviewed, regardless of its textual qualities, because the author has paid for the book to be reviewed. Clarion reviewers must include comments or suggestions on the book's design (including the cover), grammatical errors (if any), readability and any needed constructive criticism both technical and literary (i.e., structure, pacing, characterization, etc.). They're also required to be polite and diplomatic in the review text, no matter how much "fail" the book presents. Details on these and other subjects can be found at the website.

The paper magazine is usually around 100 pages. Its layout design and use of art (pics and covers) are as professional and eye-attractive as any major magazine. The online version also offers reviews that aren't in the print edition. 

"How do you know all this?" one might ask. 

One would be answered thus: "I'm been one of those independent reviewers since 2011."

ForeWord is always glad to receive books written by authors of color (hey! new acronym!) and non-USian authors translated into English. If anyone here sends in a book for either service, feel free to drop my name (J.G. Stinson) in your contact letter/message. Why? So the editors know that I recommended that you the author should do so, and that's all. I don't wanna be no superstar, people. :-) I like the reviewing gig just fine. Also, mentioning my name may help the book end up in my hands (once I explain to the boss that I'm not a personal friend or family member :-) instead of the hands of a non-BSFSer reviewer.

Wow, that's a lot of verbiage! I hope this msg prompts many BSFSers to send their works to either service. I look forward :-) to reading your books.

Hi LD, 

Thanks for this. I have social media, though I have to admit I am much more active on twitter than on Facebook.  I am on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, here, and Pinterest.  Books are available via Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  The latest, skinless, is only available as an ebook right now.  With the launch of each book, I try to schedule appearances and I do have to say that I get most of my readers from those kinds of events.  Often, those readers will reach out to me to say how much they enjoyed my work.   I take that opportunity to encourage them to post reviews, but that never quite works.  A couple of weeks ago, I ran promotions that offered the first part of skinless for free.  I had almost a thousand downloads, but still only five reviews.

If you are willing to write a review for skinless, I would be happy to send you a copy of Part I for free. 

LD Mitchell said:

I am a reader and wouldn't mind reading your works. But, you need to hit social media to locate book clubs interested in your genre. For example, Meetup.com, Facebook, BlackPearls (Ella Curry) could offer you opportunity to reach black readers interested in reading something other than traditional urban literature. Put up a Facebook page - it's free. Update it often (every day). Put pictures on there of you at events... I'd also like to suggest that you show up - where? Where people meet - provide readings of your book at small book stores, get out there and have book signings, put press releases out there. Stand behind your product. Visit local book clubs, tell them about your self, your book, etc.  Where can I purchase a copy of your works?

Hi Jan, 

Thanks for this information.  I am aware of the pay for review services and have employed one for my novel Posers.  It was, just as you said, more for personal edification than for promotion purposes.  (They said I was pretty good. :-) ).  Perhaps I will look into ForeWord. 

L. M. 

Jan S said:

Our wise and well-informed Administrator has provided an excellent list of ideas for book promotion. I have one more.

ForeWord Reviews is a well-established magazine (paper and online) running *only* book reviews of works published by independent (self-published), alternative and university publishers (aka small press) as well as two editorials. Their advertising space is 100% made up of books and publishers. The quarterly magazine celebrates its 15th year of publication this year, and continues to review a variety of categories in both fiction and nonfiction. For our purposes, they separate SFF into science fiction, fantasy and horror. The online edition is here:  http://www.forewordreviews.com .

Two services are offered to publishers and authors.

ForeWord Reviews magazine pays independent reviewers for reviews on books selected by their editorial staff from the hundreds they receive every month. "Good books independently published" is their motto.

Clarion is a fee-for-review service for reviews and is not included in any edition of the magazine or website. This review is not published because it's intended to provide feedback from a skilled reviewer for a fee provided by the author (sometimes also the publisher if the author wears that hat). Any book sent to the Clarion service will be reviewed, regardless of its textual qualities, because the author has paid for the book to be reviewed. Clarion reviewers must include comments or suggestions on the book's design (including the cover), grammatical errors (if any), readability and any needed constructive criticism both technical and literary (i.e., structure, pacing, characterization, etc.). They're also required to be polite and diplomatic in the review text, no matter how much "fail" the book presents. Details on these and other subjects can be found at the website.

The paper magazine is usually around 100 pages. Its layout design and use of art (pics and covers) are as professional and eye-attractive as any major magazine. The online version also offers reviews that aren't in the print edition. 

"How do you know all this?" one might ask. 

One would be answered thus: "I'm been one of those independent reviewers since 2011."

ForeWord is always glad to receive books written by authors of color (hey! new acronym!) and non-USian authors translated into English. If anyone here sends in a book for either service, feel free to drop my name (J.G. Stinson) in your contact letter/message. Why? So the editors know that I recommended that you the author should do so, and that's all. I don't wanna be no superstar, people. :-) I like the reviewing gig just fine. Also, mentioning my name may help the book end up in my hands (once I explain to the boss that I'm not a personal friend or family member :-) instead of the hands of a non-BSFSer reviewer.

Wow, that's a lot of verbiage! I hope this msg prompts many BSFSers to send their works to either service. I look forward :-) to reading your books.

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