Reviews don’t write themselves. Before there can be reviews, there should be readers. And even if you’ve amassed a decent number of readers, there’s no guarantee that they’d take the time to post reviews in Amazon or Goodreads. Such is the reality faced by authors. But don’t lose heart because there are plenty of ways to address the issue.
- Send Out Advance Review Copies. I must emphasize that these copies should be sent to reviewers in exchange for honest reviews. Traditional publishers do this to solicit reviews before the book becomes available to the general public. This is also feasible for indie authors.
- Find book bloggers and reviewers. These are the people who will review your book provided you send them a copy. They usually have a review policy or protocol. If it’s a perfect fit, go for it.
- Provide incentives. An example would be to offer your next book for free or at a discounted price if they review your current book.
- Contests and Giveaways. Plan on giving away prizes (e.g. Kindle Fire or Amazon Gift Cards) to readers. This gives them motivation to post reviews.
- Free promos (Amazon Kindle). Authors are divided when it comes to free promos. It’s a debatable issue, but free promos done through Kindle Direct Publishing pay off in the long run. This promo hits two birds with one stone – you get downloads, which helps in the ranking, and you get more reviews as a result of the downloads.
- Kindle Countdown Deals. If you’re iffy about giving away your books, try this program instead. This limited time discounts are appealing to readers and reviewers because they buy the books at a lower price.
- Join Book Review Clubs. Joining book clubs gives you access to a pool of reviewers, who are also writers and authors. Members are usually supportive and they also expect you to return the favor by reviewing other authors’ books.
- When all else fails, turn to family and friends. But truth be told, they are a tough lot to please, that is if you can actually make them read your book.
There are many ways to get reviews without begging or selling your soul. You just need to be creative and be on the lookout for opportunities to promote your book, which in turn, keeps the reviews rolling in.
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