Book Reviews Are Free and Perhaps the Most Effective Promo You Can Find

Book reviews are one of the choice means of promoting your book. The majority of readers place their trust in quality reviews. That’s because professional reviewers are unbiased and as such respected by most readers. The problem for far too many authors, especially less experienced ones, is finding these quality reviewers.

With more than half a million new books appearing on the market every year, demand for reviews has increased tremendously. It is quite difficult today to capture a review from a widely recognized reviewer. To give you a sense of the overall situation, Publishers Weekly, the industry’s leading newspaper, reviews just 5,000 books a year.

Midwest Book Reviews handles approximately 490 books per month, and it is one of the largest review groups in the nation. But that’s still no reason to be frustrated. There are many opportunities for astute authors to develop meaningful reviews.

How Do I Find a Reviewer?

There are many highly respected sources that you can reach out to. Dan Poynter, a top-level publishing guru, offers you the chance to list your book for review on his digital newsletter “parapublishing” Fellow authors, eager to see their own names in print, will volunteer to review your book.

Poynter asks anyone who signs up on his site to review not post a negative opinion. He makes it clear that he is not asking the reviewer to fudge his/her opinion. He simply requests that if you can’t say something favorable, say nothing at all.

The largest group of professional reviewers is Amazon’s Top 1000 Reviewers. Any review that carries the imprimatur of this group will be well respected and trusted.

Enter “Amazon Top Reviewers” on your search engine, and you will see the list and the respective rankings of the reviewers. Don’t expect to capture a review from the top 50 or 100. They are extremely busy and very selective. If you have the time, try anyway. It can happen. I know that from personal experience.

It is important to look beyond these reviewers. If you have written a nonfiction book, seek out publications that deal with the same subject, and send a request for a review. If successful, it will be seen by people who have already shown their interest in this specific subject as readers of the publication, and the potential for them to purchase is high.

Also check your area newspapers. The larger dailies all have specialized sections like business, seniors, food, travel, and real estate and in some cases even more. Send your request for review to the editor of the appropriate section.

Unfortunately, many papers have closed their book review sections, but some run reviews on other pages. Be sure to contact the smaller weeklies in your area. They are well read and always seeking interesting stories on the accomplishments of local residents.

Enter “Book Reviewers” on the Internet, but be careful to screen your responses. Be leery of paid reviews. They don’t carry the weight that non-paid do. However there are some paid reviews that are of value. ForeWord Magazine has initiated a paid program that will generate respect, as do the paid reviews of Bookpleasures.com by Normal Goldman.

Pre-publication Reviews

One vitally important category of reviews is often overlooked by authors. The seven most influential publications in our industry only review before a book is published. These reviews are read principally by industry members. A favorable review in any one of them will help guarantee some hefty sales that begin even before you formally publish.

The seven key pre-publication reviewers are: Publishers Weekly,

Library Journal, Kirkus Review, ForeWordMagazine, New York Times

Book Review and Booklist (American Library Association.) If your book is suitable for children and or young adults, include School Library Journal.

You must send galleys of your book enclosed in a cover (or facsimile of your cover) to the reviewer four months prior to publication date. The cover should state

“Advanced Review Copy – Not Fully Proofed.” Do not send a finished copy of the book even if you have one. These reviewers will accept only advance copies (ARCs).

You may prefer to contact a short-run, digital printer and have bound copies prepared. But these also must have the ARC notice on the cover. You will undoubtedly need more than just the few copies you send to these reviewers. You may want to solicit book clubs, send to additional reviewers, include an ARC with requests for endorsements and for any other promotional purpose.

Quality Book Reviews Gives Literature A New Lease of Life

In website content writing, there is no point in writing a book review if you are just writing it for the sake of getting published. Your efforts will no doubt be appreciated, but you will ultimately gain nothing. Content writing for book reviews only to get a good search engine rank is always good. However, that is not the only benefit that you can draw from article writing. No doubt website content writing for a review of a book is a great way to practice and display your skills as a writer. But still, that’s not the only point.

Here’s the point. Article writing will only help if you practice what was written in the book. For example, if you read a book about promoting your business, article writing will help you to in fact advertise your business. If you are reading a book about home decoration, content writing a book review will help you get rid of the piles accumulated in your own home.

It is a common practice to read books and think of great ideas, only to put back the books onto the shelf without acting upon it. There is no full-proof solution to this issue, but there is a tool to offer that will take you a step forward and that is article writing for book review.

With the vast list of distractions available and a 24-hour day that seems to grow shorter day by day, the average span of human attention continues to decrease into the obsolete. Getting the habit of article writing for book reviews will not change that, but the process of sharing your experience by content writing a review will revive your memory about the content of the book and it will give others a peek into the world created by the author of the book. In the process, you might just inspire some souls to read the book who otherwise wouldn’t have thought of reading it.

Before starting the article writing for a book review, look through the readers’ perspective. The website or blog where you will be posting your review will be accountable for the readers actually finding your review. Choosing the correct website is always very important for website content writing to get proper visibility and correct audience.

Write about what you experienced about the book. While article writing about the book, try to personalize the book instead of summarizing it. Try quoting events from the book and giving your own opinion about the same.

Describing your experience using memorable incidents is a great choice. You can talk about your experience about reading the book while sipping a great cup of coffee or sitting in the lawn amongst beautiful flowers or under a banyan tree. Referring to these types of incidents is often helpful.

Book Marketing – 3 Tips For an Online Book Review

Book marketing used to require live book tours, where authors visited bookstores all over the country, making speeches and reading from their books. These tours were supplemented by book reviews in newspapers and magazines. Reviewers in those print media would receive complimentary review copies, often in pre-publication form as Advance Reading Copies (ARCs).

Today fewer publishers are willing to pay for live book tours and few authors enjoy the hassles of 21st century air travel followed by impersonal hotel rooms. These days more and more authors and publishers are turning to online reviews, especially reviews published in the Amazon online community.

Amazon has become so critical to book sales that publishers now send ARCs to ordinary people who are the most prolific and effective online reviewers. Authors allocate a hefty portion of their publishing budget to getting online book reviews.

Yet many authors hold inaccurate beliefs about what they need to get an online book review. The steps are actually quite simple and easy to follow.

First, there is no need to pay anyone to write a review for your book. You will be wasting money and you will most likely not get a quality review.

A better idea: Use your book review budget to buy extra review copies and send them to the reviewers who seem most suited to review books in your field. If your book is a how-to manual for training an adopted dog, look for reviewers who seem to like books about dogs. Some will even mention the breed of their dog in their reviews and/or online bios.

Second, offer reviewers a complete hard copy of your book. A hard copy doesn’t mean a hard back book; most reviewers will work with paperbacks. However, reviewers often resist reading pdf copies online and they most likely will balk at the idea of printing their own copy of a 250-page book at their expense.

With the increasing popularity of readers, these preferences may change. Always ask before sending a pdf file and be prepared to offer a print copy.

Third, after someone agrees to review your book, simply send the book. You do not need to send promotional material. Editors of print book review sections and managers of book stores will be concerned with the book’s publicity plans. Most online reviewers are ordinary people who just want a good book.

Do not write to the reviewer asking, “Where is my review?” Reviewers tend to have stacks of books on their coffee tables, all awaiting review. They may choose not to review a book if they realize they would have to write a negative review, especially if the book appears self-published or from a very small press.

While it’s nice to get a thank you note after a review, this step is not at all necessary. Even more important, do not complain about your review. A few negative or neutral reviews might actually help your book. Readers realize you didn’t get all your friends to write puff pieces.

Some authors actually write reviews of their own books to respond to reviewers. They write comments on reviews to defend themselves. These efforts nearly always backfire. If the reviewer was wrong, others will jump in to make corrections. As an author, you would not make a favorable impression by attacking the reviewer (although it can be tempting to do so).