Online Book Marketing: How To Avoid Bad Book Reviews

These days a large part of book marketing includes getting your book reviewed online. Prospective buyers read these reviews at Amazon and elsewhere. They take reviews from fellow readers very seriously. After all, a paid reviewer associated with major media will be just one voice – and not a very typical one.

The truth is that online book reviews are critical to your book’s sales. Even top publishers know: they send review copies to “amateur” Amazon reviewers.

So how do you get reviews?

You will find many answers to this question on the Internet. Most of these answers are completely wrong.

Here are 3 pieces of really bad advice I found, guaranteed to be sure your book won’t get a good review (and may not be reviewed at all).

Bad Advice #1: “Begin by sending your book to the top reviewers.”

The truth is, top reviewers may be all wrong for your book. If you’ve written a murder mystery, it’s rarely a good idea to ask for reviews from readers who specialize in biography and history. If your mystery is a cozy, don’t send it to a thriller fan.

Top reviewers are fussier than most. They have big stacks of books piled high on their coffee tables, all waiting for reviews. Therefore your book may not get reviewed right away and may even be forgotten..

Bad Advice #2: “Send messages to follow up with reviewers.”

You’ll waste your time and probably annoy the reviewer. If you’re not seeing a review a few weeks after you send the book, most likely you’re facing one of two scenarios.

– Scenario 1: The reviewer started reading your book and lost interest. If that happens, you’re usually better off hoping the reader forgets your book.

As a reviewer myself, I tend to ignore bad books from small publishing houses and self-published authors. If I can’t say anything good, I won’t add to their misery; they should have hired a book marketer a long time ago.

– Scenario 2 – Reviewers get flooded with books. They do get behind schedule. They rarely review 100% of all books they get. Your book may be back-burnered or tossed aside. That’s a risk you take; it goes with the territory.

Bad Advice #3: “Ask reviewers to give you feedback, whether or not they review your book.”

Your reviewer is not your writing coach. If you need feedback, hire someone who will give you direct advice and guidance. Do this before your book gets printed. Once your book arrives in reviewer’s mailbox, it’s probably too late to do anything anyway.

Anyway, be careful what you ask for. I once responded ta request for feedback because I felt sorry for the author. He’d put effort into designing the book and the cover. Unfortunately, his content was outdated and his examples were inaccurate. The author had chosen a “hot topic” he didn’t know about and the result was a disaster.