This article is from my super short book “Becoming an Authorpreneur”:
I’ll start this article by saying DON’T BUY REVIEWS. It’s unfair to your readers. It’s unfair to authors who play by the rules. And most of all, it’s unfair to you. Don’t you want to know what people really think about your writing and your book? Your writing will most definitely improve and evolve with the help of unbiased constructive criticism.
There’s no denying that reviews sell books. Unfortunately, most consumers have become wary of overly positive reviews. Reviews that are nothing but empty praise – I loved this book! This is the greatest book I’ve ever read! What an amazingly awesome author! – are usually discounted and ignored by most potential readers anyway.
You might be thinking, so if reviews are important and I can’t buy them, how am I supposed to get them? Well, for one you could make sure your book is as close to perfect as possible. Give your readers enough reasons to consider leaving a review and you’ll be in business. Keep typos to an absolute minimum (no one is perfect – not even seasoned editors – one or two typos are forgivable). Make sure your book has no formatting issues. If you write fiction, check and double check for consistency and character development.
The truth of the matter is most people who read a book never bother to take the time to write a review. People are busy. They just want to read a book for enjoyment or research and then move on. This is true whether the reader loved the book or hated it. It can often be like pulling teeth to get people to review your book. However, it’s still worth the effort to solicit book reviews. Some ideas on how to go about this are:
- Offer free review copies via social media, newsletters, your website, message boards, etc.
- Search online book bloggers and send a polite email.
- Check out Amazon.com for consistent, high-profile reviewers and send a polite email.
- Join an author’s group via LinkedIn, Goodreads or other website and carefully solicit reviews.
- Start your own Facebook Book group, website, forum, blog, etc.
- Sponsor a book giveaway contest on Goodreads – it’s free for print copies and there’s no guarantee that winners will review your book. *You can now give away up to 100 eBooks on Goodreads for a fee of $119.
- Create a specific page on your website, complete with contact form, offering free book copies in exchange for honest reviews.
Don’t forget to include a paragraph at the end of your book(s) asking for reviews. It’s perfectly acceptable to add something along these lines:
I hope you’ve enjoyed this book. If so, I’d love it if you’d take just a few minutes out of your busy day to leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. I truly appreciate it!
While you’re at it, you can add your author profile at the end of your book as well. Adding an about the author allows your readers to know more about you and makes you more approachable.