You’ve written a novel or nonfiction ebook and published it on the Kindle platform. Kudos to you, that’s a huge accomplishment. 🙂
You’ve made some sales, or you’ve made none at all.
Either way, you want reviews. Reviews, good, bad or indifferent, offer social proof, and lead to more readers.
So, how do you get reviews?
Unsolicited reviews are… unsolicited
The best kind of review is totally unsolicited. A reader loves your book, and writes about it, either on Amazon, or on another site, perhaps their own.
There’s not much you can do to encourage this kind of review. Just write a good book.
You might also include a “thanks for reading” note at the end of your ebook.
Something like this:
Thanks so much for reading ___ (book title.) I love to hear your thoughts. Please post a review, I appreciate it. You can post your review at Amazon, LibraryThing, or GoodReads.
You can contact me at ___ (email address.) Check out my blog: ___ (blog URL.) You’ll find free excerpts of upcoming books, and fun competitions.
Again – thank you for reading.
Get reviews from book (and other) bloggers
Some people (like me) love reading. They start a book blog, to share their excitement about books with the world.
Indie Book Reviewer is a directory of book bloggers. Just enter your genre into the search query box to find reviewers for your genre.
You can simply use Google.com or Google Blog Search and search for reviewers covering your genre, viz “romance book reviewer”, or “mystery book reviewer.”
You don’t need to confine yourself to asking bloggers who review books in your genre for reviews, of course.You can ask other bloggers too.
For example, let’s say you’ve written an ebook packed with barbecuing recipes. Since there are thousands of foodie and cooking bloggers, some may be interested in reviewing your book, or posting a recipe from it (with a link to Amazon, where readers can buy your book.)
Use social media to interact with readers
Although interacting on sites like Twitter and Facebook is time-consuming, it can also work for you. On the other hand, you may hand out hundreds of free copies and get no reviews at all.
Use social media to build your platform (which you should be doing anyway) rather than handing out free ebooks.
Swap reviews with other authors
Use your contacts. If you know other authors (and you should) ask them to swap reviews. You review theirs, they review yours.
This can be tricky, if the author you approach hates the genre you’re writing in. For example, much as I might love you, I would never read a vampire novel.
Contact other authors via their sites, or via Twitter.
LibraryThing has an Early Reviewers program, where you can offer free review copies. You can offer any number of copies you wish. Some authors offer 15 copies, other offer 250 copies.
It seems to work for authors. Remember that you may not receive any reviews for months; some people just like to have a huge To Be Read pile… 🙂
You can also offer a freebie via Kindle Nation. Kindle Nation has various sponsorship options. You’ll pay for sponsoring, but you’ll get your ebook noticed by thousands of readers. You’re not guaranteed reviews of course, but from what I’ve seen on various forums, you will make sales.
Remember to use your own site too. Market your ebook to get traffic. Then offer a free download of the first chapter to your site visitors, and ASK for reviews and comments after readers have bought and read your book.
Relax and be patient: your ebooks will sell for years
Many authors are publishing their backlists electronically. I’ve been buying Kindle novels which first came out in the 1980s. Other authors have their rights back, and are publishing digital versions of their print books. Some of these authors’ reviews date from 2000.
Long-published authors have dozens of reviews, or none at all.
Take this to heart: your ebooks will sell for YEARS.
I tend to be lazy. My focus is on writing. I do as much promotion as I can, within reason – my main focus is on writing FIRST.
The best way to get reviews is to take what readers are generous enough to give you. Write another book, and another one after that. You’ll get reviews eventually. Be patient. Write good books. Your Kindle ebooks will sell for years. Relax. 🙂
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