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Get reviews for your indie book!

Posted by Maria Murnane | August 11, 2011

Even if you don’t know a lot about book marketing, you’ve probably heard of book reviews. What you might not know, however, is that many of the large, traditional media outlets don’t review independently published books. We’re starting to see cracks in this dam with the likes of Publishers Weekly‘s new Self-Publishing quarterly listings with reviews, but attracting the attention of the big guys is still an uphill battle.However, there are many other outlets for getting book reviews as an indie author. Here are three suggestions:

1) Customer Reviews

There are some prolific reviewers on Amazon.com and other retail channels, websites, and social media channels. Many of them post their email addresses on their profiles. Why not reach out to them with a nice (customized!) email? The best way to find them is to look up popular titles in your genre. Scroll through the reviews and click on the reviewer profiles. Take note of how many other books that person has reviewed, as a glowing review from someone who has reviewed 500 books carries more weight than one from someone who has only reviewed one. Generally, I don’t recommend asking friends to write reviews unless they come to you proactively to say they loved your book and want to write a review. It’s important for reviews to be authentic and from people who’ve actually read your book.

2) Book blogs

Book bloggers LOVE books, and they don’t care how they were published. You can search for popular blogs in your genre on Google (http://blogsearch.google.com), and from there, you can see which other blogs link to them. Put together a blogger outreach campaign and see what happens. Not everyone will respond to you, but you’re likely to receive some response. When they post their reviews, remember to ask them to post them to Amazon as well.

There’s no guarantee that the reviews will be positive, but that’s never a guarantee for any author. Good or bad, however, when people Google your book or check it out in sales channels, they’ll see people are talking about your book. And as they say, any buzz is better than no buzz.

3) Local media

There are a ton of local media outlets starting to interview and review books from independent authors. Do a little online digging in your area, and see what you can find!

Maria :)

p.s. happy birthday to my sister Monica! :)

This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. For more helpful articles and blogs for authors, visit CreateSpace Resources.

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5 Responses to “Get reviews for your indie book!”

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  • Kai says:

    Hi Maria,

    The advice to contact reviewers on Amazon is excellent! I’m always looking for new book marketing ideas, and this is something I haven’t thought of yet. Thanks for sharing!

    Also, congratulations on getting published in Germany and getting excellent reviews on Amazon.de! You’ll be surprised how many books you’ll sell there, because Heyne is a good publisher and your books will be in many bookstores there, and Germany is a nation of readers.

    I wish you much success!
    Kai

  • These were great tips. I recently self-published my book Cyberwink: One woman’s inside scoop on maneuvering the Web’s “meet market”. I have had a lot of people who have read the book (including people that don’t know me personally) tell me they loved the book- these ideas are ones I will use to help get the word out! I enjoyed reading yoru blogs!

  • Paula says:

    Hi Maria,
    Thank you so much fo the good advice. They are so many tips here that I’m going to follow up on, epecially to contact reviewers on Amazon.
    I have four children’s picture books created as ebooks on Amazon and even though they’re selling well,(one really well!) all marketing advice is good. Thanks again and good luck for the future!
    Many regards
    Paula McBride

  • Starla Ramcy says:

    Last month, I self-published my first English novel on Amazon and Smashwords. I used CreateSpace for my cover and am working on my hardcopy.
    Within ten days, I sold sixteen copies of my E-book and wondered who those people could be. I mean, I have no platform and am just starting to learn about reviews, blogs, marketing etc. A maze, but I’m enjoying it.
    I am nervously waiting for a first review. I put a lot of time and effort in my novel and this is such a scary part of the process. Thanks for listening. Starla Ramcy

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