Tag Archives: Social Media

6 ways to get your book reviewed

Reviews are important for self-published authors as they offer proof for potential customers that they will get their money’s worth. “Reader recommendations – in the form of reviews – [tell people] that a particular title is high quality and on-genre.

love the book
Opened book with sheets in the form of heart, studio shot

Many self-published authors find it challenging to find reviewers. However, putting in the effort and remaining increases your book’s chance of being reviewed. Here are some tips to consider:

Reaching out

Reach out to book reviewers and introduce yourself and your book. Use a personalized cover letter that includes a book blurb. Here is a sample template you can use:

Dear [book blogger’s name],

I hope this letter finds you well. My name is [your name], and I am contacting you because I recently published a book I believe you would find interesting.

The book, titled [your book’s title] is a/an [your book’s genre] novel.

[1-2 paragraphs describing your book, similar to the back cover and/or sales copy blurb.]

I would be thrilled to have your expert opinion on it.

I came across your blog on the [website title where you found the blogger’s information] website, and I would be honoured if you would consider reviewing this book.

I am happy to provide you with a free digital copy of the book for your review. Please let me know which file type you prefer. I understand that you likely receive a large number of review requests, and I can wait until you are available. Additionally, I would be happy to participate in an author interview or provide any other information you might require.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing back from you.

[end salutation],

[your name]

1. Blogger list websites

You can find several reviewers for free at The Book Blogger List and similar websites. These are sites on which bloggers post their contact information, looking for books to review. There are so many more authors than reviewers, so you will likely have to wait. Reading a book takes time, and there are so many more authors than reviewers.

2. Connect on social media

Use social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to promote your book and connect with book reviewers and bloggers. You can offer a free eCopy of your book in exchange for a review.

3. Online communities

Join online communities of self-published authors and book reviewers like GoodReads. You can connect with other authors and reviewer in online communities that may be interested in reviewing your book.

4. Advanced reader copies

Offer advanced reader copies (ARCs) of your books to reviewers for free for bloggers to read and review your book before it’s officially released. Providing ARCs is a great way to get copy and quotes for ads in the queue, ready for when your book is published.

5. Purchase a review

Some websites and blogs review self-published books for a fee. Keep in mind that Amazon might not approve paid reviews, but they are a way to get a quote from a reputable source for marketing campaigns.

6. Search for bloggers on your own

You can also contact book bloggers directly. Most reviewers maintain blogs and websites to showcase their work. Britbear Book Reviews (maintained by the owner of EMSA Publishing) is one such site. Submitting your book does not guarantee your book will be reviewed. However, the Britbear site does not post anything under three stars.

Culling reviews is time consuming but rewarding

Getting your book reviewed takes time, from composing a query letter, emailing it, receiving a response, and waiting for your book to be read and edited, but reaching out to reviewers is a great place to start. The key is to be persistent and patient and build relationships with reviewers.

Beginner’s Guide to Building an Online Platform

Most of my experience in the world of publishing has been helping friends and colleagues to get their work published, so I never had the need to create a social media presence for what I do. But when I decided to go pro, I realized that my business was going nowhere without an online platform.

Starting an online platform from scratch is a lot of work with little return, at least in the beginning. Nevertheless, in today’s digital market, it’s exactly what I had to do. It’s also exactly what many first time authors need to do, and so I thought I’d share the process with you.

Without further ado, here is my beginner’s guide to building an online platform:

Claim your domain name.

A domain name is how potential fans will find you on the web. You can choose from virtually any name or phrase, so long as it hasn’t already been registered. Many authors choose their book title as a domain name, but I suggest using the name under which you publish. That way you can create a separate page for each book and keep site maintenance to a minimum.

Build a web page.

Take a breath…this isn’t as daunting as it sounds. There are quite a few really good point and click interfaces out there. I like WordPress, but you can also use Wix or Weebly and forward your domain name to your site. Pages you might want to include on your site include synopses of your books including buy links, and a brief biography which lists ways to contact you. While a blog is not mandatory, it’s a good way to pique reader interest, particularly if you blog about writing and the writing process, and/or the subject and genre in which you write.

Claim your social media accounts.

Create a Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, GoodReads, Pinterest, Storify, and GooglePlus account in your name. If your name is taken, try adding the word “author” or “books” to it. Social media is a great way to publicize your work and draw reader attention.

Link your social media for cross-posts.

You can join your social media accounts to post to each other, which is a huge time-saver. By cross-posting, your blog can post to select social media for you, Twitter can post to Facebook and vice-versa. Same with GoodReads. Some websites (like WordPress) will even let you create a widget that shows your last few Twitter and Facebook posts on your website. GoodReads has code that will display your To Be Read list, or the title of the book you are currently reading in a sidebar, all of which can help make connections between you and your readers. Use a scheduling site like HootSuite to enable you to post during peak hours, if you can’t physically post at those times yourself.

Create social media buzz.

Post to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest regularly. I usually make an advertising post about once a week. The rest of the time I’m reposting materials about publishing and writing that I find on the web and that my followers might find interesting. I also post a notification to social media any time I add something to my blog or earn accolades on the web for my work. I reserve sites like Storify, GooglePlus and LinkedIn exclusively to promote posts about my own work.

Follow and friend like-minded people.

Search up hashtags for your genre and content on Twitter and follow a few of the people that post them. Join Facebook groups for writers and lovers of similar genres and content. Interact regularly by liking, sharing, and retweeting. Engage and interact with your followers and friends and they’ll follow suit. Before you know it you’ll be networking like a pro, selling books with little effort, which, after all, is the primary reason you embarked on the journey to create an author platform in the first place.

Do you have any other ideas for beginning writers wanting to set up an online presence? If so, share your tips in the comments below.