5 Key Tips to Help You Get Book Reviews
A few years ago, I was a top-notch consultant for a direct marketing company. I was earning every incentive they offered, including all-inclusive, all-expenses-paid vacations for my husband and me. So how did my consultant work help me in book marketing and getting book reviews? Glad you asked! Read on, and I’ll share with you my top five tips for getting reviews that I learned from being a consultant.
Tip #1—Set a goal for the number of book reviews!
I never knew how critical reviews were, but once I did, I set a goal, and you know what they say about goals, right? They need to be S.M.A.R.T.
Specific—The goal is direct and detailed.
Measurable—It is quantifiable
Attainable—It is within your power to accomplish
Realistic—With work, is it truly attainable
Time-based—When exactly do you want to accomplish it?
With S.M.A.R.T. goals in mind, I made the following goal:
“50 book reviews on Amazon within the first 30 days of my book’s release!”
Tip #2—Set aside time to do the work!
Each morning after Bible study, I dedicated time solely to working on getting as many reviews as possible. As a new author, I also dedicated time to market my book.
I found this promotional opportunity through Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) website: 5 Book Marketing Plans Available for CIPA Members https://cipa.podia.com/members/posts/70185-5-book-marketing-plans-available-for-cipa-members. The information here is very helpful.
Tip #3—How to ask for book reviews!
In my opinion, this is the part most Christian authors get wrong. They post a generic meme on Facebook or Twitter and sit back and hope for the best. Maybe that works if you have a considerable following, but I don’t. I’m not too fond of social media. During my time as a consultant, I learned to ask to become successful, even if I was uncomfortable in doing so. I knew if I wanted success in getting reviews fast, I would have to ask each person individually. Copy and paste became my friend. Consumers don’t understand the importance of their reviews, so I tell them. The truth is, most people want to help each other. Knowing this will take you far in asking for reviews.
Different situations require different approaches. Below is an example of what I did and the situation:
Situation: If they’ve had the book over 2–3 weeks, I would text/email/message:
“Ok, I’m dying. LOL Have you had a chance to read any of the book because I would love to know what you think. If not, totally ok. I’m just really curious.”
Many replied by telling me they hadn’t had the chance to read it yet, but I also got replies like:
“I have read the book, and I love it! I’m going to read it again and use it as a Bible study. I relate so well to every darn thing you’ve written. I need the link again, please, to leave my review”
“Review posted on Amazon”
“I am halfway through. Once I complete it, I will review it on Amazon and so far it is amazing!
Situation: If in their reply they told me they were going to review, I replied with a simple:
“Thank you so much! You just don’t know how important reviews are to a newbie like myself. It means the world. Here’s the link!”
I replied in that way to accomplish a couple of things:
- People want to know they are helping you out.
- If they know it’s important, they are a lot more likely to follow through.
If in their reply they didn’t state they would leave a review, I replied in the following manner:
Someone who finished the book:
“If you wouldn’t mind, a review on Amazon would mean a lot. I’m trying to hit 50 within the first 30 days of release, and I’m currently at 21.”
Someone who’s only read a portion:
“I’m so happy you love it so far! If you feel you’ve read enough to be comfortable in doing so, would you mind writing a review on Amazon? It would mean a lot. ”
I replied in that way to accomplish:
- If they didn’t say they would review, I knew I couldn’t just assume they would. I had to ask!
- Remember, people want to help you. So always share how much their action will mean.
- I shared the goal. This part is important. If they see you’re close, they will want to carry you over the finish line. If they see you’re far, they will want to help get you started on your way to being successful.
Tip #4—Don’t make every post or comment on social media about your book.
I have a business page dedicated to my book, and yes, it makes sense for everything to be about promoting the book, but you never want to turn your personal timeline into only posts about your book. I sprinkle news about my book throughout the week. A week may look like this:
One day a post about the kids, next a post about fitness, next day funny post, next day a book post, next motivational post, next a picture of my dogs, next something funny my husband did, again a post about the book, repeat.
So it ends up being a couple of posts about the book per week, per social network. Depending on how many social networks you use, that could still be a lot of posts without people tuning you out because all you ever talk about is your book.
Bonus Tip #5—As an Indie Author – Make the most of every opportunity!
You just never know who God is going to put in your path. Be ready to talk up your book, ask for reviews, or sometimes do both at a moment’s notice. I do:
Carry my business card with me at all times
~ I have a day job, but when people ask me what I do for a living, I tell them I’m an author, which always leads to a conversation about the book
~ I don’t waste chance encounters; I talk about the book without it sounding pushy. For example, if you ask someone what they do for a living, nine times out of ten, they will ask you the same
~ On my key-chain, instead of pictures of my kids, I have a QR code to my website to make it very easy for a stranger I’ve met while standing in line at a grocery store to get to my site and check out my book. There is also a QR code on my business card.
~ When I buy something on Amazon, and the seller hits me up asking for a review. I give the review, but I reply to their email telling them I too have a product on Amazon and would love for them to check it out, and then I send them my clean link. I hope you’ve found these tips helpful.
Silvia Davis has been a member of the Church of Christ for thirty-two years. She is a devoted wife to her husband, John, and is a mother of two. Silvia’s primary goal in life is to motivate and encourage others. Through public speaking and the utilization of social media, she has helped hundreds prioritize the value of self-worth and self-care, both spiritually and physically. She currently lives in Arizona. Learn more about Silvia and her book Living a Parable: Finding Lessons in Unlikely Experiences by visiting www.livingaparable.com.