Ah, the coveted book review. Every author wants them, and everyone in the industry talks about how important they are.
But have you ever stopped to think about why that might be and how exactly you can use a review to benefit your book and author brand?
First thing’s first, let’s talk about ways you can secure book reviews:
- Be sure you are ready to start soliciting reviews. ARCs are perfectly fine, but create these after the copy editing and proofread process.
- Consider your goal of why you want reviews and how you plan to utilize them, and this will help you decide between consumer and professional reviews (a mix of reader buzz and premiere publications is best!)
- If you’re a new publisher, start a blurb program with authors you have published. If you’re an author, reach out personally to fellow authors on similar publishing journeys who write in your genre.
- Reach out to authors of comparable books, as well as the reviewers, influencers and media outlets that have covered them.
- Submit the book for free and/or paid review programs with industry publications (Foreword, BookLife, BookPage, Kirkus, School Library Journal, etc.)
- Consider other options with media if the book is not accepted for review (reading list, excerpt, guest article from the author, etc.)
- List the book on NetGalley and Edelweiss.
- Coordinate a Goodreads giveaway, as well as a giveaway with LibraryThing.
- Think outside the box: Does the author have any bookseller or librarian supporters who may provide a blurb?
- Pull reader reviews from retail listings.
- Follow submission guidelines closely: Be mindful of deadlines, editorial calendars and specific information requested – whether for a trade publication or book blogger.
Now that you’ve built up reviews, blurbs and other accolades, what in the world do you do with them? There are plenty of ways you can maximize the impact of your reviews:
- Add the most compelling review quotes and premiere endorsements to the book’s front and/or back cover, and use additional quotes on an inside praise page.
- Also highlight the catchiest and most compelling quotes at the start of the book description on online retail pages, as well as others in the Editorial Reviews section on Amazon and metadata with Ingram to help populate things like the Overview section on Barnes & Noble.
- Add reviews to the press kit and any other marketing materials.
- Mention the earliest reviews and blurbs garnered when reaching out to secure other potential reviews.
- Include quotes on NetGalley and Edelweiss listings.
- Have the author add reviews and other media coverage to their author website.
- Use them in advertising copy.
These effective book marketing tactics will help you take your book to the next level!
A former award-winning journalist with national exposure, Marissa now oversees the day-to-day operation of the Books Forward author branding and book marketing firm, along with our indie publishing support sister company Books Fluent.
Born and bred in Louisiana, currently living in New Orleans, she has lived and developed a strong base for our company and authors in Chicago and Nashville. Her journalism work has appeared in USA Today, National Geographic and other major publications. She is now interviewed by media on best practices for book marketing.