Author PR 101: 5 Tips to Improve Your Chances of Getting Reviews from Book Bloggers

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Author PR 101: 5 Tips to Improve Your Chances of Getting Reviews from Book Bloggers

 

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As I shared last week, reviews from book bloggers can be a valuable marketing strategy. You really have three opportunities here: 1) exposure to the book blogger's audience, 2) a link back to your website (which helps your ranking with Google) and 3) they may post a review on Amazon. This last point is especially critical so push for it if at all possible.

Perhaps the most important point of all is to have a quality book. Well edited, an attractive cover and well formatted. Every book should have these qualities so I'm not including them below.

The other point that should go without saying but I will, make your pitch short and to the point. You're a writer so make every word count. Imagine yourself in their shoes and having to wade through a few dozen or scores of book pitches each day.

Here are five other pointers:

1. Approach only the most ideal candidates. There are really two parts to this:

  • Does your book fit their criteria? Most reviewers specify the genres they are interested in (or not interested in) and the types of formats for which they accept books (PDF, Mobi, print). Don't ignore this (see point 3).
  • What is their “reach”? In other words, how many people do they reach via Twitter, Facebook, email or their website. Some of this information is public and sometimes they openly share it. A quick way to check the popularity of their website is to look up their domain on Alexa.

2. It's a numbers game. The more you contact, the greater the chance of getting reviewed. That's why you should follow-up a week later. Move on if you don't get a reaction after 2 tries or try to get an introduction via a trusted intermediary if they are a key influencer. Otherwise you are wasting time when there are so many other good opportunities out there.

3. The reviewer is doing you a favor. Make it free, easy and convenient. Never, ever ask the reviewer to pay for your book, or pay for shipping. The easier you can make their job the better the chance you'll get reviewed, perhaps even positively.

4. Don't expect a 5-star review. This isn't the point. I maintain that an honest 3 or 4 star review is as good as a 5 star review filled with platitudes.

5. Be gracious, say thank you no matter the outcome. Remember, you are building relationships here because you might be back with a follow-up book.

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