Someone tweeted me today asking me how authors could go about getting their book reviewed and it got me to thinking: Hey! That's a great idea for a blog post.
Earlier this year Joe Konrath interviewed Catherine MacDonald of BookRooster.com (Interview with Catherine MacDonald from BookRooster.com). Joe's interview is well worth the read and many writers left a comment in which they talked about their experience with BookRooster.
The following is from BookRooster.com:
BookRooster.com is a community of over 3,000 passionate readers/reviewers drawn from BookLending.com and other Kindle reader communities. We organize the distribution of review copies of your book (in MOBI format for Kindle) to reviewers in exchange for their unbiased Amazon customer review.
How BookRooster.com Works:
1. Reviewers sign up to receive review copies of books in their favorite genres. BookRooster.com reviewers are expected to review a reasonable proportion of the books they receive, and we read every Amazon customer review they submit to keep an eye on review quality and objectivity.
2. When you request distribution of review copies of your book, we extend invitations to a select group of reviewers drawn from hundreds who have indicated a desire to review books in your genre. The invitations describe your book and provide a link for reviewers to request your book if they’d like to read and review it.
3. We send out review copies of your book (in MOBI format) to these reviewers on a first-come, first-served basis until at least ten reviewers post their reviews of your book.
We charge an administrative fee of $67 per book to invite suitable reviewers to review your book, to distribute your book to those who have agreed to review it and to track to make sure at least ten reviews are submitted by BookRooster.com reviewers.
Please note: BookRooster.com is not a pay-for-review service. Our reviewers love to read in their favorite genres and they will write unbiased, sincere reviews that reflect their real opinions about your book. For more information, you can read our Reviewer Guidelines.
2. Book Bloggers
Amanda Hocking, among others, attributes much of her financial success to book bloggers. Alan Rinzler writes that
When she rolled out the first of nine books in March of last year, Hocking had no idea what to expect. Over the next couple of months, her Kindle sales amounted to around 600 eBooks. Not bad for a newbie, but not enough for the 26-year-old to quit her day job.Here is a link to A Tale of Many Reviews, a book review site. I have never used this site (although I might!), I came across it as I was doing research for this blog post. It looked good, so I thought I'd share. :-)
Whoosh! Into the fast lane
Then she discovered and tapped into the world of book bloggers. Her sales took a gigantic swerve into the fast lane, tallying 164,000 books sold by the end of 2010.
“I had no idea such people existed,” Hocking wrote on her own website. “They just read books and write about them. And I don’t mean “just.” They take time out of their busy lives to talk about books and have contests and connect with followers and writers and other readers. These guys are honestly my heroes. I’m a little in love with all of them.”
USA Today this week reported the jaw-dropping news that last month alone, Hocking sold 450,000 of her nine titles, breaking into their top 50 bestsellers list. Taking her cue from iTunes, she had priced her self-published eBooks at $2.99 (she keeps 70 percent) and .99 cents (keeping 30 percent.) Do the math. That day job is history.
Also, I have a list of book blogs on the left side of this page. You may have to scroll down the page to see it.
3. Author/Writer Bloggers
I think of book bloggers as folks who primarily do reviews and who are attached to a book review website, but there are other kinds of bloggers.
Bloggers like me! Writers who blog about the world of writing. Sure, the blogger might say, "No!" to your request for a review, but the negative response doesn't cost you anything and you'll never know if you don't try.
If you decide to go this route, it helps if you do your research. Read a few of the blogger's posts so that when you contact them you'll be knowledgeable about their work. I would suggest that you offer the blogger a free copy of your book.
4. Ask your readers for reviews
Amanda Hocking did this, and I thought she did it well. I don't think readers mind being asked, politely, without any pressure being applied, to share their opinion of your book by writing a review.
What to do after the review:
Blog about it! Let as many folks know about the review as you can. Blog about it and then tweet the link to your followers.
Also, IMHO, there's only one appropriate response to a book review, good or bad, insightful or all-kinds-of-wrong: Thank you for taking the time to review my book.
If anyone can add to my suggestions for how to solicit book reviews, I would appreciate your feedback.
By the way, if anyone would like to review my book, Until Death, please do! :-)