Happy writing and promoting,
Making Your Reviews Into Workhorses
Excerpted (and adapted) from Carolyn’s new How To Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically: The ins and outs of using free reviews to build and sustain a writing career to be released this fall.
- If your reviewer doesn’t normally write reviews (these reviewers are often called reader reviewers), suggest she send her review or the link to her review to her friends as a recommendation.
- If your reviewer lives in a town with a small daily or weekly newspaper, she could send her review to them. She may realize the thrill of being published the first time.
- Ask your reviewer—even one who writes for a review journal—to post her review on Amazon.com, BN.com, and other online booksellers that have reader-review features. I have never had a reviewer decline my suggestion. It is ethical for a reviewer to do it or give you permission to reuse the review as long as she holds the copyright for the review. (Most reviewers do not sign copyright-limiting agreements with the medium who hires them.) Get more information on Amazon’s often misrepresented review policies in Chapter Eleven, “Managing Your Amazon Reviews.”
- After you have permission from the reviewer to reprint the review, post it on your blog, on your Web site, and in your newsletter. Use quotations from the reviews to give credibility to selected media releases and queries.
- Once you have permission to use reviews, send copies of good ones to bookstore buyers and event directors as part of your campaign to do book signings, to speak, or do workshops in their stores. Go to (midwestbookreview.com/links/bookstor.htm) for a starter list of bookstores.
- Send quotations (blurbs) from the reviews you get to librarians, especially the ones in your home town or cities you plan to visit during book tours. Include order information. Try Midwest for a list of libraries (midwestbookreview.com/links/library.htm).
- Use snippets from positive reviews as blurbs in everything from your stationery to your blog. (Use your e-reader’s find function to search for other ideas for using your blurbs in this book.)
- If your reviewer doesn’t respond to your request to post the review on Amazon, excerpt blurbs from them and post them on your Amazon buy page using Amazon’s Author Connect or Author Central features. They will appear on your Amazon sales page.
- Include the crème de la crème of your reviews on the Praise Page of your media kit and inside the front cover of the next edition (perhaps a mass market edition like the pocket paperbacks sold in grocery stores?). See my multi award-winning The Frugal Book Promoter (bit.ly/FrugalBookPromo) for the complete—and I do mean complete—lowdown on media kits.