Since I’ve become an Indie girl, I’ve learned gobs of info that can help writers whether they’re publishing with a small press, a traditional publisher or self-publishing.
One question I often get asked is, “How do you find reviewers to read your novel?”
Why do you need reviewers?
- Before you send your book to a line-editor you might want beta-readers to read your novel for plot content. These people are not reviewers. They’re probably readers who like to read your genre and will often be writers who can offer you valuable feedback on the structure of your novel, and tell you if they liked the book, and why or why not. They might even offer suggestions on how to make your book better.
- Reviewers are those who get an advanced reader copy (ARC) of your novel. Sometimes they read the novel before your final edits, but I chose to find reviewers after I had a clean copy because I wanted to get the best reviews possible.
- You need reviewers to write reviews before the book is available so it adds hype and buzz around your novel. If you don’t have great reviews readers will be reluctant to purchase your book. Hopefully your beta-readers and editor will have smoothed your novel so that it’s free of typos, grammar problems, and poor writing.
Should I pay for reviewers?
I don’t. You don’t have to either. There are plenty of readers who want to review books, but it’ll take time to find them.
Where to find reviewers
Since I’m an Indie girl I’ve had the challenge of finding my own reviewers. I didn’t want them to only be my family and friends because they tend to gush whether the book is good or not. I wanted unbiased opinions. And that’s what I got. This is the first week of my LAUNCH and I already have 16 Five-Star reviews. I’m good with that!
Here are a few suggestions: Follow an author’s blog tour, especially if that author writes in the same genre you do. Many promotional companies are paid to give authors a promo blog tour. Mine is August 7 – 14 with PROMOTIONAL BLOG TOURS. Here’s the link. I hired them because another author friend, Elena Dillon, recommended them. But also because I wanted to tour with blogs that were not just “writing” blogs. Promo Book Tours knew where to find them. Notice that many of these bloggers are moms and reviewers. Their blog niches are varied. Since my novel deals with keeping kids safe I wanted mom’s to read my book and recommend it. I didn’t want to market to other writers, but to readers who will be interested in my story.
You want to focus on finding reviewers who are connected to the central theme of your book. Take time to click around Book Promo Tours and look to see who some of their reviewers are. The list of my tour is at the bottom of this page, but these reviewers may not be appropriate for your genre.
Good Reads – Scout around Good Reads. Find readers who read a ton of books in your genre. Send them a message. Who knows? They might be flattered that you asked.
Take time to find discussion groups that deal with the theme of your book. I haven’t done this yet, but plan on doing it. For instance, geocaching and child abuse are two of my themes. I’m going to join in on conversations that revolve around these topics. I will NOT spam my book, but meet other people who might have the same passion as I do.
Don’t be afraid to give away FREE books. Before your launch you want as many readers to read your book as possible so you can gallop out of the gate. The more you share your story the better. You want it to spread like wildfire.
Search for forums and blogs with people who write/discuss the themes in your novel. Pitch the writers and ask if they’ll review your book. Join in on conversations. Do NOT spam your book. Be genuine. Care about others. It might take time, but you’ll know when it’s appropriate to tell them about your book. In my experience, you won’t have to. If they genuinely care about you, they’ll ask.
Follow hashtags on Twitter. Look for this one: #Reviewers or #BookReviewers. Research them before you approach them because some only read erotica, others like to read YA. If you write sci-fi you don’t want to pitch to someone who reads only inspirational fiction. Or tweet a request for reviewers. You might be surprised how many readers would like to read and review your novel.
Follow author giveaways. Many times these are hosted at reviewer blogs.
Right now I have three promo’s going. One with Good Reads, which I’ll blog about in a few days, one with Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews, (above) and one with my blog tour starting August 7.
Here’s the link to one reviewers site: Lauries’ blog and yes, she does reviews and interviews authors. Although, if she’s busy she has the right to turn you away. (Remember when you’re pitching reviewers and bloggers for interviews that you need to PITCH them–just like you would an agent or a publisher. Sell your book. Make it exciting so the reviewer says, “Yes! I’d love to review that book.”)
Thank You Be sure to thank reviewers if they do a review. A simple thank you will suffice, but sending them a book mark or a Hershey’s bar with your book’s name might help them remember your book when they’re recommending books to other readers. But a gift isn’t necessary.
Reviewer /Interviewer List for Authors
Below is a list of reviewers or blogs that contain info about reviewers I found this week.
http://www.noraadrienne.wordpress.com - I read cozies, paranormal cozies, light romances like Kantra’s or St. Claire’s. Supernatural mysteries, paranormal romance… Or check my blog site and look at the list of genres on the right side of the page. Of course you can give my name out, but I reserve the right of refusal if I don’t think it’s a book I would enjoy or give a fair chance at a review.
Submission Guidelines page for Coffee Time http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/reviewsguidelines.html
Dave at Lupa Schwartz Mysteries Blog did an awesome review for me. http://lupamysteries.blogspot.com/
Juliana Cobb did an awesome review for me. http://www.julianaswriting.wordpress.com
The Book Landers. http://www.thebooklanders.com/contact-me.html
Cross Road Reviews. http://www.crossroadreviews.com
A Passion For Pages. www.apassionforpages.blogspot.com
Crawling All Over The Pages http://couchpotatoism.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html
Author-Reader Mixer Megan http://author-reader-mixer.blogspot.com/p/contact-me.html
http://lauriethoughts-reviews.blogspot.com/ (This is where one of my giveaways is.)
Brittany Buchanan – loves to review books. Find her and friend her at FB
Ravenz Reviews. http://www.ravenzreviews.blogspot.com/ – They may only take Indie authors. You’ll have to Google them as I don’t have the links connected here.
This is the list of blogs that will be hosting me during my blog tour. Notice how some do reviews. You’ll have to Google the blogs since I don’t have the links set up here. But if you go to my Book Promotional Book Tour page you can directly link. Here’s the LINK.
If you are a reviewer and would like to be included in this post please let me know and I’ll include you.