It's enormously cheering to get a good review
by someone who seems to understand your
Marketing & Promotion
Book reviews are one of the best ways to promote your book, and while you can pay good money for them, you
can also get them for (almost) free. For the cost of a book and postage, you have the opportunity to get great
publicity from a good review, and the rewards can be enormous by posting them on your website, your blog
and anywhere else you have exposure. Click here for a list of what professional book reviewers look for when
rating a book.
One way to get reviews is on Amazon. When someone tells you they really enjoyed your book, ask them if they
would write a short review on Amazon. A positive book review on Amazon is worth its weight in gold. Potential
book buyers read reviews! If you can get ten or more positive reviews, your book looks like a winner for anyone
looking to buy it. Here are some other ways to get reviews.
Freebie in Exchange for a Review
Consider offering a free book to someone in exchange for a review. Just be cautious who you pick. If it isn’t an
experienced reviewer, you may get back something you don’t want anyone else to see. Experienced
reviewers know how to highlight the important things you did well and constructively state where the book needs improvement.
The Big Four
It’s not easy to get one of the top four book reviewers to review your book, but it may be worth a try. They are Library Journal, Publishers
Weekly, Kirkus Reviews and Midwest Book Review.
BRAGMedallion.com is a privately held organization that brings together a large group of readers, both individuals and members of
book clubs. Located throughout the United States, Canada, and the European Union, BRAG (Book Readers Appreciation Group) states
its mission as "recognizing quality on the part of authors who self-publish both print and digital books." Books submitted are read and
evaluated by reviewers and judged using a proprietary list of criteria--the single most important criterion being whether or not they
would recommend it to their best friend. Once a book unanimously meets this standard of quality from at least three reviewers, they
award it their B.R.A.G. Medallion™. Less than 15% of books submitted receive this honor, so if you submit your book and you become
an honoree, you can use it proudly to help promote your book.
The Awesome Indies
The Awesome Indies is a not-for-profit indie book accreditation service that approves independently published works of fiction that
meet the same standards as books published by mainstream publishers – as evaluated by publishing industry professionals. "We
aim to showcase books that meet a specific set of standards for fiction writing so readers can browse for indie books knowing they will
be buying well-crafted works."
Receiving a Bad Review
Every author, even a best selling one, gets bad reviews. It is inevitable--there is no way you can write a book that pleases everyone's
taste. If you accept this, you'll save yourself a lot of anguish. My advice is to ignore the one-off criticisms of your work. But if you receive
repeat criticisms, consider them blessings in disguise. Learn from them so you don't repeat the same mistake in your next book.
Resist the urge to respond to a bad review. I have heard horror stories about authors getting completely hammered on certain sites for
reacting to a bad review. It's a jungle out there--don't set yourself up for a possible massacre.
What Not to Do
Whatever you do, do NOT pay someone to post bogus reviews on Amazon.com or any other site. Not only is this dishonest and less
than honorable, but you'd only be fooling yourself about the quality of your writing.
Testimonials can be a great tribute to the story you’ve written, even if coming from family and friends. Post them on your website and in
Here’s something fun to try. If your storyline includes something a certain celebrity or group of celebrities could relate to, say a young
man pulls himself out from the depths of an impoverished childhood and makes a name for himself in the world, wouldn't it be a coup
if Jay-Z or Jim Carrey (each with a similar story) would endorse your book with a two-sentence testimonial?
It's enormously cheering to get a good
review by someone who seems to
understand your work.
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