Click the image to explore the Disaster Crimes series.

NOTICE:


DISCLOSURE:

This site uses affiliate links for Bookshop.org, an online marketplace that supports independent bookstores. Chrys Fey will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

September 28, 2015

Getting Reviews



One thing all authors want? Reviews. But getting them can be hard, especially if you’re new and relatively unknown.

I don’t have hundreds of reviews for my books. Fact is, many of the authors who are regular visitors here have far more reviews than I do. I know this, but I still know a few methods to get reviews.

1. Use Google Docs to create a form for people to sign up to help you with your blog tour and make one of the options a review of your new release. Offer them a PDF or MOBI copy. This is an easy way to get exposure, a review, and a blog feature all in one.

2. Ask authors you’re acquainted with if they know good reviewers. Chances are they do, and the reviewers they know are probably awesome.

3. Search blogs and other sites for reviewers. Fact is, there are COUNTLESS book review blogs out there, which means you can find an infinite amount of bloggers/reviewers to ask for a review.
TIP #1: Check their guidelines to make sure they are accepting books for review, what genres they accept, what formats they like, whether or not they’ll post the review on Amazon and Goodreads, and how they treat reviews. Every reviewer and review site is different. 
TIP #2: Send an email with a blurb, all information they ask for, and the file if they need it. Then wait to hear back. It could take 2-3 months before you get a review. 
TIP #3: Check out Manic Readers. Sign up for free, add your book(s) to your profile, and request a review. You’ll be able to select from a long list of reviewers in the depot.
TIP #4: You can also try The Indie View's reviewer list. (Thanks, Lidy!)


4. Check out Goodreads. There are many groups for authors and readers in every genre. Many of these groups have a forum for authors to request reviews. Submit your info to these in the form of a comment or a new topic.
TIP #5: You may not get anyone interested or you may get many. Make sure, before you send a copy of your book, that you reiterate the genre and length to make sure they are fine with it. 
TIP #6: Don’t send your book to just anyone who wants to review it. I got a request from someone in a Goodreads group who said he wanted a swap for his book that is about...get this...bad reviews he's given authors. Um, really? No thanks!
5. Submit to Amazon Top Reviewers. Go HERE and check out reviewer profiles for ones that sound like the right fit for your book. Check under their contact info and send a polite email. Make sure to give them the blurb and all the relevant information about your book (length, genre, etc.), tell them you’ll give them a free copy, ask them to let you know if they are interested and thank them for their time.
TIP #7: Read some of their reviews to see if you like them.
 
QUESTION: How do you get reviews?


84 comments:

Lidy said...

I've gotten reviews from Goodreads and by posting a review ad on Bookblogs.ning.co. I'd also created a Google docs form. Even did Google searches and looked at and contacted some of the reviewers on The IndieView reviewer's list. I like some of your suggestions and will try them and hopefully get a few, happy to get 1 or 2, end of the year reviews for my poetry chapbook. Thanks!

Murees Dupè said...

Thank you so much for sharing these great tips. I like that you suggested actually contacting reviewers. I thought one had to cross your fingers and hope someone just reviews your book. I will definitely try some of your tips.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chrys - it's so difficult to spread the word and get reviews ... but these are great tips and I'm sure will help many. All the best Hilary

betty said...

You have great methods to get reviews :) I bet they can be effective if someone does the work to use them :)

betty

Pat Hatt said...

reviews are the biggest pain in the arse to get ever. one book has over 200 because i got it in Bookbub way back when. The rest I just email or put ads up trying to get reviews.

Christine Rains said...

Reviews are so difficult to get. I wish I knew a way of getting more. I've submitted to several review sites, but so few reply. I do my best to encourage readers to even just rate books, but even that's hard to do.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks for the tips! Especially Maniac Readers. My genre is difficult to find reviewers for.

Chrys Fey said...

Bookblogs.ning and The IndieView are two I need to try. Thanks, Lidy!

Chrys Fey said...

If the only thing one could do is cross your fingers and hope, we'd never get reviews. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

It can be difficult. And yet, for some, it's easy. Even with these tips I am still having trouble getting reviews.

Chrys Fey said...

They'll only work if someone puts effort behind them. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Over 200? Wow! I wish one of mine had over 200 reviews. ;) I have been wanting to try Bookbub. And ads are a great idea.

Chrys Fey said...

I know. I've submitted to many review sites and reviewers. Not one Amazon reviewer has replied back. But if we keep trying, we'll get lucky.

Chrys Fey said...

I can understand that. And Maniac Readers will help you place your book for sure.

Tonja Drecker said...

Maniac Readers is new to me. Sounds like a great tip (all of them are). I believe that most people don't even think of leaving a review. Readers have no idea how important it is for authors. I wonder if there's a way to train them ;)

Hart Johnson said...

And on the list of DON'Ts--don't just send it to people! I have people do that to me sometimes and I am just like "wait, what?" I am happy to offer and read IFF I know someone and have time or IFF the blurb SUPER appeals to me. I am not a person who reviews tons of books. It isn't my format. So it always throws me off when a stranger (or nearly) does that.

Thanks for the tips!!!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Thanks for the tips. We all want more reviews, good reviews, that it.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

There are several databases of both regular reviewers and book blog reviewers online to explore, too.

Carrie-Anne said...

I'm still trying to get more than one review! I found out the hard way I'm not the kind of person who can rely on word of mouth to sell and thus get reviews. If I ever hear back from the cover artist I contacted in August and am able to revamp two of my covers by the end of the year, I might try to contact people who review historicals and aren't afraid of long books.

Chrys Fey said...

I learned about Maniac Readers through my publisher. :)

That's true. I've heard that some of my friends have read it and I'm like "Really? But you didn't write a review." LOL

Chrys Fey said...

I've had that a couple of times too. Sometimes new authors will send it to other authors without knowing the right kind of etiquette.

Chrys Fey said...

Good reviews are always great.

Chrys Fey said...

Yes, there is! :)

Chrys Fey said...

Word of mouth only truly works if you have a lot of people spreading the word. They also have to be enthusiastic and persuasive.

Good luck with getting your reviews, Carrie-Anne!

VR Barkowski said...

Terrific tips! I’m terrible at getting reviews. My editor sent my book to some news outlets, and from there I received several pro reviews, but the majority of my [very few] reviews have come from requests to book bloggers or running giveaways on Goodreads. I don’t solicit Amazon reviews because I feel their reviews are flawed and unreliable, and it would be hypocritical of me. I focus on Goodreads, where the reviews may sometimes be brutal, but they also display more integrity.

VR Barkowski

K.K. Weil said...

Great tips! Thanks so much. I'm going to try a bunch of these.

H.R. Bennett said...

Very helpful! This is one thing I consistently fight with as well.

Sherry Ellis said...

These are really good tips. I'm one of the top reviewers on Amazon, so I get a bazillion review requests. I always like when the email request for reviews are personal - not just some mass email blast.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I have given up on reviews. I tried the online sites but never got back a nibble. And I figured top reviewers like Sherry Ellis get blitzed with requests so I could at least not bother her or others with requests. In fact, I have just about given up on writing. I may ride off into the sunset soon. A fascinating post as always. :-)

Jax said...

These are great tips!! When people ask for a review, I give it. If you put yourself out there more, you'll get more back. :)

sage said...

I haven't needed any reviews, but have written plenty of them! I do try to keep my shelfair account and amazon separate (hard to do since amazon now own's shelfair) so I don't get too many review request and I only take on those requests from books I really want to read--but I have received some nice books this way.

diedre Knight said...

And once again, the amazing Lady Chrys has her slender finger on the rapidly beating pulse of her fellow writers and authors! These wonderful tips are quite inspiring and I plan to visit every single site just as soon as I return from my daughter's wedding :-)

Arlee Bird said...

These seem like excellent suggestions. I've tried to review books that I've read by bloggers that I know as well as anything else I read, but sometimes it's hard to get motivated to do so. I guess I'm not the only one. I'm surprised by the lack of reviews that some of these authors get.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

Chrys Fey said...

Goodreads reviews to tend to be more brutal, but Amazon is where readers can buy books which is why I try to get reviewers there and also ask reviewers to post there.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, K.K.! Good luck! :)

Chrys Fey said...

So do I, Robert, so do I.

Chrys Fey said...

Personal emails are good. Sometimes hard to do, but good. Putting the reviewers name at the top is also a must.

Chrys Fey said...

WHAT??!! I've sent out many requests. The thing you have to realize is that for every like 20 you send, you might get 1-2 acceptances. But 1-2 is better than none. I hope it's not true that you've given up on writing.

Chrys Fey said...

Exactly!

Chrys Fey said...

I only read/review books I want to read/review. If I was a top reviewer, or said I was open for reviews, I'd be swamped in seconds.

Chrys Fey said...

LOL! Thanks, Diedre! I hope you find some reviewers. And your daughter's wedding? Yay! Congratulations to her! I hope you have a good time. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I try to do the same, but everyone is publishing so much, so often that I can't keep up!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Another great post with excellent advice. I usually ask for reviews on Face Book and of course from my super friends. My reviews are very few. I need to work harder on this. On the other hand, I review a lot of books. I'm on Amazon's top reviewer list and have around 800 - 900 reviews, forget how many. I get a lot of requests but have to turn most of them down because there's just not time to read them all. Now, off to see what I can do about more reviews for my work. Thanks for the tips.

Chrys Fey said...

That's a lot of reviews! I'm not even sure I've done 200 reviews.

Good luck with getting more reviews!

cleemckenzie said...

Great suggestions! It's hard to get reviews and it takes a lot of work. You've laid out some very good ways to up those review numbers!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Oops! Correction there. I've written 272 reviews on Amazon. Don't know where those other numbers came from. Think I need a nap. I rank #12,000 plus. I've slowed down on the reviews lately.

Mary Kirkland said...

Those are great suggestions. I usually review any books I read but I have specific genre's that I read, usually.

nashvillecats2 said...

Great tips, Will have to come to you when I do my next book.
Yvonne.

Lisa Thomson said...

Excellent ideas, Chrys! Thank you for sharing these. I would love to get more reviews---one can never have too many. I have sent letters to my readers who purchased my book requesting a review. The ones who responded I sent starbucks gift cards as a thank you. Not before the review as that would be bribery :P I will definitely try some of your suggestions. I have had a few women contact me wanting a free print book and in exchange will review on their sites. Both of them disappeared and never reviewed it. I think they just wanted a free book. Trouble is it's costly for me to ship even one book and I felt I really got taken for a ride.

Birgit said...

This is so helpful to anyone wanting to write a book. I had no idea about any of this-I guess my head is up my whazoo when it comes to this but if/when I write that book about my mom, I will know a little more than I knew before, which was nothing.

Yolanda Renée said...

Reviews are a tricky thing, I ask for them and some folks will do it no problem but many, won't even respond once you ask the question. Now there are so many offering reviews for money, you have to wonder if they aren't boiler plate too! Is anything out there real anymore?

Anonymous said...

Great tips. Thanks for sharing. The tricky part when contacting reviewers is remembering they have a lot of requests so you might never hear yes or no.

Leandra Wallace said...

Signed up for the newsletter! I love getting newsletters in my inbox. =) Good review tips, I'll have to save these for some day.

Sandra Cox said...

A book from an author trashing authors...OMG.
Some great ideas here. I thought the Amazon review info was really helpful.
Thanks, Chrys:)
How's the kitties?

Liz A. said...

Lots of things to keep in mind for when I need it. Someday...

Tammy Theriault said...

You are the queen of good knowledge and know how! No joke.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

These are great tips. I mostly worked down a list of reviewers and emailed each one personally until I exhausted myself. Thankfully, a good friend who works in publishing gave me a bunch of people to try, and my publisher did an awesome job as well.

All readers are amazing, but ones that leave good reviews are phenomenal.

dolorah said...

I think I have both your books on my kindle, waiting for me to read and review. And JH's latest also. Ugh, so many books, so little time.

I have been contacted by authors/promoters to review a book. Sometimes I like reviewing, when I like the story. Other times, its hard. Many authors refuse to write reviews though, so as not to hurt a fellow author's feelings if they did not like the book. So sad that the industry relies on reviews, but so few are willing to put one up.

emaginette said...

I do an internet search for book bloggers in my genre. There were hundreds. :-)

Anna from Elements of Writing

Patsy said...

I haven't really done anything to try to get reviews - that would explain why I have so few!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I'll have to bookmark this post. Excellent work, Chrys!!

Shannon Lawrence said...

This is a great, informative post, thanks! I can't use it just yet, but I'm storing things in ye olde noggin. Love what you wrote under the picture. You know, the first Stephen King book I read was in the bathroom. My dad was reading it and had left it in there. I sat up one night when everyone was sleeping, sprawled on the laminate floor with the light on and the door closed, reading It. We won't discuss how old I was.

TBM said...

Oh the painful review process. One of the many hurdles authors have to jump to survive. All great tips. And I wish you luck!

Chrys Fey said...

LOL! That's okay. You've still reviewed far more than I have. :P

Chrys Fey said...

It is hard and it certainly takes time.

Chrys Fey said...

You're an awesome reviewer, Mary! I actually quoted you in my newsletter from the review you wrote for Ghost of Death. :D

Chrys Fey said...

I would be happy to review your book, Yvonne! :)

Chrys Fey said...

Nope, one can never have too many. I certainly feel like I'm lacking in the review department.

That's sad that they never reviewed your book! I've had a couple of reviewers do the same to me with my eBooks. I email them back to ask for updates or to see if I accidentally missed their review, and nothing.

Chrys Fey said...

It's always good to do research to know what you can expect and what you may have to do. I hadn't known any of this when I first started.

Chrys Fey said...

I know. So many don't respond. But they do get many offers and can't accept them all. I would never pay for a review. It's sad when desperate authors fall into those traps.

Chrys Fey said...

Exactly!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Leandra! :D

Chrys Fey said...

YES!! I was shocked and then angry. What made him think I'd ask him to review for me?

The kitties are great. They turned 2 a couple of months ago. :)

Chrys Fey said...

You will need it. :)

Chrys Fey said...

LOL! Thank you! :D

Chrys Fey said...

You're lucky! I'm mostly on my own looking for reviews, although my publisher does send me stuff to the same reviewers they send all of their authors stuff too. I often don't get anything from them.

Chrys Fey said...

So many books, so little time...you could say that again. :P

I always write reviews. I'm lucky because I've never had to write a 1 or 2 star review for an author I know. I do mention things I might not have liked but I do it as gently as possible while highlighting the good.

Chrys Fey said...

There are TONS of book bloggers out there.

Chrys Fey said...

LOL! Oh, Patsy! I hope this give you ideas. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Elizabeth!

Chrys Fey said...

I hope this information comes to good use for you in the future, Shannon. Haha! I will speculate on how old you were. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

Painful is right. But necessary. Thank you, TB! I wish you luck as well. :)

Jeffrey Scott said...

How do I get reviews? I just post online and see if anyone reads the selected chapter I've highlighted.
Wow, that guy was willing to swap a review with you and it was almost a given he'd likely give you a bad review too? Why would someone even do that?
I mean what's the point? To just be mean?

Chrys Fey said...

YES! I have no idea why someone would do that but he apparently thought I was too desperate to notice or stupid. I hate it when people are mean to authors in reviews for no reason other than to cut them down and apparently that's what this guy liked to do.