Every indie author comes to the point in their career where they’re going to have to secure book reviews and from what I’ve observed, not many of us are good at it. Despite what you may have heard there are reviewers that are totally disgusted with the treatment they’ve received from indie authors and have in turn, stopped reviewing indie books.
There is an amount of professionalism that is required of us remember, we’re not only authors but we’re publicists and PR managers which require a certain type of skill. We need to not only know how to pitch but also what to do once we get the green light. This article is more about preparing for success and maintaining that success once the dust settles on your book launch.
Get Their Name & Genre Right
A sci-fi reviewer doesn’t want to read a romance novel so read their submissions guidelines carefully. Also, do your best to address your request to the right person if it’s a multi-reviewer site. People like it when you use their name otherwise, your email or message comes off as automated or spammy. Sorry but Dude What’s Up, or Dear Reviewer, isn’t going to cut it.
Give Them Time
Reviewers need time, and that can mean months before they can get to your book. The bigger the reviewer, the more time they’re going to need. Unless you’re willing pay them for a rush job, just wait your turn.
Send personalized thank you emails and offer to help them in the future if they ever need it. That can mean anything from a retweet or recommendation. Yes, even if they trashed your book, you still should thank them for a free, honest review. It’s a bitter pill to swallow but reviews aren’t about your ego, they’re about promoting your book and every book has bad reviews.
Follow Them on Social Media & Give Them a Shout-Out
Just about everyone these days appreciate free promotion. With all the noise on the internet, something like a social media post or shout out in a blog post is really nice.
Promote, Promote, Promote
If you got a newsletter, make a mention of this reviewer even if it’s brief. Don’t just promote stuff you’re doing, promote their stuff as well like giveaways and interesting conversations. Authors are always complaining about not knowing what to post about on social media and this is a way to remedy that. Also, bloggers are constantly complaining about authors not acknowledging them during a promo.
Stay in Touch
Keep this person in your network and make sure to nurture the relationship by sharing their content and sending them things that will interest them. Keep supporting them remember, it’s not easy being a reviewer, some of them are harassed online and even threatened. It’s common sense but people respond to kindness and often ignore those they see as panhandlers.
You’d be surprised at how people skip over these important points when engaging a book reviewer. There are many blog and social media posts rebuking authors who just ask, ask, and ask but offer nothing in return. Do yourself a favor and don’t be that author!