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How to Garner Those Precious Book Reviews

by Nina Romano

Reviews – A Two-Part Blog!

For a published author it can really be a challenge to obtain book reviews—you know those darling little things with stars and someone’s opinion of your book? There isn’t an easy formula to follow, and you have to cover many bases, but there are initiatives you can take in order to get readers to notice and buy your book and then review it.

If You Have Money to Blow

If you have money to blow, you can find this information at Kirkus and pay them for a book review that they say will benefit your career. At this Kirkus site below you’ll find a way to purchase a book review for $425 that they say will basically give you an “opportunity to build some name recognition and get noticed by agents, publishers and other industry influencers.

Does this mean that Kirkus is promising a great review of your book even if it is merely mediocre? I don’t know.

If You Don’t Have Money to Blow

Not everyone has this kind of money at their disposal or is willing to take a chance the review may be extremely beneficial or maybe even harmful.

Amazon has what they call VINE readers—however, I’m sorry to say that I’m not versed in this—I haven’t a clue how it works, but you can Google about it. I went to this one site by clicking here:

But since I’m not interested in becoming a Vine reader/reviewer or getting any of their reviews, I’ve never pursued it.

However, dear author, you’ve got a product—your great little novel in hand and now you want book reviews for it. Read this:

“How to Get Reviews For Your Book (Without Begging, Bribing or Resorting to Subterfuge)” an article written February 9, 2014 by Kimberley Grabas click here:

What else can you do to get book reviews on Amazon, Goodreads and other sites?

Open up a Goodreads account and list your book(s) and an author’s bio on it and get your books onto Barnes & Noble online, onto Amazon, most especially because it is a GIANT in the publishing industry today. Make sure you write an author’s bio for them. In fact, get your author’s bios published wherever you can. Try Wikipedia.

Now a little word of caution as to getting reviews on Amazon—they’d better be authentic. Never pay people to review for you—these reviews can be spotted and will be deleted. Also, no two people in the same household can review for you. I learned this the hard way—they deleted both reviews—doesn’t matter that both people read and loved the book! If Amazon suspects you know the person, they have and will, delete reviews. I’ve had honest reviews written by people I’ve never met and they have been deleted by Amazon—you can write protest letters till you turn pomegranate red—they’ve set themselves up as judge and jury, and they will not reinstate the deleted review! Trust me, folks! I’ve sent them a stack of letters—it’s a waste of your precious time. Don’t bother!

Read this piece below from Publisher’s Weekly “The Indie Author's Guide to Free Reviews

My Personal Experience to Ponder:

Through my publisher and an overpaid publicist—I don’t recommend hiring a publicist for beginners or even established, published authors unless your name is Dan Brown—I was able to send out many review copies—either in hard copy ARCs (Advanced Readers Copies) or E-copies. My publisher paid for these. The publicist was given twenty-five paperback copies from my publisher! one of which she kept for herself. If I remember correctly she even sent out some e-copies.

Did all of these outlets respond? No way. Probably not even half. But some will. If your publisher is willing, write them a list of names and places (reviewing sites) you want the review copies to be sent. If not, purchase copies of your book and send them out to reviewers. Ask other authors where they sent their books. Too shy for that? Get over it! Try to get the books in hand to send out at least two months or more before the book is released. As I said, some will respond, others won’t, but that’s the chance you take when you invest your money into review copies if your publisher can’t or won’t, or if you self-publish.

Yes, this review business is a bit of a game and I'm hoping my advice can point you, dear authors, in the right direction. Stay tuned for Part Two of this blog, where I will share personal strategies that really worked and some that did not. In the meantime, keep writing!

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