By Editorial Intern, Anjali Ajmani
My experience in publishing has been in self-publishing thus far. I never looked into how to get book reviews before; as a result, my poetry anthologies remain on Amazon utterly review-less. That’s okay, I tell myself. It’s poetry, which isn’t particularly jabbered about on the market anyway. Then I compare my anthologies to other poetry volumes to see where those ones stack up on reviews. As it turns out, those poetry volumes have plenty of reviews. Talk about jealousy overload! The good thing about my self-publishing endeavor is that the whole shebang is a learning process. No one gets gazillions of reviews just like that.
Reviews are super important. A review is your best form of advertising. Nobody will know just how great your book is if you don’t have the reviews to show for its greatness. Of course, not all reviews will be positive, but that’s okay. The point is that reviews make you more credible. The more reviews that you have, the better. People today are driven by recommendations. In other words, if you like a book, chances are you’ll recommend that book to a friend. Right? Likewise, if you like a movie, you’ll probably tell all your friends about it. Reviews get people talking and give you exposure. As a published author, exposure is crucial.
So how do you get reviews, anyway? You have to have a plan in place. That plan begins with asking people for reviews. Friends and family are your best bet in the beginning. After all, they know you and they are most likely familiar with your work. Plan to give out several free copies of your book to family and friends. Kindly ask them for a review. Remember, no bribing! A review should not be a product of force, but something that is written honestly and naturally. Reviews are prominent on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and of course, wherever else your book can be found.
Other great ways to promote your book include advertising on social media, YouTube, your blog or website (if you have one), or a podcast. Let your friends, followers, and subscribers know that you’ve published a book and let them know that you’d love to get feedback on your book. The more people who know about your book, the better. Remember that getting reviews is a process and requires patience. You are your best advocate. So, how have you been getting book reviews? How are you promoting your book? I’d love to hear back from you about how to get book reviews.