How to get book reviews (2022)

How to get book reviews (3)

Book reviews are important for social proof as well as getting marketing opportunities like BookBub placement, for mining quotes for ad copy, and understanding how your author brand is perceived. But how do you get reviews, especially if you're just starting out?

Watch the video below or here on YouTube. You can also read the article and notes below the video.

1. Use a Call to Action at the back of your book

This is the simplest, easiest way to start getting reviews and once you've set it up, you can just forget about it!

Add a simple, short call to action (CTA) on the last page of your book once it is published.Something like, “Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this book, please consider leaving an honest review on your favorite store.”

2. Make your ebook available for free

The more people read your book, the more reviews you will get. Free books generally get more downloads over time, so you are likely to get more reviews.

If you've published your ebook with KDP Select, you'll receive 5 days every period where you can make the ebook free.

(Video) How to Get Book Reviews

If you publish wide, as I do, then you can make your book permafree by pricing to $0 on other stores like Kobo, Apple Books, or Google Play, and then reporting the lower price to Amazon who will (eventually) price match.

My permafree first-in-series, Stone of Fire, is still getting reviews a decade after publication and leads readers into the 11-book series.

How to get book reviews (5)

Make sure that you have a call-to-action at the back of your book asking for reviews so that you can maximize the potential of free giveaways.

Many new authors are resistant to offering ebooks for free, but if you need reviews, then making your book free for a period is often the quickest way to do it.You could even use a promotional company like Freebooksy, Fussy Librarianor other services to promote the book during the free period in order to get more downloads.

3. Ask your mailing list

A good marketing strategy for every author is to build a mailing list so that you have direct access to your readers. (Click here for my tutorial on how to build an email list.)

Once you have a few readers on your list, ask them for honest reviews of your book/s.

One easy way to do this is to set up a series of automated emails that go out when someone joins your list and include a request for reviews within the sequence.

4. Create an Advance Reader Team

As your email list grows, you can recruit keen readers who want to be on your advance reader team (also known as a Street Team). You can send them your new books before launch and ask them to review on publication. Importantly, the free book cannot be contingent on a good review. It needs to be their own opinion with nothing offered “in exchange” so you adhere to the Amazon Terms of Service.

To recruit new readers to the team, just send out an email periodically asking for volunteers or include the email as part of your automatic email sequence.

How to get book reviews (7)You can give the team a special name, for example, my Advance Readers for J.F.Penn thrillers and dark fantasy are the PennFriends.

(Video) How To Get Reviews For Your Book

Advance Reader teams can be a great support during book launches.

In advance of publication, they often find typos that might have slipped through the cracks during the editorial process. When the book is released, many of the ARC team will leave a review on release day.

You can use a service like BookFunnel to deliver the advance copies of the book to your readers. They can watermark your book, so it can't be pirated as easily.

5. Email book bloggers who love your genre

This is a free strategy but it takes some time to research.

There are many blogs that offer book reviews. They usually specialize in specific genres so it's important to do your research and find bloggers who fit your genre and who are accepting books for review. If you are accepted, the blogger will often review on their own site, plus Amazon and GoodReads.

Reedsy, the marketplace for professional cover designers and editors, has a useful list of book bloggers.

You can also find reviewers on Instagram, try following #bookstagram and other tags.

Read each site's review requirements. There's no sense submitting your book to a site that isn't accepting reviews at the time or that only reviews romance if you've written a horror novel. Some are happy to review indie authors, others specifically don't.

These sites often have large To Be Read (TBR) piles, so if they do accept your book there can be a delay between when you send the book to the reviewer and when the review appears.

Pro tip: Personalize your email request. The book blogger will be an expert at detecting whether you've just copied and pasted some generic text into your email. Believe me, I know this from personal experience! Bloggers are people too, so treat them as individuals and do your research into what they will like or find most useful.

6. Find Amazon reviewers through their review profiles

Some book reviewers on Amazon will have their contact information connected to their profile. You can sometimes click on their name and find their review site or email, then you can approach the reviewer to see if they'd be willing to review your book.

(Video) How to get book reviews with ARCs (ADVANCE REVIEW COPIES) How to do ARCs in 3 steps

This is free but takes some time to research. You need tofind books similar to your own and then drill down into the review, and then further into the reviewer's profile to see if their contact information or website address is available.

If you find that information, send a polite and personal email asking if the person would be willing to review your book. Explain that you saw their review of the book that's similar to yours.

7. Use social media to ask for reviews

Choose one or two social media platforms and master them. Don't try to conquer them all at the same time.

Use automated posts with a service like Buffer (you can begin for free) or HootSuite.

Remember to have conversations with your followers. Don't just post about your books.

You could have a regularly scheduled post that asks what your followers are doing on the weekend, or a Throwback Thursday post with a nostalgic picture to get the conversation started.

You could then ask for reviews as part of this regular posting schedule. Remember to include a link to the book's page so it's easy to click through.

8. Find Goodreads Groups that are open to authors

Goodreads, now owned by Amazon, has reader groups organized by genre. Make sure you check the rules as many are for readers only and actively discourage authors from posting, whereas others are designed for reviews and promotions. It's a good strategy to use GoodReads first as a reader and get used to the culture.

Note that GoodReads does have sites for different geographic regions, so reviews can show up in any of those.

You also must have different GoodReads accounts for different pen names, so that can be labour intensive if you write under several different names.

Giveaways on GoodReads used to be free, but now this is a paid service. I've tried the Kindle only giveaways and didn't find it worth the money. Most readers who participate in a giveaway on GoodReads want a paperback copy, so you've got the expense of the giveaway itself, plus shipping the book to the winner. (Though you can narrow those countries eligible to enter the giveaway down to ones you're comfortable mailing to, to make the shipping more economic.) I've found that only a small percentage of people who get the giveaway books will review.

9. Ask for reviews in your Facebook Ad comments

If you run Facebook ads for your book/s, you might receive comments below the ads from readers who have bought and/or read your book.

(Video) Best Paid Book Review Sites for Authors

Responding to comments on your Facebook ads is a good way to build community with your readers. And if someone leaves a glowing comment, you can say a sincere thank you and then ask if they'd be willing to leave an honest review for the book.

10. Consider ethical paid services

There are premium, paid, services that will connect your book with interested readers willing to leave reviews.You're paying for the service that connects you with the reviewers, NOT the review itself, so be careful that you choose a legitimate site.

Note: This is NOT the same as paying for book reviews, which is not recommended.

A good example is Hidden Gems ARC service.Click here for their advice on optimizing your review process.

Pro Tip: If your books are published on Kobo Writing Life, you can sometimes apply to have your book offered to NetGalley readersas part of their promotions service.

Net Galley is a premium reader service, most often used by traditional publishers. But occasionally Kobo will offer a promotion in partnership with NetGalley, which you can apply for. I have tried it once and found it skewed toward traditional publishing, but it can be worthwhile for some authors.

Those are some starting points for reviews. All the best with getting yours! Please do leave a comment if you have other ideas or suggestions.

How to get book reviews (12)

(Video) The Ultimate Guide to Get Book Reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, & More

FAQs

How long should a book review be answer? ›

Reviews generally range from 500-2000 words, but may be longer or shorter depending on the length and complexity of the book being reviewed, the overall purpose of the review, and whether the review examines two or more books that focus on the same topic.

What questions should I answer in a book review? ›

When reviewing a book of nonfiction, you will want to consider these questions: What was the author's purpose in writing the book? Did the author accomplish that purpose? Who is the target audience for the book?

How can I get free book reviews? ›

Free Book Review Sites
  1. Affaire de Coeur. ...
  2. American Book Review. ...
  3. Booklife by Publishers Weekly. ...
  4. Compulsive Reader. ...
  5. Rain Taxi Review of Book. ...
  6. Readers' Favorite Book Review and Award Contest. ...
  7. The Los Angeles Review of Books. ...
  8. The New York Review of Books.
27 Aug 2022

How can I get reviews fast? ›

How to get more Google reviews
  1. First, know the process. ...
  2. Create a Google review link shortcut. ...
  3. Shorten your review shortcut. ...
  4. Link out to your Google reviews page from your website. ...
  5. Create a Google reviews page on your website. ...
  6. Include a Google review CTA in your footer. ...
  7. Create “leave us a review” cards.
16 Sept 2020

Do book reviewers get paid? ›

You might laugh it off at first, thinking that that sounds too good to be true, but it's not. You can get paid for spending time on what you love: reading books. Of course, the key to this #hack is book reviewing, where you offer your personal opinion of a book after you're done with it.

How long does it take to review 100 pages? ›

Answer: the average reader takes about 2.8 hours to read 100 pages. A single-spaced page usually has around 500 words. The average person's reading speed is around 300 words per minute (WPM).

How long does it take to review 400 pages? ›

The average reader will read 400 pages in 11.1 hours when reading at a speed of 300 words per minute (wpm). Typical documents that are 400 pages or more include full-length novels. A typical single-spaced page is 500 words long. You may read faster or slower than this depending on your average reading speed.

What should you avoid in a book review? ›

7 Typical Mistakes in Book Review Writing
  • Over-focusing on the plot. If you do this it may come across that you are struggling to be critical. ...
  • Use of pronouns. ...
  • Meaningless arguments. ...
  • Avoid narcissism. ...
  • Length. ...
  • Repetitiveness. ...
  • Steer clear of self-flattery.
1 Nov 2019

What are the 3 elements of a book review? ›

A successful book review includes a short summary of the book, background information about the author and topic, and an evaluation of the content.

What should not be included in a book review? ›

But the reader does not learn some key information expected from a review: the author's argument, the student's appraisal of the book and its argument, and whether or not the student would recommend the book. As a critical assessment, a book review should focus on opinions, not facts and details.

Is there an app for book reviews? ›

Goodreads is the world's largest community of readers. Find new and interesting books by browsing personalized recommendations based on books you've read and your favorite genres. See what your friends are reading, write book reviews, and keep track of what you want to read.

Are Kirkus Reviews free? ›

Keep your review private or publish it for free on Kirkus.com.

Is Kirkus free? ›

It's all free, and you can sign up in seconds here. At the ripe old age of 87, Kirkus may be the oldest startup in America, as our team often jokes.

How do I ask for a review without sounding desperate? ›

How To Ask For A Testimonial Without Looking Desperate
  1. Provide an Exit Interview or Survey. If you want to create a survey to send out, there multiple options, such as:
  2. Make it Reciprocal.
  3. Run a Promotion.
  4. Look For Already Published Reviews.
  5. Make It Convenient To Leave Reviews.
17 Nov 2021

How can I get a lot of reviews on Google? ›

Encourage your customers to leave reviews
  1. Ask customers for reviews after positive interactions or in your marketing materials.
  2. Try Marketing kit to generate custom posters and social posts requesting reviews.
  3. Create a short URL to give to customers so they have a one-click path to leave a review.

Who pays the most for book reviews? ›

Want to Get Paid to Review Books? Try These 6 Publishers
  1. The U.S. Review of Books. The U.S. Review of Books regularly hires freelance book reviewers. ...
  2. Online Book Club. ...
  3. Kirkus Media. ...
  4. Booklist Online. ...
  5. Women's Review of Books. ...
  6. Publisher's Weekly.
18 May 2022

How do I become an Amazon book reviewer? ›

How can I join? Customers who consistently write insightful reviews are most likely to be invited. Voices are shoppers like you and are not paid to participate in the programme. To stay in the programme, they are expected to share honest and unbiased reviews.

Is reviewing books a job? ›

One popular job title for book lovers in publishing is as a book reviewer who reads books and writes about them. If you enjoy reading and have strong writing skills, a career as a book reviewer might be ideal for you.

Is 70 pages in 2 hours good? ›

Answer: the average reader takes about 1.9 hours to read 70 pages. You might take more or less time than 1.9 hours to read 70 pages, depending on your reading speed and the difficulty of your text. The average person's reading speed is around 300 words per minute (WPM).

Is reading 20 pages an hour slow? ›

While a slow reader will only get through 30 pages per hour, the average person can read around 40 pages per hour. Statistics show that quick readers can even go through 50 or 60 pages in one hour.

Is 1 page a minute good? ›

Many resources indicate that the average reading speed of most adults is around 200 to 250 words per minute, which translates to two minutes per page.

Is it possible to read a 200 page book in a day? ›

That's about 4.5 hours to read a 200-page book (55,000 words). By increasing your reading speed to 600 words/ minute, you could read a 200-page book in 90 minutes. The best speed readers can reach 1000 words per minute which equates to approximately 55 minutes to read a 200-page book.

Is it better to read fast or slow? ›

Reading slowly may help the in comprehending the situation or theory but it lets the mind wander to previous paragraphs and kids tend to forget what they just read. Quick reading eliminates the element of a wandering mind. Reading quickly does not mean one is skipping out on comprehending the material.

Can you read a 400 page book in 3 days? ›

Answer: the average reader takes about 11.1 hours to read 400 pages. You might take more or less time than 11.1 hours to read 400 pages, depending on your reading speed and the difficulty of your text. The average person's reading speed is around 300 words per minute (WPM).

What are the 4 stages in writing a book review? ›

The four stages of writing a book review are: introducing the book, outlining its contents, highlighting parts of the book by selecting particular chapters or themes, and giving a detailed evaluation.

What are the 4 parts of book review? ›

After analyzing many book reviews (most or all of which are from mainstream sources), Campbell suggests four elements of criticism: reaction, summary, aesthetic appraisal and historical appraisal.

How many pages should a book review be? ›

Standard length is 4-5 typed pages (approximately 1000-1250 words). You should use standard 12 point font and standard margins (1 inch on each side and one inch top and bottom of the page).

Can a book review be negative? ›

Sooner or later, every book will get a negative review. Authors can be hit hard by those reviews; you may want to wade in and defend your book or hide under your blanket and swear you'll never write again.

Which book is the best for book review? ›

Book Reviews Books
  • The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) Suzanne Collins. ...
  • Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2) Suzanne Collins. ...
  • The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner, #1) ...
  • Divergent (Divergent, #1) ...
  • Matched (Matched, #1) ...
  • The Help (Hardcover) ...
  • Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3) ...
  • The Book Thief (Hardcover)

What should a writer avoid? ›

10 Common Grammar Mistakes Writers Should Avoid
  • 1 Overuse of adverbs.
  • 2 Too many prepositional phrases.
  • 3 Ambiguous (“Squinting”) modifiers.
  • 4 Misuse of lie/lay.
  • 5 Ambiguous pronoun references.
  • 6 Comma splices.
  • 7 Run-on sentences.
  • 8 Wordiness (inflated sentences)
28 Nov 2019

What is the most important part of a book review? ›

Summary of the book's subject and themes: Summarizing the book's subject and primary themes, or the author's argument in the case of a nonfiction book, are essential elements of a book review. Include details about the main points, characters, and the book's genre.

How do you rate a book out of 5? ›

I've decided to give this post a little refresh and talk about how I rate books. There really is no wrong or right way to rate books, but if you'd like a bit of a guideline, you've come to the right place.
...
I use the following key:
  1. 0-3 Really Bad.
  2. 4-6 Average.
  3. 7-9 Really Good.
  4. 10 Excellent.
5 Aug 2020

What is the middle of a book review called? ›

Body: This should be the focus of your paper.

How many reviews should a book have? ›

For a minimum, you should try to get 20 reviews within the first two months after your book release date. That shows your book has traction with real readers. At around 50 reviews, you are probably good to go. Around that point, you have solidified the book as reputable and should continue to generate reviews.

What do critics look for in a book? ›

First and foremost, critics attempt to assess the value of a book to its readers. They ask questions like: Why did the author write this? Why should people read it? What will readers get out of it?

What are the rules of reviewing a book? ›

Writing a good book review usually involves the following steps:
  • Get to know the book and establish the approach you will take. ...
  • Provide bibliographic details. ...
  • Summarise the book's contents. ...
  • Describe the author/s authority and any particular biases. ...
  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the book. ...
  • Concluding comment.

What is the best app review site? ›

200+ of the Best App Review Sites to Submit your Mobile App
App Review Sites
1AppAdvice
2148Apps
3AppStorm
4Feed My App
22 more rows

Is Blinklist the best? ›

Summary: Blinkist is probably the best app for book summaries on the market. The outlines on offer are easy to read and quick to implement. If you intend on using the platform regularly (at least once or twice a month), you'll make your money back.

Is Blinkist any good? ›

This Blinkist review confirms it is the best value audiobook summary subscription service by far, with great narrators, and high-quality summaries. Three years ago, I signed up for a free trial of Blinkist to try out Audiobook summaries. I liked the service so much.

How much does Kirkus pay per review? ›

Kirkus Indie Reviews: Kirkus Reviews is a well-established trade book review publication. The standard price for a review is $425, with a turnaround time of seven to nine weeks; an express review, which takes four to six weeks, costs $575.

How did Kirkus go down? ›

A racially charged shooting reveals the complicated relationships that surround a popular teen and the neighborhood that nurtured and challenged him. Instead of a gangster after retribution, 16-year-old African-American Tariq Johnson's killer is a white man claiming to have acted in self-defense.

Does Kirkus give negative reviews? ›

It sucks when you get a negative review from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, or Kirkus. Although from Kirkus, we all kind of expect one since it's so rare for them to write a good one. It's almost badge of honor to get a bad review from Kirkus! Means you have arrived in publishing.

How can I get free review copies of books? ›

Discover New Books

Use NetGalley for free to request, read, and recommend digital review copies before they are published. Your reviews and feedback are essential to publishers, authors, and other readers!

Do book reviewers get free books? ›

Many publishing houses offer ARCs on NetGalley — here, readers and reviewers can access books free of charge before they're released in exchange for leaving a review on the site. Some books have a “Read now” option, while more exclusive ones require you to submit a request.

How do I become a book reviewer for Kirkus? ›

Book Reviewer

Kirkus currently reviews nearly all genres for books of all lengths, in digital, hardcover and paperback format. To apply, please submit your resume, writing samples and a list of reviewing specialties to Kirkus Indie Editor David Rapp at Drapp@kirkus.com.

How do authors get thousands of reviews? ›

Your job is to get advanced reviews that can go in your Author Bio section or in your description section. This involves asking review bloggers, review sites, other authors, magazine editors, newspaper editors, etc. for reviews. A review from a publication such as Kirkus Reviews will go a LONG way.

How do you become a famous book reviewer? ›

How to become a book reviewer in 12 steps
  1. Read abundantly. ...
  2. Start reviewing books for free (or for money!) ...
  3. Always follow guidelines. ...
  4. Always think of the reader first. ...
  5. Host all your reviews in one place. ...
  6. Become a specialist. ...
  7. Put together a packet of your best reviews. ...
  8. Join an association.
27 Mar 2019

How do you become a book reviewer? ›

How to become a book reviewer
  1. Read frequently. Take time to read as often as you can. ...
  2. Consider a bachelor's degree in literature. Think about pursuing a bachelor's degree in literature. ...
  3. Begin reviewing books on your own. Start writing reviews for books you read. ...
  4. Build a readership. ...
  5. Apply for work as a book reviewer.
20 Apr 2021

What percentage of authors become successful? ›

The top 2% or so of authors make a good living and the most successful authors – including self-published authors – make a tremendous amount of money.” Greenfield's co-author, professor Dana Weinberg, agreed that “The question of money is a tricky one. Publishing a book for sale is a matter of both art and commerce.

How much can a first time author expect to make? ›

How much can authors expect to earn from their books? A first-time author with a traditional publishing deal might expect an advance of $1,000-$10,000 and 5-18% royalties once they “earn out” their advance. Self-published authors do not receive advances, but their royalties can reach up to 70% for ebook editions.

How many reviews do people read before buying? ›

According to online review statistics, 95% of consumers read reviews before they buy a product, while 67% say they wouldn't trust a high rating unless it comes with many reviews.

How can I get rich before 30 book review? ›

Overall this is an amazing book that is a must read if you truly want to achieve financial freedom. The lesson with this book is it is never too late to put together a plan to lay down goals to save money. And it's about getting rich, not wealthy. Very practical book.

Is Kirkus review free? ›

Effective immediately, our digital subscriptions are free for all. That means you are able to access the current issue as well as our full online archive of issues from your home at no charge. Go to the magazine link in the main navigation of KirkusReviews.com to access your free digital issues.

How can you tell if book reviews are fake? ›

These red flags may indicate a fake review campaign:
  1. A very high percentage of five-star reviews.
  2. Lack of detail in reviews and vague praise.
  3. Generic review titles like “Nice product” or simply “Awesome”
  4. Mentions of competing products.
  5. Wording similar to other reviews.
  6. Poor grammar and spelling mistakes.
22 Aug 2022

How much do book readers get paid? ›

Audiobook narrators make a generous salary! Most of the time, these payments are hourly rates, given the variation in the length of different audiobooks. Freelance narrators who have experience earn between $90 to $250 per hour of reading, while union narrators with experience earn about $170 per hour.

Who is the most famous literary critic? ›

Harold Bloom

Where best to begin than perhaps the most famous literary critic of them all? New Yorker Harold Bloom was born in 1930 and has analysed everyone from Wordsworth to Shakespeare, even writing a literary appreciation of the Bible and naming Jonah as his favourite book.

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