The Challenge of getting Book Reviews
Even the most established and talented authors will attest to how challenging it is to not only write, but also to sell a book. In fact, many writers acknowledge that actually writing the book is arguably easier than getting it sold. New authors especially have it rough, since they don’t even have a solid reputation built up to try and give them an edge. Things have changed a little with the advance of technology. Namely, self-publishing has become much easier for new authors thanks to sites like Amazon and Smashwords.
Not only do these sites give authors an avenue to get their books published, but it also gives a collective place for readers to see reviews of the book. There are a couple of downsides to self-publishing though. The biggest one actually comes from how accessible it is. As previously mentioned, this is a great way for new authors to get their books out there. The problem is, this applies to every would be author out there. This means there’s going to be no shortage of other books that authors now have to compete against. Having strong book reviews and recommendations is one of the best ways for an author to get a leg up on their competition and start getting their books sold.
Of course, this goes back to the original problem. With so many books out there it’s a challenge to get noticed in the first place to start getting positive reviews. There are some businesses out there that recognize this problem and try to play off the desperation of writers by offering to write positive reviews in exchange for a small payment. This can be a tempting route for authors to take, but it is ultimately one that isn’t recommended. One reason is the obvious moral implications behind paying for reviews. Even if you don’t consider that issue though, it really isn’t worth it. Paid reviews just like any real sense of credibility. They often end up looking incredibly generic because the paid reviewers don’t actually read what they’re hired to review. Any reader looking over these types of reviews easily spot them. Not only will they ignore them, but it negatively impacts any legitimate reviews because now readers are going to question whether or not the rest of the reviews are reliable.
There are still some ways that authors can reach out to get positive reviews. There’s no shortage of book bloggers on the internet. Authors are highly recommended to look through these blogs and try to find someone who has similar tastes to whatever it is they were writing about. Many of these bloggers accept submissions from authors and will give a critical and honest review of the material. They also already have an established audience. Authors don’t just have to reach out to established bloggers though. Sites like Amazon allow for authors to easily search for similar works to their own. Authors can try to reach out to readers who gave those similar books positive reviews, offering a free copy of their book. Even this simple gesture helps the author, as reviewers are going to naturally be a little more positively inclined to the author for being given something for free.
Authors can also benefit by having their own blogs before their book is sold. Sites like Amazon include sections for the author to freely link to their other sites or works. The basic idea behind these blogs is it lets an author establish their own audience and develop loyal readers. This could also be a great opportunity to provide a few giveaways. It’s also a little easier to ask these readers to look at the book and provide a positive and honest review.