Thursday, March 21, 2019
DAWSON on Getting Book Reviews
MARK DAWSON, How to Get Your First 10 Book Reviews 21 MAR 2019
Primarily discussing ebooks here. Reviews are very valuable. Not likely to get into traditional publications. Social Proof is a value of the reviews. Amazon ads are becoming important. Some sites will require reviews (e.g., BookPub).
We have to shift our mindset about asking for reviews. I was shy. We might fear getting a bad one. Might fear rejection. Self-publishing may seem less legitimate, but we have to toughen up and ask and explain why we are asking, which increases odds of acceptance.
How get them? 10 ways:
1. At the end of your book, without a break, use call to action (CTA), even ahead of the appendices. Ask for review (include link to amazon.com page) and enlist for mailing list. Can expect 1 review per 500 copies. Use that space…it is precious.
2. Mailing list: you should have one, your most valuable asset as an author. Email addresses in exchange for something. Book? Novella? Exchange mailing list addresses with other writers. Then develop a sequence of emails. Down the email chain, request a review.
3. Form an Advance Team to get early versions for comments/reviews/typos/errors in Advance Review Copies (ARC). Offer free book and request review. Keep spreadsheet? Perhaps not.
4. Social Media: Pick one and learn how to use it well. For it, prepare a weekly automated post. [HootSuite?]. E.g., 5 variants, rotate. Also, can advertise, on Facebook for example. Daily send to prospects.
5. Goodreads: Fine site for readers, not so good for authors. Find groups in your topic niche. Obey their rules.
6. Free books: Set your price to $0.00, temporarily. Add something else. End of book, have CTA for review.
7. BookLovers: Be consistent on approaching them. Research first. Be selective. Personalize the email. Free but time-consuming.
8. Facebook chatbook. New. FB is changing to allow you to use their site for targeted messaging. Allows setting up yes/no options and alternative texts. Was very effective for Dawson. Because new, the opening rates were high (90%) and engagement rates high, also.
9. Respond to all comments. Thank and then redirect to your email list, ask for reviews.
10. Pay a service. E.g. https://www.hiddengemsbooks.com/, https://reedsy.com/discovery Pay for access to their mailing list. No guarantee of reviews. Not paying for reviews, which is viewed as unethical.
Use KDP select on Amazon. Somewhat complex.
“Most people just upload their book and then pray….”
Join Self-Publishing 101 training program by Dawson and several authors: It will help you find your readers. Publishing need not be very expensive. Multi-module set of instructional tools and videos. $500 or 12 monthly $49.