Kayla Hicks - Author Kayla Hicks - Author

Changing My Tactics Scored Me Book Reviews

6 min read

When I put in the work, I ended up scoring more reviews than I thought I would

One of the toughest things authors face is trying to obtain reviews for their work.

Reviews are one of those selling points that readers look for.

When I look at books to buy, especially if I’m contemplating taking a chance on a new author, my eyes immediately look for how many reviews the book has. For me, this feels like some sort of validation that it’s worth taking a chance on, which I am sure is the same for so many other readers. The books that have captivating descriptions but few reviews are the books you decide if it’s worth taking the chance or not.

With that being said, even if the book has numerous reviews, the type of reviews matters.

By this I am referring to two things:

  1. Who left the review (a blogger, a reviewer, a top Amazon reviewer)

  2. The depth of the review (just a this is a great book or in-depth why I loved it)

Most times, a platform such as Amazon will list the best review and the most critical review at the top of the reviews list.

This is extremely helpful in regards to determining what perks and downfalls you may find as a reader. But, I’ll also mention being cautious that you don’t accidentally read any spoilers, which thankfully reviewers will list at the top if the review has spoilers.

But for many readers, in-depth reviews or reviews from bloggers, reviewers, or top reviewers carry more weight.

So, my recent book Anywhere Else had some good reviews but not enough.

This meant I needed to change my tactic. So, what had I done so far?

Before the book came out I:

  • Found ARC readers and sent 24 copies

  • Promoted on social media and with advertisements

  • Found podcasters to do interviews with

  • Submitted press releases to papers and websites

Unfortunately, with all of that work, I’d managed to receive 14 reviews.

This was a decent haul from the efforts I’d made, but then my reviews stopped rolling in. Even Kindle Unlimited reads were very sporadic which was odd for a romance book, which has a huge reader base. So now I needed to dig in and change my tactics.

So, I did some research.

Poking around the internet found me some seasoned authors who shared their experiences trying to grow their audience and pile on reviews. And I was thankful they shared their experience because I learned a lot. Here is what I learned.

Top Amazon Reviewers:

You can actually search Amazon for Top Amazon Reviewers and it will bring up a list of these top reviewers.

This is a very tedious process but can reap huge rewards if shown dedication. By this I mean, I went through all 1,000 of the 3,000 people on that list, clicked on their profiles, and checked if they accepted book review submissions. Some provided a website, some provided an email or Facebook, and some provided nothing at all.

But, I could follow them on Amazon, and if they had a unique name, a simple Google search brought me to their website or Facebook page.

Similar books:

I first went to my books Amazon page and checked what books they were recommending as similar to my own.

Once I went to these books, I looked through their reviews and clicked and searched for any book bloggers or reviewers that reviewed the book. This lead me to nearly 100 websites of book bloggers to who I was able to submit a review submission. Not bad.

Next, I searched for three books I considered similar to my own and did the same thing.

Book review websites:

If you search on Google for book review sites, you will find a surprising number of websites designed for book reviews.

Now, many of these websites I found through FeedSpot, as they had long lists of these sites. Some of them wanted payment and some wanted a simple subscription to their website in exchange for the review while others would add your submission to their list for consideration. Another site I found asked if you wanted a simple basic review for free or an in-depth review for a price.

Other suggestions included sending a physical copy of your book to newspapers and such to obtain a review.


This was a social media platform I wasn’t as familiar with but am growing to like.

At first, I searched for book reviewers and started following any that interested me. After I took the time to do this, I came up with around 30 bloggers and reviewers. I also took the effort to follow them on Goodreads for good measure.

After finding all of these wonderful people, I started exploring their profiles.

Many bookstagramers have LinkTrees. These connect to their Amazon, Goodreads, and Twitter profiles as well as their websites and any sponsored things they are part of.

They also list what they are interested in reading in their profile description for the social platform.

Once I took the time to look at their link trees and interests, I started figuring out how I could submit. Some of them had submission spaces on their website which was wonderful, but then there were a few who didn’t have any submission sections. The question was, what to do?

The simple ask is applied here.

I sent out a message on Instagram or to an email provided through their LinkTree, simply saying:

Hello! Your profile caught my interest and I was able to look over your LinkTree and Website. I may have missed it, but I was wondering if you are accepting review submissions. I have a Contemporary Romance called Anywhere Else and I would love to provide a free Ebook copy via email. Looking forward to hearing from you.

And you know what? I actually had five of the eleven contact me back and tell me they would love to add me to their list!

For those who didn’t answer, I waited. I waited about a week and a half before sending a follow-up message asking if they received my message. And from that follow-up message, I received three more messages.

Who would have thought that by doing all of this research, I would have come into contact with 40 book reviewers who said yes!

As tedious as it was, it paid off.

I was able to show people that I paid attention to what they had to offer. And I went the extra mile by following them on Goodreads and Amazon before I asked them for a review. By doing this, I showed them I was invested in more than one book.

Do the research, show you care, and you can go far.