Kayla Hicks - Author Kayla Hicks - Author

Leverage for Book Reviews: A Strategy for Authors

4 min read

Before a reader purchases a book, they look at three things to influence their decision on whether or not to purchase it.

They look at the cover of the book, the book description, and the reviews readers left for the book.

If you have managed to pique a reader's interest past the cover and the book description, the best thing you can do is work hard to acquire as many book reviews as possible. However, numerous authors struggle with how to achieve this, mainly because the reader needs to feel compelled enough by what you have written to take the time to write a detailed review.

Thankfully, there are a few ways for authors to begin to rake in some reviews, but it isn't without doing so research and hard work.

ARC Readers

For ARC readers to be effective in your book marketing strategy, they need to be given ample time and instruction to read and review your book.

In my experience, providing ARC readers with a copy of the book one to two months before the book's release date is a decent window of time for them to read the book. But what authors need to know is that when the ARC copy is sent, you should be sending links to wherever the book will be (Goodreads, Amazon, Draft2Digital) so that they can leave a review right away as well as the release date of the book. By doing this ahead of time, you eliminate the risk of the reader forgetting what they thought about the book and increase the chance of follow-through.

If possible, tag them on social media and publicly thank them for being an ARC reader.

Book Bloggers/Reviewers

Before you go knocking on any of these wonderful people's doors, you need to do two things.

  1. Research: Taking the time to research and build a list of bloggers/reviewers that pair well with your book is key to increasing your chances of receiving a yes. This means looking through their posts and reviews to see what types of books they enjoy reading and reviewing.

  2. Build a relationship: Before you send your book submissions, you want to follow these people's accounts and begin interacting with their posts. By this I mean, commenting/sharing on their posts over some time. Because truthfully, no one wants to say yes to someone who isn't interested in their content as well. It's a two-way street.

And once you're ready to send out book submission requests, figure out the process that each blogger/reviewer wants you to follow. Some will want an email with specific details while others will want you to contact them through the Contact Me section on their website. And be sure to keep track of who you contacted and when as well as where you found them to thank them later.

Social Media

Believe it or not, if you are willing to spare a few eBooks for free, you can acquire more reviews by posting on social media.

For example: I'm trying to gather more reviews for my book Anywhere Else which is a contemporary romance with a word count of 60k. (Place a link to the book on Amazon so they can check it out). If you're interested, I'd be happy to email you a free eBook copy of the book in exchange for an honest review on Goodreads or Amazon. Comment if interested.

You will be surprised by how many people actually take you up on your offer and follow through.

Afterward, be sure to tag these people and tell them how thankful you are for their help, as well as keep track of who you sent the book to.

Obtaining book reviews can feel as if you are climbing Mount Everest, but it is possible.

For more, see How Networking with Bloggers, Authors, and Reviewers Furthers Your Career as an Author