To get reviewed on Amazon and other places online, you need to assemble a book review team and learn how to follow up. It’s a model that has worked for me over the course of many years and dozens of book launches.
Social proof is so important when marketing a book. I’ve launched dozens and dozens of books over the years, but it’s still a pain point trying to get reviews, and I know it’s the same for most self-published authors. Let me share a few tips on how to make getting book reviews on Amazon a little easier.
Assemble a book review team
I found the easiest way to get reviews is to have my own book review team. Most authors won’t do this, even after I explain how powerful this has been for me, but for those of you who make the effort to set this up, it’s something that can help you for years to come.
Your first reaction may be, “Sounds great, but what if I’m not planning on writing more books?” Well… I wasn’t planning on writing more than one, I never thought I was going to do this full time, and here I am over 40 books later. Whatever your long-term plan is, start by setting up your book review team.
It starts with one person who says they’re willing to read and review your book. My list of 818 reviewers began with one single reviewer. You have to start somewhere.
When you find your first reviewer, ask him to sign up to your book reviewer list, and make it official by having a specific email subscriber list. Once you start building a list, follow up regularly and build your relationship. Keep these folks up-to-date with your plans for this and upcoming books. Communicate with them and let them know about future opportunities.
Ask and follow up
So many authors expect that every single person who offers to review their book will post a review. That’s just not realistic. Reset your expectations and recognize that this takes work, but it’s worth it. The key is to ask and follow up.
It’s hard to ask for reviews. It’s hard to put yourself out there and ask for help. Even though I know most of the people who follow me are generous and encouraging, it can still be uncomfortable to ask people for help. But it’s important, so I do it.
For Broken Crayons Still Color, I had 150 people on my beta team list, and another 18 who said they would review my book. As of now, I have 79 reviews posted. Following up was an important part of this success.
At first, I only had 18 people who said they were going to review, and that seems like a small number compared to the 150 in the beta group, but it was more than zero, and for that I was grateful. If you have one only review, just thank God for that reviewer and for that review!
What I usually do with the people who have agreed to post a review is to follow-up personally with a deadline. If I’m having a launch or a special promotion coming up, I usually give my reviewers two to four weeks to post the review. If they haven’t, I’ll follow-up and say, “Hey, I just wanted to reach out and see if you were able to post your review of my book. I have a special promotion coming up, so if you could post your review by this date it would mean the world to me.”
Even if they post the review after the deadline, it still means the world to me, but when you follow-up personally with a deadline, you get a lot more response.
One week I had maybe eight reviews. I followed up personally and I got to 38 posted. I knew more would come, and the number has now grown to 79.
My book review teams
Today, I have two book review teams that I’ve built over the last five years. These reviewers are very active: I always get responses and reviews posted when I ask them to review books.
I have my “Christian Reader” list, which is for my fiction and nonfiction Christian books. I also have an “Author” list that I use for books for authors and business books. This list is quite a bit smaller, but it’s very specialized.
So I encourage you to find reviewers, follow up, and get those honest reviews. Good luck!