If you want to get a spot on the big book promotion sites or to entice new readers to try out your books, you're going to need a lot of reviews. Many of the biggest book marketing newsletters won't touch your book unless you've got a couple of dozen good reviews. Other than sending out ARCs to friends and fellow authors, what can you do to get those all-important reviews published on your book's page online? The best option you have is to get the reviews from frequent reviewers. These people, some of who have book review blogs, will accept books and publish an honest review of them. They're usually inundated with review requests, so your best bet is to be professional when asking for your spot in line. Annoying these reviewers is the worst way to do it. Here are some of the best questions to ask to avoid getting on their bad side.
What Genre Do You Review?
Check out the reviewer's website or ask this basic question before sending anything to her. If she normally reviews romance books, your sci-fi spectacular won't go over very well. Some reviewers will state they review almost anything, but most of them specialize to a certain extent.
Where Do You Post Reviews?
The last thing any reviewer wants to hear is, "Post my review on GoodReads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Nook, Smashwords, and your Facebook page." All reviewers have set venues where they post reviews. At the least, most will review on GoodReads and Amazon, two of the biggest sites readers use to look for books. If the reviewer has a website or dedicated social media page, you may get lucky and have them post about your book there, as well. Ask where your reviews will go, don't insist on the world.
Why Aren't All Your Reviews 5 Stars?
It's hard to believe in this age of sock-puppet review scandals, but some authors still expect reviewers to rubber-stamp a 5 star review for their book, just for the asking. A reputable reviewer will only post an honest review. Many of them may give you the option of not having a review at all if they are planning on a negative one, but no one gets a complete string of 5 star books to read. There are always lower grades, and a few 4 star reviews looks authentic while not harming your promotions.
Why Can't You Use an eBook for a Review?
Some reviewers insist on a paperback copy of a book before they'll review it. While authors may balk at the cost, there's a logical reason behind this. Anyone who has an eBook readers knows they collect more books on there than they will ever read. It's easy for a book to get lost in the mass of words, not to be found for months. It's much easier for a reviewer to keep track of a physical object like a paperback book.
Keep the Faith and May the Force be with You!