Your book is all set and ready and now everybody should find out about it. Therefore potential readers need to hear about it. The evolution of the internet is changing the way authors and self-publisher can market their books. However, the traditional marketing activities will never go out of style. In the age of the internet, of course, this marketing strategy also works online. An example is word of mouth marketing with online book reviews. Read the following tips and learn how to make the most out of your book’s reviews and how to collaborate with online influencers and book critics.
What Are Book Critics and Why Are They so Important?
Book critics or book bloggers are individuals who read a lot of books and publish their reviews (mostly online on networks, social media, and blogs) due to their profession, or interest in literature. Within the last few years, there has been a shift and book critics have become so-called “influencers” and have replaced classic advertising in many areas. Therefore they have the power to affect not only the public opinion but also the purchase decisions of others. With a single good review written by a famous book critic, you can reach hundreds or maybe even thousands of potential readers. This is why you should try to collect as many reviews as possible written by important influencers.
How Can I Find These Book Critics?
You can find them everywhere on the internet: among Amazon’s top reviewers, on Facebook, in the blog scene, or in literature forums such as LovelyBooks, Blogg dein Buch, or NetGalley. Pay attention to the quality of their posts, the number of comments and retweets etc. That way, you can find out if a book critic can stimulate debate and influence opinions, or if he/she is just a loner with few readers.
What Is Netgalley and How Does It Work?
NetGalley is a platform or network of professional readers, such as journalists, bloggers, booksellers, librarians, teachers and many more, who all write reviews about books. The community works with authors and publishers of all genres from all over the world. The authors and publishing houses can place a digital version of their book on the platform so the members can review the book. The great advantage: The membership is free for the reviewers. Furthermore is very possible that some book bloggers place their review on their own online blog, YouTube channel, etc, which means, even more, reach for you.
Especially because of the number of high-quality book reviews, NetGalley is a great tool for booksellers to find new gems in the book scene, which they want to display in their bookshop.
Quick Tip: If you haven’t done it yet, set up your own account on Facebook, Instagram & Co, so influencers can tag you, so new readers can get immediately in touch with you. If you have your own website you can generate valuable backlinks.
The Advantages of Book Reviews
- Genuine reviews create trust, which is very important in the anonymous internet
- There is no better advertisement than a word-to-mouth recommendation
- A lot of positive reviews increase your visibility in online shops
- Reviews make it easier for potential readers to buy your book
How Can I Ask an Influencer to Write a Book Review for Me?
If you want to reach book critics outside of networks like NetGalley, you can look for book bloggers and contact them directly. It is important that you define your request clearly and politely. Your text should contain the following elements:
- Introduce yourself! It is possible that the book critic has never heard of you.
- Address critics or bloggers who write under pseudonym using their real name. This shows that you gathered information about their work and biography.
- Bring your message to a personal level: Mention that you like a certain review written by them and their style of writing over all.
- Define your request clearly and ask for an honest review.
- You should pitch your book to the reviewer. Attach an extract from your book in PDF format. That way they will get an idea of your book.
- You can also give something in return; for example, copies of your book that they can use for a giveaway.
- Don’t forget your contact details 🙂
I Received a Review. What Should I Do Now?
Finally, the first book review! If you are happy about the review, you should publish it everywhere online. Follow the reviewer on Facebook or Instagram and share the review. That way, you will return the favor, as you will put a plug in for them and at the same time, you promote your book. Say thank you even when the review does not meet your expectations. In any case, they found the time to read your book and review it. Never argue about a negative review; if you do, people might think that you are not open to criticism. Remember that everyone has their own opinion.