The penultimate post in my Bookbub Insights series deals with that age-old question: how to get more readers to review your book. Following my post, How to Score Great Amazon Reviews: Resources and More, I will now include here some of Bookbub’s ideas on the subject, along with mine.
1. Use your Platform
When I launched Infinite Waters, I had seven reviews within a single week. With Runaway Smile, I had 30 reviews within a month. How?
A couple of weeks before launching Infinite Waters, I sent ARCs (Advance Review Copies) to several of the friends I’ve made through this blog. These are people who have read and enjoyed my work, so I know they will welcome the opportunity to review it.
With Runaway Smile, the large file size (over 20 MB) meant that it was hard to email a copy. So, I followed an alternative route; I posted it on this blog, for everyone to read. People responded to this, and this led to a number of reviews.
A blog tour can be an effective way to get your title into the hands of avid readers. If you have built your platform and have hosted guest posts, it’s easy to ask your friends to host a guest post by you, describing your new book.
If you haven’t built your platform yet, you may prefer to enlist one of the many services that exist, that will coordinate the promotion in exchange for a fee. These experts are often able to target blogs that focus on certain genres to ensure you’re reaching the most relevant audience for your title.
Blog tours can be used to both launch new releases or reinvigorate backlist titles.
2. Social Media
Used wisely, social media can help you build up a loyal fan-base and generate reviews in the process. You can read some excellent tips on using social media on MM Jaye’s guest post, Show, Don’t Tell on Twitter.
Most successful social media marketers diversify the content they post in order to avoid spamming their followers with exclusively promotional messaging. Some authors say a good rule of thumb is to aim for an 80/20 split between conversational and promotional content. Whatever the mix, your posts should keep your readers engaged, so they’re sure to notice when you launch a new book that’s in need of some reviews.
3. Price Promotions
As you know, I’m a big fan of promos. Discounting your book for a limited time is a great way to expose the title to new readers and generate additional reviews, especially in the case of free promotions.
You can read my post, Promoting your Series: Free vs. 99c for more information on the subject of pricing, but, whatever price you settle on, you need to sure to let people know on your social media and through ads with services like Bookbub.
If you can’t afford that, author Effrosyni Moschoudi has compiled a great guide of places where you can advertise your free days for free! be sure to check out her entire post, as she shares both her process and results, along with a bunch of great tips.
4. Book Giveaways
Book giveaways can take various forms and are often run in conjunction with other promotions, such as blog tours, to create a comprehensive and effective new release launch strategy. Offering a free copy of your book in exchange for an honest review from the reader can guarantee your title already has some traction when it goes on sale.
Publishers and authors alike run book giveaways regularly. You can host a giveaway contest on a site like Goodreads or Rafflecopter, where only a select few readers win, but many enter (and therefore learn about your book). Recipients of the free copies are asked to review the book in exchange for the giveaway.
5. Email Lists
In today’s marketplace, communicating directly with your fans is crucial. Social media provides one way to do this, and building an email list of your own readers is another. This list will allow you to inform a targeted group of loyal fans about new releases, updates, and any special promotions you’re running (like a blog tour or a price promotion, for example).
You can read my Tips on starting a Newsletter for more information on building your mail list. A regular newsletter can help you build a connection and ensure your readers are eagerly awaiting your next release. The list doesn’t have to be huge, but knowing that you have a built-in fanbase that you can ask for reviews is a great way to get the ball rolling on a new title.
Read the full post on Bookbub.
This 6-part series will conclude with 9 Ways to Market your Book.
All this marketing stuff does your head in? Relax with my award-winning children’s book, Runaway Smile for free!
Thank you for sharing even more great tips, Nicholas, and for the mention too 🙂
A pleasure! I love your resources – thanks for sharing them so generously with us!
Great advice, Nicholas! Thank you! I am looking for reviewers for my newest middle-grade book. Any takers? I am an avid reader and reviewer myself but have had to call a halt to doing any more reviews for this year – have 60 + books to read right now. My goal on Goodreads is to read 115 books this year – already read 94.
Contact me if you want to read any of my books, Nicholas! firstname.lastname@example.org Blessings & Hugs! Love your posts!
Of course; need you ask? I’ll drop you an email right away 🙂
Again, such great advice!
I’m particularly intrigued by blog tours. I hear some authors say they are fantastic, others say blog tours are a lot of work and writing and aren’t really affective.
I hosted a stop in a blog tour and really enjoyed it. Didn’t try the other side yet…
In my experience, blog tours are great for brand building, but not for direct sales. As long as you don’t expect the latter, go for it.
Also, unpaid ones, where you simply contact all your blog friends, may be exhausting, but work better, IMHO 🙂
Uhm… yeah, now that I think about it, people who complains about blog tours not being effective speak about sales most of the time.
But I’m coming to this conclusion: there is very little that affects sales directly. Sales grow from an organic management of an author’s career, and so every little action is important, but rarely that little action, if taken out of context, produces real sales.
This may be the reason why it’s so difficult to give advice on how you sale book, and why some things work for an author and don’t for another.
I was in fact thinking about creating my own blog tour when my book comes out. Blog tours are very expencive, and honestly, I wasn’t very impressed by the one I took part to.
And hey, what we build our community for if we don’t turn to it when we need it? 😉
Hear, hear. Speaking of, I’m more than happy to host your guest posts 🙂
I hope that the whole sales thing is like water dripping into a glass, with any random drip causing the glass to fill.
Reblogged this on A.R. Rivera.
This excellent series is all very well, Nicholas. But if all authors end up marketing their books properly, what am I going to write about?!
Lol – a grave concern, indeed. Let me think… Puppies and kittens, perhaps?
Well, if you can guarantee they’re squabbling with each other, okay. I’ll think about it.
You… you’re terrible 😀
You know you love it.
You have no idea. BTW, you still haven’t sent me the pin up poster of you that you promised.
True. I haven’t. But seeing as the last batch proved such a hit with amateur darts enthusiasts, I’ve decided to go one step further, and my official target merchandise will be out just in time for Christmas.
If it’s anything like my books, I should probably ask, “Christmas what year?”
Rest assured Nicholas, if there’s a killing to be made, it’ll be sooner rather than later 😉
You two belong on the stage in funny hats. I just can’t decide who should be the straight man/woman. 😀
I bow to Tara – she’s the hilarious genius 🙂
More valuable info, Nicholas.Goodreads also has a group where authors can offer books to readers interested in reviewing. I received ten requests for books that I sent out about a week ago. No reviews yet, but I’m keeping an eye out. 🙂 If anyone is interested, here’s the link: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/109784
That’s a great tip! I’ve added it to the original post: https://nicholasrossis.me/2015/06/15/how-to-score-great-amazon-reviews-resources-and-more/
Great. Glad I could offer up a tidbit. 🙂
Wonderful tips, many of which I use. I have about 60 mostly 5 star reviews on amazon and from newspapers and magazines. I wonder how many reviews is enough and do we need 200 reviews? Will readers go all the way to 200 or stop after a dozen? That said, one more tip that helps me sell books happened by accident. Whenever i review a book ( I am also a professional reviewer for publishing houses that mail me best sellers to review) the author almost always reads my book without my asking and writes a review. So for almost every review I write I get one in return. It adds up. I enjoyed this post as always.
That is such a great idea. Thanks for sharing – I’ll add it to the post 🙂
As for how many reviews are enough, are all 60 reviews for a single book? Because I’d say that’s probably enough 😀
Yes, all sixty reviews are for one book, . . .And the Whippoorwill Sang. I have two more ready for publication in a month or so.
Very nice! Congrats 🙂
Thanks, and btw I am not one of ‘those snarky reviewers’ lol!
Lol – good to know 😀
There is a lot of useful information here, thanks for passing this along. I am going to shamelessly take advantage of the offer to get Infinite Waters for free and a discounted price for The Power of Six later in September also….I’m always glad for a discounted or free book. And I figure if it’s there it’s fair game. 😀 I have read Runaway Smile and it is wonderful by the way. 🙂
Yay, so glad to hear that. Please help spread the word 🙂
It’s all part of my cunning plan to dazzle you with my brilliant writing 😀
This is a fantastic blog – such concise, excellent advice. I am just about to publish my first ebook on Kindle and this had really helped with my mounting anxiety. Thank you! Thank you!
So glad to hear that – thanks for making my day! And best of luck with the launch 🙂
At the moment I am mired in page breaks and other ridiculous things but thank you. 🙂
Oh, yes… I know page breaks well…
Great post, Nicholas! Will press and post later!
Wow, that’s so kind of you! Thank you 🙂
Fabulous. I’m bookmarking this entire series. Thanks, Nicholas!
Aw, that’s the sweetest thing you could say 🙂
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Here are helpful insights from Nicholas Rossis!
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Reblogged this on My train of thoughts on… and commented:
More useful advice by Nicholas C. Rossis!
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In case you missed it here’s the last instalment of this informative series by Author Nicholas C. Rossi 😀
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I think it is now undeniable that positive reviews drive sales, like never before. Going away from books for a moment, I rarely buy anything without reading the reviews on the manufacturer’s websites, Amazon, and others. The idea seems to be to allow others to make any buying ‘mistakes’, then we can profit from their misfortune, or otherwise.
When it comes to books, and in my case, films, there is still that element of loyalty to consider. I might still buy a film from a director or actor that I admire, irrespective of the opinion of others. In the past, I have applied this to books, in particular to Bernard Cornwell, and Frank Herbert. Bad reviews of their work would not put me off making up my own mind.
Thanks for this series, Nicholas, it has been most enlightening.
Best wishes, Pete.
So much useful information here! And I think the key is to persevere as well, as a following is built up gradually. Thanks for another great post, Nicholas – even though I’ve been doing this for a while now there is still so much to learn, and posts like this are extremely helpful.
Oh, and I loved Runaway Smile! xx
Yay, thank you for making my day 🙂
Thanks for the mention! Another way that worked for me was to use Goodreads to track reviewers of books that have the same trope or branding as mine (romances with a Greek setting or a Greek alpha male). After checking out their reviews (you don’t want to approach the snarky, over-criticizing ones) I messaged them, and most responded favorably. I got seven reviewers from one batch of messages this way.
Nice tip! I’ll add it to the post 🙂
Reblogged this on Barrow Blogs: and commented:
I love the interaction with my readers through the talks and book-signings I do. Obviously don’t gain as many as through the internet but it’s great fun. I’m lucky as well that my publishers organise on-line book tours etc for me though most of the interviews on my sites are given through wonderful blogging friends I’ve made. I love these generous and informative posts, Nicholas.