From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksThe 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.

Blog Tours

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!