If you can spend an hour a day online searching for new ways to promote your book you’ll be doing yourself a great favor. Probably about 90% of independent authors never sell over 100 books because they spend a great deal of time writing their books and get them up on Amazon, only to sit back and do nothing about promoting the book. Trust us, people are not going to buy your book just because it’s available for sale. You need to keep at it and realize this will be a long haul campaign. So what to do if you’re just starting out?
To publicize your book you’ll want to find bloggers who will read your book and leave reviews for free, especially those who will take an ebook rather than a hard copy for doing so. Take notice if the blogger lists the review on their own blog website.
Sites where you can find directories of bloggers who review books
Book Review Sites that offer free reviews:
Here you can contact one reviewer at a time who reviews within your genre. Be mindful to the rules here and don’t submit to multiple reviewers all at once.
Goodreads is a social network for authors and readers. When you join Goodreads as a reader you list the books you’ve read along with a star rating and an optional review.
So set up an author page, this is the first step to connecting with readers on Goodreads who leave reviews.
Join the groups on Goodreads that fit your title. Then reach out in those groups asking for a review.
You can request a free review from Readers’ Favorite. You can also pay to have that review guaranteed and done quickly but we don’t recommend that. There are a great many sites which ask you to pay for a review and generally we advise to stay clear of them. Some authors we know have had success with garnering a free review through Readers’ Favorite, though it looks several months.
This is a list of Amazon’s top reviewers. Click on the reviewer’s username and visit their profile. Many, but by no means all of them will have info about whether they are excepting submissions for review and will have their guidelines for doing just that stated. A review from a top Amazon reviewer is a valuable citation. Be aware this list from Amazon is top reviewers regardless of what they review, so weeding through the list to find those who review mostly or only books can be time consuming. But you may find a gem if you take the time.
There are a good many directories scattered throughout the web on which you can enter a listing for yourself and your book. Again, be wary of any that want you to pay for the privilege (and a lot of them do). One good place to start is the listing at the Self Publishing Review. (Note: Dmoz.org, included on their list, previously a very valuable asset has shut down in terms of taking any new listings). We will be putting together a post in the future specifically about directories. We’ll get into this more in that subsequent post but … when you find places on the web where you can enter your book’s description, try to vary the wording slightly each time. Google doesn’t like it if there is a great deal of duplicate content.
If you don’t already have an author’s website you should. If you have little or no budget to do so perhaps start with a wordpress.com free blog. You should also make a fan page on facebook, here’s a good article on just how to accomplish that at Written Word Media.
Final thoughts for today
When you contact someone about possibly reviewing your book, be polite, concise and brief. If they get back to you and turn you down, respond with a thank you email and thank them for taking the time to write back. Sometimes they will be so surprised that someone did so that they may suggest another place for you to look.
Also be aware a blogger might review your book and not like it, leaving a negative review. So read what they have written about other authors and get an idea about their overall demeanor. Send your title to reviewers you are confident are in love with your specific genre.
Keep at it and good luck!