How Indie Authors Get Reviews

These notes are from the 8th Meetup of Indie Publishing Austin, How Indie Authors Get Reviews.

Description: How do you get reviews for your next book? How do you get reviews in a timely manner? What can a new author who has no platform do to get reviews? How much do reviews impact the successful launch of your book? All this and more!

Attendees: 15

Meeting Notes:

How do you get reviews for your next book? Methods and services.

  • Do a free giveaway—either through KDP Select, Goodreads, Facebook events, etc.
  • Approach review blogs/websites and ask for reviews. (Some good links were posted in the comments of the event.)
  • If you have a mailing list, you can ask them to leave a review
  • Be sure to follow up and ask them to leave a review if they haven’t! This is crucial.
  • You can go on Amazon, find reviewers, and contact them directly. (Some people in the group have had a lot of luck with that.)

Paid services:

  • Choosy Bookworm Read & Review Service $80 – $200
  • Net Galley — “publishers pay a set-up fee plus a monthly cost depending on the number of titles you have on the site.” Contact them for for more info.
    • Net Galley via Broad Universe – Women’s Science Fiction Collection. Sidetone, you can purchase a net galley thing through them. $25 per month per book for members, $45 per month per book for non-members
    • The group says its cost prohibitive to use Net Galley for an individual. But if you go through someone like Broad Universe it makes it more affordable.
  • StoryCartel.com $25-$125

How much does weight does a verified purchase on Amazon have vs. a non-verified review?

As readers, it’s unlikely that they really care if the review is from a verified purchase or not. (This is the group’s opinion).

How much effect do verified purchase reviews have on the Amazon algorithms? Good question. We don’t know! If you have some input here, leave a comment.

Does upvoting reviews on Amazon help?

Yes, upvoting reviews helps. You can try to get your readers/reviewers to pick out the most helpful reviews.

Some more advice concerning reviews…

  • Ask for reviews in the back of your book, and link back to the sales page of the book.
  • Reviews serve as social proof. Are you more likely to buy a book with no reviews, or with one hundred?
  • You can’t advertise your book without reviews. Each advertisement service has different review requirements for books they list.

Can you get reviews on a pre-order book?

According to Amazon’s help docs:

Why can’t my readers post reviews for my pre-order title

We want to hear what your readers have to say about your book, but we don’t allow reviews for books that have not yet been published or released. Anticipatory commentary can be fun and general interest, so gather the early Editorial Reviews of your book and add them to its page on Amazon through the Books tab in Author Central.

That said, the group has seen some indie author books available for pre-order with customer reviews…so we are skeptical.

Are you giving your book away to everyone on your newsletter, or are you putting out a call for reviews and only giving it away to people who respond?

Only giving it away to people who respond:

  • So you don’t have to send it to people who don’t want it or won’t read it.
  • They might want different file formats.
  • So you can write a personalized message.
  • So you can follow up and ask for reviews!

Is it worth it for an indie author to pursue professional reviews?

Can you pull quotes from Amazon reviews?

Video reviewers on YouTuber?

People who review books on Amazon, “BookTubers”, do exist!

Have a review method to add? Have other questions? Leave a comment below!

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