Book reviews are an important part of an indie author’s strategy. Reviews can let potential readers know if they want to purchase your book, and they can also help you improve your work.
The Creative Penn offers advice for getting reviews if you’re an unknown author. The idea is to get a team of people who are your advance readers and hope they review your book when you launch. However, you want to make sure that you identify readers who are interested in the type of work you write, and make sure you follow Amazon and other retailer’s rules about reviews. The key to all of this is also to connect personally with each of your advance readers.
You can also get paid reviews through services such as Kirkus. Self Publishing Advice Center has a great breakdown of whether or not they think Kirkus is worth using.
Once you have your reviews, you can use them to help promote your book. The Write Life shares seven ways to leverage your reviews, which include putting a quote on your book cover, adding a review quote to your book sales page, and including a review quote in your press releases.
Not all reviews are positive. Book Baby has a post on confronting negative reviews. One thing to keep in mind is that pretty much every novel written ever has received at least one negative review. Another thing to keep in mind is that “it is a great achievement just to be noticed.”
Related, G2Crowd has an infographic on how to respond to customer reviews. It goes over when you should thank the reviewer, not respond, tell your side, and own up and apologize.
And last, Author S. Smith has a post about how to post reviews for an indie author. It breaks down, for non-writers, why reviews are important, what you can include in the review, and how to actually post the review.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in September 2017.