I don’t have that many book reviews on Amazon, around 78. However, I do get asked to do book reviews at least once a week. Asking for book reviews doesn’t take you reinventing the wheel. Just follow these simple tips and those reviews will start pouring in. OK, at least trickling.
Here are ten mistakes I see self-published authors make over and over when asking for book reviews.
Top Ten Mistakes
1 – Have a great, not good, subject line
I don’t know you. I might think your email is spam. Give me a reason in the first five seconds to open your email. If you don’t I won’t even click. This might sound impossible, but with practice you can get better. Start at Copyblogger if you want to get good, fast.
2 – Watch your grammar
You are a professional writer. You make your living (or want to) with the words you put on the page. If your grammar is poor I immediately wonder how bad your book might be. Imagine a fashion designer pitching a magazine. If he shows up in a cardboard box will he get past the secretary? If you need help with your grammar start with Grammarly.
3 – Use my name
Show me that you have done enough research to know who I am. Today I received an email asking for a review. The salutation was, “Dear Kindle Reader,” Unless you are emailing someone whose legal first name is Kindle and last name is Reader, don’t do that. Ever.
4 – Make it quick
More is not better when it comes to interrupting my day. If the subject line gets me to open your email make sure the body of the message is to the point and makes a point. Brevity is your, and my, friend.
5 – At the very least, read my review(s)
Most authors looking for a review find my name and email address by seeing a prior review I did. If you mention this, make sure you get the book right that I reviewed. I’ve had many authors tell me that they appreciated my review of a book I never read.
6 – Why should I give up my time for you
Here is the hardest thing. I realize you are a struggling writer. I’m a struggling writer. I realize reviews will help your book get noticed. I realize you probably put your heart and soul into your book. How does any of that help me? You are asking me to spend my valuable time on your book. Why should I? I’m already on your side and if you can’t convince me how will you convince anyone else?
7 – Make it easy on me
Humans are lazy. I’m lazy. I almost didn’t write this post. We look for the easy way. Make it easy for me to get your book if I decide to read it. If your book is one click away I might read it. Two clicks and the percentage drops noticeably. Three clicks and you have a better chance of me buying every single copy of your book that Amazon has in stock.
8 – If I offer feedback tell me you got it
I received an email asking me to review the author’s book. The book looked interesting so I checked out the author’s website. I saw on their email list signup form that they spelled a word wrong. I emailed the author and told him what I came across. I’m still waiting to hear from that author. Do you think I’ll review his book if he can’t take the time to say thanks.
9 – Follow up
If you haven’t heard from me in a week or two, send me another email. Don’t be pushy, but I remember persistence.
10 – Thank me
Even if I don’t review your book thank me for taking the time to read your email. The Golden Rule applies to book reviews as well.
This is not an exhaustive list. I know that. You know that. But if you do these ten things when asking for book reviews you will be so far ahead of most everyone else that you will standout.
Remember, fortune favors the bold. It’s also pretty nice to those who are prepared.