As soon as I decided to self-publish Beyond Parallel I was excited about all the possibilities, but the worry of exposure was nevertheless an issue. This is the Number One obstacle for all Indie Authors, and although it’s no easy feat to overcome, there are some amazing people waiting to help.
Appearing in the New York Times is a dream I’m sure we all share, but chances are slim for indie authors – at least until you become a bestseller like Hocking, Hoover or Howey. Book Review Sites on the other hand, well, they offer an opening to a world of potential readers. The service they offer is amazing and the message they serve is simple:
HOWEVER, there is a right and wrong way to go about it, and although my advice is fairly time intrusive, the results are pretty good.
Get Your Book Reviewed
Appearing on a host of Book Review Sites won’t guarantee success, but it can certainly help get the ball rolling. Some of these site are big (with thousands of followers and several reviewers) whereas others are small (very new and the opinion of a single soul). Regardless, they all reach people you probably can’t, and not only do they create exposure, they add authority.
This is what I’ve learned about getting Book Reviews in the last six months or so:
1: Research Research Research
There are thousands of sites out there but not all will be relevant. The last thing you want to do is approach a reviewer who hates your genre, because even if they agree to read your book (which they probably won’t) the feedback will most likely be poor.
Search for as many sites as possible, gauge quickly what the style is like, and read their guidelines to see if they’re taking new requests, read your genre, and consider self-published authors. Unfortunately many don’t, but this is fine. Respect their stance and move on.
All this takes time and a list of hundreds can quickly become a mere few dozen. The result, however, is a collection of Book Review Sites that are perfect for YOU. This makes all those hours worth it, trust me.
Here’s a few sites to get you started:
2: Start Early
The easy method is to send everyone one bulk email. DO NOT DO THIS!
I started contacting reviewers long before I had a book to send them (about five months before launch day), but this is fine because you want the first message to be a simple introductory. Consider how many emails these Book Reviewers get, and think about all the ones that are sent as a gigantic bulk message.
By starting early you’re not just getting a review, but building a relationship. This is the greatest thing you can do in the begin ing because people will warm to you, remember you, and want to help you in the future.
3: Be Personal
Like I say, the easy method is to send one bulk email. DO NOT DO THIS!
It takes time to individually email everyone you want to connect with, but it increases your chances massively. Use their real name, mention a feature on their site, and be polite. If I ever get an email that seems to be mass-produced, I delete it without reading. Do you do the same?
It’s not to say you can’t use a general template, but make sure you alter each one so it’s personal and unique to that individual. Like I say, it’s all about building a relationship in the beginning.
4: Be Helpful
The feedback I generally received from reviewers thanked me for the information I shared with them. Simply put I made it as easy as possible for them to make a decision.
I created a Press Page with all the info about Beyond Parallel they could ever ask for, and as time went by I improved and added to this page. Too often authors write a rather ‘to the point’ email that asks too much from the reviewer. BE HELPFUL and they will be thankful in return.
Again, they get many requests and it’s easy to be forgotten. Even if they can’t review your book right now, they might agree to it later, or at least rememberer your name.
5: Be Thankful
Book Reviewers (no matter how big or small they are) are amazing folk. If it wasn’t for people like these it would be much harder for an indie author to survive. As such, BE THANKFUL!
I offered a Free copy of Beyond Parallel that they could giveaway and shared the review no matter how good or bad it was. I also asked for feedback and appreciated what they shared with me. It comes down to good manners in the end of the day, but from what I hear from some reviewers, many authors are nothing but rude.
Don’t be one of these!
Book Reviewers Are Awesome
I have a long way to go in my own journey, but I’m so thankful to the reviewers who have helped me so far. Most don’t only leave the review on their own website, but upload it to Amazon and Goodreads too, and it’s this authority that makes them invaluable.
Although some won’t give you the time of day, many will.
Although some won’t reach much more than a dozen, they all form part of your journey.
It does take time and your eyes will get fuzzy and tired, but the results can be great. I’ve had some amazing reviews so far, met many great people, and have several more lined up in the near future. Join me and approach a Book Review Site TODAY!
Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million