In the book world, reviews and endorsements are extremely important to the success of your book launch. Both “official” reviews and consumer reviews are vital to a book’s launch into the market. Readers are becoming more and more dependent on reviews and endorsements when choosing which books to buy.
Here’s what you need to know about how to get book reviews and endorsements that contribute to your book’s success.
Ask key people to write reviews for your book
Having reviews ready to be posted when your book is released helps you create momentum and excitement right out of the gate. So, the first step is to consider who you might ask to review your book and how to go about doing so.
Contact your loyal fans. These are people who know, like, and trust you. They are also the ones most likely to leave a review after they read your book. For an established author, loyal fans may be readers who reviewed previous books. For new authors, the circle can be very small—it depends on the size of their network and the extent to which that network is familiar with the author’s writing.
Seek out other potential reviewers. You might choose to proactively seek reviewers outside your immediate circle—especially people who enjoy books like yours. Such readers are far more likely to respond favorably to an invitation to invest the time to read your book and offer an informed review. Book bloggers and blog tours are an excellent source of potential reviewers. The advantages are twofold: (1) you’ll get a review, often posted in multiple places and (2) your book will be promoted when the blogger shares the review on their website and via social media.
Sending your request for a review
Be clear and specific when requesting a review. Reviewers don't want to take a lot of time trying to figure out what your book is about or what you are requesting from them. Identify your book’s audience and provide details about the book so they have a good understanding of the book before they commit to review it.
Sending your manuscript for review
Attaching your manuscript to your initial inquiry looks pushy and assuming, and it also might cause your email to land in the “junk” folder. Always wait for the reviewer’s response to your request before sending the full manuscript. If you’d like to share a teaser other than the book description, post an excerpt from your manuscript on a blog and link to it from your email invitation.
Secure endorsements as early as possible
An endorsement, also known as a book blurb or testimonial, is advance praise for your book from someone who influences your book’s target audience. When looking for people to endorse your book, don't limit your choices. Endorsers may be other authors, thought leaders, sports figures, politicians, members of the media, church leaders, CEOs, or other influential people you know.
It is best to secure endorsements for your book while it is still in manuscript form. That way, you can use the endorsers’ names on your book cover and in all your pre-release book review requests and marketing materials.
When requesting an endorsement, send a complete copy of your manuscript for the endorser to review. It is acceptable to provide endorsers with a list of all the people you are asking to endorse your book. Endorsements are truly an essential ingredient in a good book marketing campaign, so do not neglect this important step with your book.
Make sure you’ve got strategies for soliciting both reviews and endorsements in your book marketing plan. They’re essential to your book’s long-term success.