Random Inspirations

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In Quest of Reviews: 5 Tips for Indie Authors

on December 9, 2013

You’ve written and published your ebook on Amazon and you’re ready to tear up whatever category your book fits into. Congrats! But after patting yourself on the back comes the fun part, searching for good reviewers for your book.

Reviews are necessary because not only do they provide useful feedback and social proof for potential readers, they also influence Amazon’s algorithm. If a book receives 12 or more positive reviews on Amazon, the algorithm will recommend it to dramatically more users. And 25 reviews is the real sweet spot. Receive that many and Amazon’s algorithm goes wild recommending your book!

Of course, you could bother family and friends for reviews…but, after all, they do have a life. And what if your book is about something they’re totally not interested in? Or what if you write multiple books? Recruit your friends to write reviews about every one of your books, and they’ll mysteriously start avoiding you…

Then, there are reviewers who read and post reviews on indie books. They’re all there in a database online for your perusal. Great, right? Not necessarily, when they’re so glutted with indie ebooks that some of them take months (or even a year! True story!) to review your book.

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Luckily, I’ve learned a lot about getting reviews, and I’m super excited to share some helpful hints with you! Here are 5 tips to get more reviews:

  1. Make friends with other authors in and out of your genre. Authors I’ve met at conferences as well as through various social media channels have agreed to review my ebooks.
  2. Join a book review group on Facebook. These groups are made of readers looking for new, fun reading material and indie writers looking for reviews of their work. Match made in heaven, right? Here are some of my faves: I Need Book Reviews,  Review Seekers, Reviewers Roundup, and Julie’s Book Review.
  3. Recruit reviewers on your author website. These are your fans anyway — give them incentive to write reviews by hosting book giveaways and even a raffle for fans who write honest reviews.
  4. Join a book club. Check your local library or meetup.com for book clubs in your neighborhood. You’ll meet people who share your passion for reading, and will be only too happy to review your book.
  5. Post a link at the end of your ebook that says, “Did you enjoy this book? If so, please leave me a review on Amazon…” and give a link to the Amazon page. This reminder is a great call to action for readers, many of whom enjoy helping out indies.

What do you think? Have you tried these techniques before? What works for you? I’d love to hear your opinions.

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