Getting Reviews and Blurbs
Welcome to Day Six and another step in creating an awesome author marketing plan.
The last few days, we’ve been focused on the first important platform aspect I listed on Day One: your website. Now that we’re done, it’s time to move on to items #2 and #3 on that list: your Amazon and Goodreads author accounts and the importance of getting reviews and blurbs.
How to Set Up Your Author Accounts on Amazon Author Central and Goodreads
If you don’t have an Amazon or Goodreads account, you can create one easily by simply going to these sites and following the instructions to set up a user account.
Once you have both accounts and your book has come out (or is available for pre-order), you can claim it as an author on both sites in order to upgrade your account to an author account.
For Goodreads, here’s the instructions on how you can do that.
For Amazon, here’s the instructions on how to set up an Author Central account.
If you have any trouble setting up your accounts, you can consult today’s recommended book, which outlines all the nuts and bolts of setting up your author accounts and the process of self-publishing as a whole.
It’s important to get on Amazon and Goodreads as an author because readers are going to be putting their reviews there, and this is your opportunity to copy in your author bio (the longer one from yesterday) and link those readers to your website.
Reviews vs. Blurbs
Getting reviews is extremely important for marketing your book. As mentioned on Day Four, for the “books” page on your website, reviews are social proof that helps further inform prospective readers what they can expect.
A reviewer usually has a blog, and they will publish reviews as new posts (as well as to Amazon and Goodreads). They might be exclusively a reviewer, they might be a general reader who likes to review books, or they might be another author.
Sometimes a reviewer is too busy to read your book, so they might instead offer to “blurb” it. This means they would read a summary and opening few pages, then write a recommendation that looks just like a review.
How to Get Reviews and Blurbs for Your Book
To get reviews, reach out to other authors in your genre or blogs that review books. The easiest way to do this is to find books like yours on Amazon or Goodreads, then comb through the reviews. Many of the reviewers, you’ll find, are people whom authors approached for reviews.
When you contact each reviewer, open with a compliment that shows the reviewer you’ve taken the time to look at what they do. Then mention why you feel your book is appropriate for them. Do you have an upbeat comedy, and two months ago, they read a comedy book and commented how they wish they could read more books like that? Look for opportunities like this to personalize.
Once you’ve done this, ask for a review, but make sure you present the alternative of a blurb. Make sure it’s clear you’re not just requesting a review but ultimately, their support in getting the word out about your book in any form.
One last important thing about reviewers: ideally, you should get your book to reviewers at least three months before the publication date, as many won’t take it otherwise.
Lining up reviews and blurbs is extremely important. For every review or blurb you secure, that’s extra lift you’ll get when your book launches—and an added boost to your platform.
Tomorrow, we’ll extend this concept and talk about engagement, the other half of author marketing.
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