Acquiring Book Reviews, Pt.5

Publicity Tip #73 ~

Woman Carrying Serving TrayAs you’re well aware, some of the best places to get book reviews done is by fellow book bloggers who are interested in reading your genre. When doing this on your own the problems we face tend to revolve around the time it takes to find said blogs, build up a rapport with these bloggers and then inquire into whether or not they’d be interested in helping us out.

One way to circumnavigate this is by hiring a service.

What! Pay money for reviews? But you said…

I know what I said and I stand by it – you should never have to pay for a review of your book. However, if you invest in a publicity/marketing service like a virtual book tour or hiring a book marketing expert (like Jo-anne Vandermeulen) then often times the bloggers they contact on your behalf offer free reviews and essentially what you’re paying for are the publicist’s services and access to their blogger lists. It it’s within your budget to go this route, I highly suggest you start with one of their basic/simple packages and see what it can do for you (sales and review wise).

If it’s not in your budget to go this route I have a short list of alternate, free review possibilities:

readers – This is a site that offers both free and paid reviews. Your book can be published either traditionally or self and they will make it available for their readers to consider. You might not end up with a review this way since no one is actually assigned to read your book, but the company will leave it as ‘available’ for longer than the 3 month period they hope will be long enough to attract a reader for you should that be the case.

ind'tale – This is a site that offers both free and paid reviews. Again, they accept either traditional or self-published books. Their prerequisite is that there must be an element of romance in the story you submit, however small. You are not automatically guaranteed a review in the magazine but it is highly likely you will get one if you provide all the necessary details they ask for (like an image of the cover of your book! – yeah, it’s that easy). – Dragon Knight Chronicles has offered review services since its inception but with the launch of its affiliate e-magazine you might even get an opportunity to have your book placed in a feature review. They accept small press publications and self-published books as well as ARC (advance reading copies) for book blur quotes. Currently their focus is in speculative fiction but contact the editors directly to inquire about your fiction book if it falls outside of this category… the e-magazine is looking to expand into general fiction once enough readers have signed on. – This is a free and paid service. My experience with this service is that they are overloaded with review requests and will only take your book on for free if you agree to review someone else’s book. I did a thorough review of the book they sent me and then the person who was assigned my book (at random by the way and not according to reader preferences) gave me a false review. What’s a false review? In the span of 400 words, 50 were their own and they were nondescript, general phrases of high praise. The rest of the review were direct quotes from the book blurb, my author bio, and chapter one. These kinds of reviews will not inform readers of anything – however, not all of their reviewers write this way, so be aware that quality will vary. They accept traditional and self-published kindle e-books.

Indies – This is a very discriminating bunch. The website is wonderfully informative and a fantastic resource for any emerging indie author. Their review service is free but they reject more than 50% of all books submitted – why? They are holding self-publishers to a high standard. In addition to having a good story idea, your book must be well edited and adhere to proper book formatting standards. They will always respond to a review request and will let you know, in general, what you need to work on before resubmitting. This is, obviously, for self-published authors only. – David doesn’t review books. However, if you have a friend, colleague or acquantance who is not on Goodreads or does not have an active Amazon account (both of which get reviews out to more people and places than David does) then this is your outlet to not miss a potential review. You or the reader can contact David, let him know you have a book review that has not been published any where else online and he will work on getting it published on his site and via his social media for free. If you check out his website’s stats on you will find that he has a good-excellent view rate globally and you can be assured that potential readers will be reached.

NOTE: If you know of any other free review services please share in the comments below – by helping each other through this quagmire we can spend less time on publicity and more time writing 😀

Categories: Publicity

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