“The best time to start promoting your book is 3 years ago. The second best a year ago. If that’s not possible, start now.”
That book promotion advice is especially true when it comes to endorsements and reviews. You’re more likely to get praising blurbs from people who know you, like you and whose backs you’ve rubbed.
But if you don’t have those connections yet, don’t despair. You can get endorsements and reviews with a kick ass book, thorough research, well crafted emails, determination and follow-up. Have faith in you and your book.
Here are my top 4 tips for getting endorsements and reviews:
1. Lay the foundation.
Join a reader/writer community of your own genre at least 4 months before your book comes out. It can be a fan forum, Kindle author forum or Twitter hashtag group or what ever medium suits you and your Ideal Readers. Dedicate 10 minutes a day to getting to know some people there. If they have blogs, read them and comment.
I recommend the wonderful WANA community (We Are Not Alone). Our Twitter hashtag is #MyWANA. Twitter is a great way to discover the blogs of WANAs and frequent them.
Also, make your book as gorgeous as it can be. You need a pretty cover and top notch blurb. Having a clear website with all the information readers and book bloggers might need is a big plus.
2. Call in favors.
When you have blogging buddies who read your genre, ask them to blog a review and/or post a short review to Goodreads or Amazon. Return the favor when their book is out.
And don’t forget to pimp your book to your flesh space friends who read. Pester… er, cajole them to post reviews to Goodreads and Amazon. If they loved your book, they’ll do it gladly.
3. Know your field and give before you ask.
Follow a few book blogs of your genre that review books you enjoy. Leave comments and share their links – book bloggers appreciate the love as much as any blogger. If you’ve given first, they’ll remember you and might be more willing to review your book if they have time.
For endorsements for indie authors, it might be smart to focus on succesful self-published authors in your genre. Another great option is writers whose workshops or courses you have taken. You can also use snippets of reviews as endorsements.
To get 2 reviews/endorsements, you might have to ask as many as 10 people. Authors and book reviewers are busy, and reviewers have To Read Lists as long as your arm. Make it as easy as possible for them to review your book. Give them all the information in your email and have a clear and informative website. Maybe even create a specific section there for reviewers.
4. Do book giveaways like crazy.
Give em away on your blog, your friends’ blogs (bribe them with guest posts) and on blog tours. The more books out there, the more likely they’re read and reviewed by readers. Rafflecopter is your friend. Goodreads is another great place to get your book baby on the hands on readers.
5. Keep gathering reviews after the book release.
Reviews are important even after the launch. Book blogger reviews give you visibility and reader reviews give you credibility. Once you’ve established an email list, you can ask readers to post their reviews in Goodreads and Amazon. The more reviews there are, the easier it is to get more. It’s a snowball effect.
Last but not least, check out these links with more specific advice:
Reviews and Endorsements: Do They Matter? by Darcy Helle
Quotes For Your Book – How and Why to Get Them by Sue Collier
8 Step Plan For Landing Book Promotion Endoresements by Dana Lynn Smith
Gutsy Book Buzz: How to Get Endorsements by Sonia Marsh
7 Ways to Get Your Book Reviewed by Dana Lynn Smith
Indie Book Reviewer – A Listing of Bloggers Who Review Indie Books
Getting Reviewed – The Indie Author Condundrum by Eric Dontigney
How to Get Books Reviewed by Giacomo Giammatteo (Giveaways are they key to getting reader reviews)
How to Write an Email That Will Win You A Book Review by Catherine Ryan Howard.
Getting Book Reviews: 10 Things Reviewers Hate by Alexander Tate
Requesting Book Reviews by the Bookish Babe
Writing blogs are a great way to learn about the craft and marketing our work. Enjoy the posts I’ve hoarded, some older, some recent.
If You Have Time For Only One Thing
Want To Be Read 100 Years From Now? Here’s How by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“We are more afraid of our light than our darkness”
– Marianne Williamson
10 Tips to Help You Finish Your Novel and/or ‘Win’ NaNoWriMo by Jenny Hansen
What’s Your Writing Personality by K.M. Weiland
Build Your Reading List by Gabriela Pereira
Use These 2 Crazy Notions and Never Lose Your Motivation to Write by Krissy Brady
(What is your dream goal as a writer? What do you want to achieve during your author career? Does it fire you up?)
Music as Writing Inspiration by Fae Rowan
The Risk and Reward of “Writing What You Know” by Natalie Sypolt
Is Your Idea Good Enough? by Jacob Krueger
Combine Many Awesome Ideas Into One Brilliant Novel by Carrie Vaughn
When Bad Ideas Sabotage Killer Concepts by Larry Brooks
Wait – That Can Happen?? by Katie Mills
(Be careful about how much information you share online about a partially done manuscript, especially blurbs and queries)
Transformational Journeys: Working With Archetypes by Robin LaFevers
Creating the Perfect Villain by Jacob Kruger (5 min video)
Using Pinch Points to Increase Narrative Drive by Karen Woodward
Flirting 101: Bust a Move by Angela Ackerman
Writer’s Roadmap: Using Excel to Keep Your Novel Organized by Laura Drake
What Type of Edit Does Your Book Need by Marcy Kennedy
Checklist For a Good and Helpful Critique by Kathy Steffen
Series vs. Stand-Alone: What Should We Work On Next by Jami Gold
Series or a Stand-Alone? How To Decide by Deborah Raney
How To Write a Kick Ass Series by Carrie Vaughn
What’s the Difference Between Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy by Karen Woodward
Bacon, Booze and Books: What Kings Ate and Wizards Drank by Krista D. Ball (a writers’ guide, a cookbook, and a history of food all rolled into one)
Your Author Platform
Do You Really Need To Brand Yourself to Sell Stuff? by Mars Dorian
Why Settle For Your Reader’s Wallet When You Can Get Into Her PANTS by Kristen Lamb (hilarious post)
Using Technology to Sell Books: Quick Response Codes (QR Codes) by Karen Woodward
Micromoney As a Much-Needed Pat on the Back by Carrie Vaughn
How To Earn a Living As a Self-Published Author by Karen Woodward
The Gangnam Style to Becoming a Writing Rockstar by Carol Tice
(You don’t have to be outrageous but you need to do something special and different to be memorable. What’s your thing?)
Which Is the Best Social Media For Connecting With Readers by Jody Hedlund
A Painless Way To Use Social Media to Build an Evangelist Filled Fan Base by Tracy Atkins at Duolit
The Perfect Landing Page: Inside the Mind Episode 6 by Tommy Walker (7:17 min video)
Are Blog Tours Losing Their Promotional Power? by Katie Mills
10 Marketing Techniques That Annoy Readers by Jon Gibbs
7 Ways Authors Can Market Without Internet by Jody Hedlund
Being Influencer Isn’t Just About Getting a Free Book by Jody Hedlund
How Bestseller Lists Work by Tim Ferriss
A Business Plan For Self-Published Authors – Part 1 by Denise Grover Swank
A Business Plan For Self-Published Authors – Part 2 by Denise Grover Swank
A Business Plan For Self-Published Authors – Part 3 by Denise Grover Swank
Start Your eBook Promotion on Your Amazon Book Page by Gordon Kessler
Many successful authors like Joanna Penn and C.J. Lyons also offer writing courses or guides. Have you ever considered turning your knowledge into a product? (Like a course, an eBook or a podcast) If so, this might help.
The Teaching Sells 20-Step Process for Building an Online Business (PFD) [Available this week only]
High Concept Blogging: Achieving Bloggy Goodness In Record Time by Jenny Hansen
How To Prevent Content Creation Burnout by Brancica Underwood
The Death of the How To Article by Tommy Walker
3 Great Ways To Say Thank You to Your Blog Community by Danny Brown
3 Things Bloggers Should Do To Promote Their Posts But Don’t by Alice Elliott
Why Your Blog Commenting Has No Results by Brancica Underwood
When Social Media Becomes a Time Suck by Jody Hedlund
The 3 Phases of Social Media Strategy by Srini Rao (I’ve posted the link before but this is worth re-reading)
Social Media and (Self-Imposed) Guidelines by Elana Johnson
Adding Your eBook to Goodreads by Tamara Ward
Facebook vs. Twitter: Where the Readers Are by Roni Loren
How To Tweet So People Will Listen by Nina Badzin
Simple Tricks to Improve Your Facebook Engagement [Infograpgic] by Francisco Rosales
Blog Treasures by Gene Lempp
Twitterific by Elizabeth S. Craig
Friday Features by Yesenia Vargas
Lazy and Found by Shannon Lell (I can totally relate save for the pot part)
“With this much horse crap, there’s bound to be a pony around here somewhere!”
– Naomi at Ittybiz
Is This the End of the Story? by Naomi at Ittybiz (an inspiring pep talk no matter what you are doing)
(really interesting article on how humanity eradicated slavery and has greatly reduced wars)
Happy 10th Anniversary Firefly! “No Power In The Verse Can Stop Me” Music Video
Designing From Bones: The Underworld by Gene Lempp
Designing From Bones: Unearthing Merlin’s Bones by Gene Lempp
Doctor Kitty Solves All Your Love Problems by Carrie Vaughn (Urban Fantasy short story)