by Sherrie Wilkolaski

Once upon a time an author published a book.  After the book had launched they patiently sat in their imaginary castle tower, waiting for the book reviews to start magically posting to Amazon and Goodreads.  As the weeks went by, no book reviews appeared and the author lost all hope that their dream of seeing positive comments, recommendations and endorsements would never come to life.  Do you know what I say to those fairytale authors?  Jump.  Jump from the tower into your moat of denial, not only will you never get any book reviews, it will be a lifetime before you see any book sales.

If the author doesn’t care about the success of their own book, why would anyone else.

If you’re an author interested in getting book reviews then consider writing book reviews for other authors in your genre.  Reaching out to other writers is a great way to introduce your own work to the world.

What are the benefits of doing book reviews for other authors and vice versa?

  1. Getting reviewed.  The more reviews the better and having an author provide a review that supports your book, gives your book instant credibility.  Be sure that you contact authors that you feel are of the caliber you’re looking for, when asking for a review.  Even if another author isn’t interested in doing a review for your work, go ahead and do a review for their book.  You’re putting yourself out there and connecting your name with that author and your niche.
  2. Writers are readers.  You just may find a new fan of your work.  Authors like to read and if they are already writing in your niche, you could find an ally.
  3. Cross-promotional opportunities. Authors writing in the same genre have their own audience, which is also your potential for future readers.  Swapping reviews of each others books is a great promotional opportunity.  Have the author include a mention on their website, blog or newsletter.  If they will provide a link back to your website, even better.
  4. Reviewing books lends to credibility.  If you’re selective on the books you review and specialize in a niche, you can establish yourself as an expert in that genre.  Great for any author.
  5. More reviews means more online mentions.  With every book review you post be sure to include your name and tag it with “Author of” and list your book title.  It doesn’t get any better than that.
  6. Free books.  As an established book reviewer, you can start getting free books.

How to find books you want to review?

  1. Look at your competition. Make a top 10 list of books you want and should be reviewing. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to the author either.  It’s also good to actually good to go out and buy the competitions books.  Don’t forget to take advantage of your local library.
  2. Find books that you actually want to read.  Novel idea. Pun intended.
  3. Use social media sites that target readers.  Sites like Goodreads, LibraryThing and Shelfari are a mecca of readers all talking about books.  See what is hot and what books are of interest from popular readers that are off the beaten path.  Either direction is sure to provide you with a list of potential titles that will keep your bookshelf full.

Biggest piece of advice…if you say you’re going write a review then do the review.  If you don’t like a book, do your best to write something complimentary.  If the book is not your cup of tea, there is nothing wrong in telling the author you’ll be unable to complete the review.  If they provided a book to you, kindly return the book and wish them well.

Are you a savvy author?  Tell us about your book review experience…