For self-publishing authors word of mouth is the most powerful tool in building an audience. That’s no news to anyone. Nor is it any surprise that positive reviews online are the key to triggering that positive buzz. What authors are looking for is a way to make sure that they have those positive reviewers to get the ball rolling.
Many are shy about asking people to review their books in the wake of the pay for positive reviews controversy exposed in the articles like the N.Y Times piece The Best Reviews Money Can Buy. But the mistrust created by the exposure of this practice didn’t make positive reviews any less important to an author’s sales.
So let’s look at some ethical ways to obtain positive reviews:
Most authors are already using social media channels and blogging to generate interest in their books. While these tools may work, they don’t always focus on getting your book reviewed.
Guy Kawasaki, in his recent book APE: How to Publish a Book advised pre-publication action.
You should ensure that there are positive reviews of your book on Amazon within forty-eight hours of when it ships...
Ask your beta testers.
Ask the blurbers.
Contact Amazon’s best reviewers.
Ebook authors have found the Kindle Direct Program to be very effective in generating both interest in their books and positive reviews. Dave Masters post on Freelanceswitch, How to Promote Your E-Book With KDP Select gives an excellent overview of the program.
Novelist K.M. Weiland on her excellent blog Word Play titled How Story Cartel Gave Me 50+ Honest Reviews explores the new website Story Cartel started by authors Jeff Goins and Joe Bunting. It looks like it may offer another way of generating positive reviews. Check it out.
If you have other suggestions for good sources of reviews, please leave a comment.