Updated: Mar 6, 2019
ASK! It seems like such an obviously simple answer, yet many new authors struggle to get good reviews for their books because they simply fail to ask or ask the wrong people. While reviews from friends and family might work well for book reviews left on your blog or website, many commercial book selling sites, like Amazon, require that book reviews be authentic and not promotional or sales-pitchy in nature. In this regard, it will help you to avoid having reviews removed if those leaving reviews have actually read the book and are giving an honest opinion based on what they read.
Reviews not only help other potential readers to decide whether or not to purchase a copy of your book, they help to boost an author's confidence as well. Feedback is vital, so get it from the right places and see what it does for your book sales and self-confidence.
Ask Your Editor/Publisher for Help: Chances are that if your editor reviewed your book and took on the project, then they also like the story and think others will too. I have personally left reviews for authors who have asked me to do so. And once in a while, I have taken it upon myself to leave a review for a book that simply blew me away. It never hurts to ask.
Ask Family and Friends Who Have Read the Book: Yes, make sure that you are not just asking random family and friends who know nothing about your book to go and leave reviews. There is a high possibility that their review will reflect the fact that they know nothing about the story they are reviewing.
Ask Professional Book Reviewers: These are usually bloggers who will read a copy of your manuscript and provide you with valuable feedback for free. Make sure that you're not paying for reviews if you really want them to be genuine.
Use Social Media to Ask Your Readers for Reviews: If you remind your readers frequently enough to leave a review after they have read your book, a majority of them will do so. Let them know that you are not looking for a thesis, nothing academical, just an honest opinion about what they read, what they took away from the story, and whether or not they would recommend the book to others. It can be quickly done in 3 or 4 sentences. Readers often don't leave reviews because they are concerned that they have to leave something lengthy and thought-provoking.
Leave a Call-To-Action In the Book or On Your Website: Somewhere in your book, be sure to remind readers of how and where to leave their feedback about what they have read. Give detailed guidance on exactly the kind of feedback you are looking for. It helps if you can also find time to read feedback and respond or appreciate the efforts of your readers.
Most importantly, if you ask for honest feedback, be prepared to get just that. Note to Reviewers: Personally, when it comes to reviews, my motto is something I was taught growing up: if you have nothing nice to say, then don't say anything at all. Writing is a difficult pursuit that takes courage, sleepless nights, fear and a host of emotions, so please be kind in your reviews. And beware that you could blow out the flames of a budding writer with a single cruel review. Don't be that person!
Did you find these tips helpful? If so, please leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts and experiences. Thank you.