Our guest blog is created by Carolyn Howard-Johnson. Always savvy in frugal promoting, push your book marketing as you get reviews with a twist.
Excerpted (and adapted) from Carolyn’s new How To Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically: The ins and outs of using free reviews to build and sustain a writing career.
Authors rarely get the most from their reviews. Surprised? I think it’s because the idea of extending a review’s value doesn’t occur to them. Authors who review as part of the marketing campaign for their books (and career!) have the same problem. They have no idea how to distribute content and reviews beyond posting their reviews on Amazon and other online bookstores and they sometimes worry that doing so is akin to plagiarism.
Well, it isn’t. And when authors distribute reviews beyond their original placement, it’s like getting a little marketing bonus for your book. Here’s how authors can do that:
- If your reviewer doesn’t normally write reviews (these reviewers are often called reader reviewers), suggest she send her review or the link to her review to her friends as a recommendation.
- If your reader reviewer lives in a town with a small daily or weekly newspaper, suggest she send her review to one of the reporters or editors. She may realize the thrill of being published the first time.
- Ask professional reviewers—the ones who review for journals—to post her review on Amazon.com, BN.com, and other online booksellers that have reader-review features. I have never had a reviewer decline my suggestion. It is ethical for a reviewer to do it or to give you permission to reuse the review as long as she holds the copyright for the review. (Most reviewers do not sign copyright-limiting agreements with the medium who hires them.) Get more information on Amazon’s often misrepresented review policies in Chapter Eleven of my new How To Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically under “Managing Your Amazon Reviews.”
- After you have permission from the reviewer to reprint the review—whether she is a pro or amateur–post it on your blog, on your Web site, and in your newsletter.
- Once you have permission to use reviews, send copies of the best ones to bookstore buyers and event directors as part of your campaign to do book signings, to speak, or do workshops in their stores. Go to (midwestbookreview.com/links/bookstor.htm for a starter list of bookstores.
- Use quotations (blurbs) from the reviews to give credibility to selected media releases and queries.
- Send quotations from the reviews you get to librarians, especially the ones in your home town or cities you plan to visit during book tours. Include order information for your book. Go to Midwest for a starter list of libraries (http://midwestbookreview.com/links/library.htm).
- Use snippets from positive reviews as blurbs in everything from your stationery to your blog.
- If your reviewer doesn’t respond to your request to post the review on Amazon, excerpt blurbs from them and post them on your Amazon buy page using Amazon’s Author Connect or Author Central features. They will appear on your Amazon sales page. Yes, that’s ethical, too! And my new book on getting reviews explains how to work within Amazon’s guidelines and copyright law’s free-use concept.
- Include the crème de la crème of your reviews on the Praise Page of your media kit and inside the front cover of the next edition (perhaps a mass market edition like the pocket paperbacks sold in grocery stores?). See my multi award-winning The Frugal Book Promoter(bit.ly/FrugalBookPromo) for the complete—and I do mean complete—lowdown on media kits.
Hint: Occasionally authors get reviews on Amazon that, shall we say…don’t thrill them. Reviews like that can be minimized by asking others for reviews. As new reviews are added, the old ones tend to get buried in the lineup of reviews. We can also (pleasantly!) refute a position a reviewer takes using the comment feature—or thank them for bringing something to our attention. We can also dispute their validity with Amazon, though that rarely works.
You can use some of these suggestions as part of your keeping-in-communication-with-reviewers effort after her review has been published. Doing so will come in handy when your next book is published.
There is more on how Amazon can help authors early in their review-getting process. in my multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books, How To Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically: The ins and outs of using free reviews to build and sustain a writing career. As long as it’s nearly impossible to do without Amazon and still have a successful book campaign, we might was well get them to return the loyalty we show them in as many ways as possible.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, and retailer to the advice she gives in her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program. The books in her HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers have won multiple awards. That series includes both the first and second editions of The Frugal Book Promoter and The Frugal Editor won awards from USA Book News, Readers’ Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books and others including the coveted Irwin award. Her next book in the HowToDoItFrugally series for writers will be How To Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically.
The author loves to travel. She has visited eighty-nine countries and has studied writing at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom; Herzen University in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Charles University, Prague. She admits to carrying a pen and journal wherever she goes. Her Web site is www.howtodoitfrugally.com.
Instructor for nearly a decade at the renowned UCLA Extension Writers’ Program
Author of the multi award-winning series of HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers
Amazon Profile: http://bit.ly/CarolynsAmznProfile
The Frugal Book Promoter: http://bit.ly/FrugalBookPromo
The Frugal Editor, http://bit.ly/FrugalEditor
How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically http://bitl.ly/GreatBkReviews
Web site: http://www.HowToDoItFrugally.com
You pin one of my book covers, and I’ll pin one of yours!
Author U is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the author who wants to be seriously successful. Monthly education programs delivered face-to-face and online, The Author Resource ezine, BookCamps and the annual Author U Extravaganza are tools designed for authors pre, during and post publishing of their books. Join AuthorU.org today.
If you are looking for FREE author and book coaching … call in to Judith’s Author Monday Mornings at NOON Eastern each Monday. The number is 218-632-9854; Access Code 1239874444 … have your questions ready–there’s a full hour to ask and listen
Was this helpful? Get more FREE tips and insight: