Five strategies for getting book reviews

Getting book reviews that would be posted on Amazon and Goodreads at launch was one of the marketing strategies I pursued prior to publishing my novel Go Away Home. In April, I blogged my intent. Now, I’ll share the results.

Iowa City Public Library blogger reviewed Go Away Home

Library blogger reviewed Go Away Home

The bottom line first – Though I didn’t have a specific number of reviews in mind (which makes it pretty hard to fail), I felt really successful to have 48 reviews averaging 4.7 Stars posted on Amazon in the first month Go Away Home was on sale. On Goodreads, I had 40 reviews averaging 4.5 Stars.

Here’s what I did.

Pitched review copies to historical fiction authors and bloggers. I made 39 direct pitches. From those pitches, I received 17 reviews. Several people took review copies but have yet to post reviews. I’m contacting them with gentle follow-ups – Have they had a chance to read? What did they think?

LibraryThing Giveaway. Following the advice in a blog from The Future of Ink, I made 100 e-copies available. Sixty-five readers took copies. So far, 17 have written reviews, a 26% review rate. Reviews were 4 & 5 stars, and readers readily placed the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. A gentle follow-up email resulted in pleasant conversations with several readers as well as immediate reviews.

Three advantages to the LibraryThing contest. 1) I gave e-copies in .pdf, mobi, and e-pub formats so there was no out-of-pocket cost to this contest. 2) LibraryThing provides reader emails, so it’s easy to contact readers directly. 3) From what I’ve read on other blogs, getting 26% to review a book is excellent.

Goodreads Giveaway. I made 20 paperback copies available in a three-week giveaway that attracted 1,874 entrants and caused more than 600 to mark Go Away Home “To Be Read.” So far, 4 of the 20 have written reviews, a 20% review rate. Reviews ranged from 2 to 5 stars. Some reviewers placed reviews on Amazon.

The big advantage of the Goodreads giveaway was getting my book in front of so many readers. The biggest downside of this giveaway was cost of books and mailing. Three copies were won by readers in Canada, where media mail does not apply. Yikes. Plus, since Goodreads does not provide email addresses, it’s not easy to follow up.

Blog Tour. I signed up for a 15-stop blog tour that yielded 7 reviews – 4 & 5 Stars. In addition two other bloggers shared reviews that same month. All were posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

Boldly Ask. I’ve been bold in asking people to post reviews. When readers tell me they enjoyed the book, I ask them if they’d be willing to post a review. With little editing, they can usually post what they’ve written in their emails to the review links I provide.

Has all this effort made a difference? I think so – for two reasons:

  • People comment on all the great reviews I’m getting. So I know they’re reading them. Reviews create enthusiasm and encourage buzz.
  • Amazon has promoted Go Away Home several times in direct-mail emails.

Overall, I’m glad I made the effort. There are many ways to generate reviews. What strategies have you found to be successful?

Networking to promote online? Six tips

My Go Away Home virtual tour continues with a stop at Closed The Cover where I’m sharing networking tips for online book promotion. Special thanks to Ashley LaMar for inviting me to share these thoughts.

Since I’m learning something new every day, there are likely many more ways to do this. As I say when I talk about “The Big Brain,” someone’s probably already been down this road and come back with an answer. If you have a good idea, I hope you’ll share – here and when you make the jump to Closed The Cover.

Thanks!

Six Networking Tips to Promote Your Book Online

07/10/2014 

 Guest post written by author Carol Bodensteiner

Social media has created a brave new world for authors to promote themselves and their writing. A new world that is changing by the day.

When I published my memoir Growing Up Country in 2008, Kindle ebooks were brand new, introduced in November 2007, Twitter was two years old, and Facebook was still mainly a platform for college kids. Only innovators and early adopters were stepping into the electronic world of online book promotion. The rest of us were watching and waiting to see if any of it would last.

As I launch my historical novel Go Away Home this month, all doubt has been erased. The world has flipped. Some books are only published as ebooks. Twitter spreads news at lightning speed to people worldwide. Facebook brings together like-minded groups to socialize, support, and educate. Online platforms abound. New ones pop up daily.

As a marketing professional for most of my career, I’ve watched this media evolution and revolution with great interest. I don’t pretend to be an expert in all platforms, but I have found six guidelines useful in using online media to promote my books.

Generalize and specialize: It may be tempting to go broad and talk to everyone or to go narrow and target only your genre. I find some of both is better.

Generalize and specialize – It may be tempting to go broad and talk to everyone or to go narrow and target only your genre. – See more at: http://www.closedthecover.com/articles–news/six-networking-tips-to-promote-your-book-online#sthash.QxawI69U.dpuf

To read more, click:
 

 
Go Away Home by Carol Bodensteiner

Guest post written by author Carol Bodensteiner

Social media has created a brave new world for authors to promote themselves and their writing. A new world that is changing by the day.

When I published my memoir Growing Up Country in 2008, Kindle ebooks were brand new, introduced in November 2007, Twitter was two years old, and Facebook was still mainly a platform for college kids. Only innovators and early adopters were stepping into the electronic world of online book promotion. The rest of us were watching and waiting to see if any of it would last.

As I launch my historical novel Go Away Home this month, all doubt has been erased. The world has flipped. Some books are only published as ebooks. Twitter spreads news at lightning speed to people worldwide. Facebook brings together like-minded groups to socialize, support, and educate. Online platforms abound. New ones pop up daily.
 


 
As a marketing professional for most of my career, I’ve watched this media evolution and revolution with great interest. I don’t pretend to be an expert in all platforms, but I have found six guidelines useful in using online media to promote my books.

– See more at: http://www.closedthecover.com/articles–news/six-networking-tips-to-promote-your-book-online#sthash.prjraZgn.dpuf

 
Go Away Home by Carol Bodensteiner

Guest post written by author Carol Bodensteiner

Social media has created a brave new world for authors to promote themselves and their writing. A new world that is changing by the day.

When I published my memoir Growing Up Country in 2008, Kindle ebooks were brand new, introduced in November 2007, Twitter was two years old, and Facebook was still mainly a platform for college kids. Only innovators and early adopters were stepping into the electronic world of online book promotion. The rest of us were watching and waiting to see if any of it would last.

As I launch my historical novel Go Away Home this month, all doubt has been erased. The world has flipped. Some books are only published as ebooks. Twitter spreads news at lightning speed to people worldwide. Facebook brings together like-minded groups to socialize, support, and educate. Online platforms abound. New ones pop up daily.
 


 
As a marketing professional for most of my career, I’ve watched this media evolution and revolution with great interest. I don’t pretend to be an expert in all platforms, but I have found six guidelines useful in using online media to promote my books.

Generalize and specialize

– See more at: http://www.closedthecover.com/articles–news/six-networking-tips-to-promote-your-book-online#sthash.prjraZgn.dpuf

 
Go Away Home by Carol Bodensteiner

Guest post written by author Carol Bodensteiner

Social media has created a brave new world for authors to promote themselves and their writing. A new world that is changing by the day.

When I published my memoir Growing Up Country in 2008, Kindle ebooks were brand new, introduced in November 2007, Twitter was two years old, and Facebook was still mainly a platform for college kids. Only innovators and early adopters were stepping into the electronic world of online book promotion. The rest of us were watching and waiting to see if any of it would last.

As I launch my historical novel Go Away Home this month, all doubt has been erased. The world has flipped. Some books are only published as ebooks. Twitter spreads news at lightning speed to people worldwide. Facebook brings together like-minded groups to socialize, support, and educate. Online platforms abound. New ones pop up daily.
 


 
As a marketing professional for most of my career, I’ve watched this media evolution and revolution with great interest. I don’t pretend to be an expert in all platforms, but I have found six guidelines useful in using online media to promote my books.

Generalize and specialize

– See more at: http://www.closedthecover.com/articles–news/six-networking-tips-to-promote-your-book-online#sthash.prjraZgn.dpuf