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Friday, January 16, 2015

Where To Get Book Reviews

Okay, so your book is about to be launched – or maybe it’s already published and available for sale – and you want everyone to buy it.  One of the best ways to generate a demand for your book is to gather positive book reviews for your it.  So, just how do you go about doing that?

First, when it comes to reviews, it really helps to work in advance of publication.  As you’ll see in a moment, print publications demand they get advance review copies, but in addition to that, online reviewers are also showing a preference to receiving pre-publication copies.  Additionally you want to build a demand or buzz for your book prior to launching it so that you can get pre-orders and leverage the reviews when approaching other media.

Second, to get print reviews you must send a copy of the book to publications some three and a half months before your scheduled release date.  Some publications require two copies.  Some will accept digital galleys and use NetGalley (you should sign up for it).  There are newspaper and general interest magazine book reviewers.  There are book and library trade review publications as well. Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Choice, Library Journal and a few other key ones.  You will send them the galley (ARC) with a pitch letter and background info (press release, your bio).

Third, you will look for bloggers and online reviewers to email and to inquire if they’d like to receive a copy of your book, either in paper or digital form.  Seek out those who write about books in general, your specific genre, or those who cover your topic (i.e. baseball) but are not solely book review outlets.

Fourth, you want to get influential people to review your book.  Seek out relevant groups, organizations, schools, and non-profits or businesses.  See if someone high up can put a review on Amazon or their blog-newsletter or to your blog-website.  See if they’ll use social media, such as Twitter or Facebook, to share the review.

Fifth, ask friends, family, work colleagues, neighbors, and anyone you have a connection with to write a review.

Sixth, in addition to using NetGalley, try GoodReads, which is owned by Amazon.  It allows people to rate books and create a book community.  GoodReads also has a give-away section that can be used to expose your writings to more people.

Seventh, another Amazon-owned site is Shelfari, a kind of Wikipedia for books.  Reviews are posted and groups are listed as well.

Eighth, check out Author Central on Amazon, where you can post your author profile and promote your book.

Ninth, Library Thing is a good site for book giveaways, networking, and finding groups of fans.

Tenth, search for reviewers of books in your genre on  It will feature 10,000 reviewers.  You can click on profiles to see contact information and what type of products or books are reviewed by them.  You should write them and ask them if they’d like to review your book.  If yes, send it to them.

Eleventh, explore Red Room.  More established authors further their ties to the book-reading community at this site.  It has a bookstore component, as well as a way to network and post reviews.

Lastly, a good way to get reviews is to offer to trade reviews with fellow writers.  All authors are eager for positive exposure, so it’s not a hard sell.  Of course, the best way to get reviews is organically.  Put out a good book and readers will feel compelled to shout about you.  Good luck!


2015 Book PR & Marketing Toolkit: All New

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015


  1. Excellent ideas, I do shy away from paid reviews. Not certain I like that. But some of the venues you have mentioned are good resources. Thanks so much. When my second book is due to be released, I will know better how to market it. Thank you!

  2. Brian,
    You always offer such good advice and I appreciate it. With my last book, I planned ahead and booked a release day event with a blogger (one with a good track record) I also put out a call on Goodreads group "Read4Review" and got about 15-20 takers. That all paid off big time for me. On release day, Tell Me a Secret, had about 15 reviews on Goodreads. One of those reviewers was from the UK and because of her glowing review, my sales in the UK skyrocketed. It took a bit longer for the book to catch on here in the states, but thankfully, it has.
    I should add that you can do everything in your power to promote your book, but it still takes quite a bit of luck. I have friends who are excellent writers, and some even have prestigious reviews from places like Kirkus...and their books still don't sell.
    I think you have to have a good combination of hard work, prayer, and luck! With all the books being published today, to be successful, all the stars have to line up, but we should never stop working to make that happen.

  3. Thanks for this excellent list Brian! I read somewhere that Amazon requires at least 100 reviews for its crawlers to even notice a book. Does anyone know if that's true? ~Rebecca

  4. Thanks for these suggestions. Referring to "newspaper and general interest magazine book reviewers" I have had such a difficult time getting any traditional media to review a self-pubbed book. Do you know of any that will? Thanks in advance.

  5. Thanks for the tips. I have an ebook (285 pages) on marketing yourself for love and it has gotten pretty consistent sales. I've never tried to get it hard copy published. I might go that route this year, so this is good info.

  6. I'm going to try all this for my book: Snap! and the Alter Ego Dimension, thanks.

  7. Thank you for your helpful tips. Going to add these to my list. I'm about to publish my next book and I want it to get off to a good start.

  8. Thank you Brian, just found out about you and learned about Library Things in your blog article. Just created a profile there. Will get me feet wet there a bit more before exploring the other avenues you suggest.


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