Nothing is more essential to the success of self-published books than marketing, and book reviews can be an important component of a campaign. The question is: How do you get reviews?
As part of your marketing campaign, you should send copies of your book to specific journalists or bloggers with a pitch to persuade them to review your book. Due to dramatic changes in the publishing industry, many outlets now review self-published books. Put simply – the stigma regarding self-published books has faded substantially. There are still outlets which will only review books from recognized, traditional publishers – such as the New York Times – but many book reviewers now look at the quality of a book rather than who published it.
If you've sent your book to reviewers of magazines and newspapers that appear strictly in print, you can follow-up with an email, however, always be wary of crossing the line of persistence to annoying. A short, simple follow-up is fine; but repeated follow-ups or “pushy” e-mails will certainly turn off a potential reviewer.
It's always a thrill to discover someone has given your book a rave review without you expecting it. Use Google alerts and routinely search the Internet using keywords and/or the title of your self-published book. It’s typically best to segment your searches to the entire Internet, news, blogs, and other “channels” the search engine you are using offers.
Using Blurbs and Snippets
So what should authors do with all the glowing reviews to help increase the sales of self-published books? Incorporate appropriate blurbs and snippets from reviews into your Facebook and Twitter posts, and include them in press releases. Even reviews that aren’t completely positive will have sentences or snippets you can utilize. Of course, you shouldn’t use anything out of context; only pull phrases or sections of a review if they truly highlight a positive aspect of your book. Positive blurbs from a reputable media outlet can provide self-published books the credibility needed for substantial sales.