If you’re a writer who is about to come out with a book or just launched a book, you’re probably worried about how to market it well and increase the sales. This piece may help you a little in that regard. There are many ways to get people to take notice of your work. You could go for the traditional route of book signings and readings. But it requires spending a lot of money on it. So, why not take advantage of this new age of social media? In a country like India where people are trying to make optimum use of the digital media, the role of book reviewers and social media influencers becomes extremely important.
Now, your reason for contacting such a person could vary- you may just be looking for reviews to create a buzz, or you may want to increase your online presence, or you may just want to see how your work is being received. Nonetheless, if you can get a bunch of bloggers/influencers to review your book, there will be more awareness about your book, and some of their followers may actually end up buying your book!
It is also important to start this process early, preferably before your book’s release. For the work of the reviewers and influencers to make an impact on your sales, this is a very important step since it takes time a lot of time to build the relationships and contacts you’ll need to get the appropriate reviews, both quality and quantity wise.
The main question here, then, is: How do you find book bloggers?
Book Blog Directories come to the rescue! There are so many of them available online, and the best ones allow you to search by genre. They are also continually updated, so that only those reviewer blogs that are active stay on the list. It’s a given to only reach out those bloggers/influencers who have the audience that you’re trying to reach. This will help your book reach those who could to be genuinely interested in it. Also, it could be seen whether the reviews are posted only on their blog or also on Amazon, Goodreads, and other review sites. Make a note of whether they accept unsolicited books, other books that they have reviewed, the genre of books they generally review, how they reviewed other books in your genre,etc. This will let you know what you can expect from that particular individual. It is impotant to only go for a person has an active blog and a substantive following. Other than that, Amazon’s top customer reviwers could be reached out to.
Garnering a positive review from such a person would work as a great endorsement for the book and would also look more meaningful and concrete. You can also go to the “Customers Also Bought Items By” section under your own Author Page on Amazon. This section provides a list of authors whose topic or genre is similar to your own. You can then reach out to the reviewers on all such books. Goodreads is also a great place to look for reviewers since most of the readers check the Goodreads page for book reviews and recommendations.
Now that you’ve made a list of the people to reach out to, the first step is to engage with them. Getting involved by leaving comments, responding to questions, etc. would certainly help you get their attention.
The next step is to approach them.
1. When writing them an email, make sure to mention a few posts of the reviewer that you really like. It shows them that you took out the time to get familiar with their work.
2. Remember to always address your email to a specific person, by their first name. It helps personalize the mail and has more chances of being read since it doesn’t feel like a bulk mail sent to 100’s of people.
3. Start by introducing yourself and what you do. Also make sure that you follow their instructions carefully- some bloggers insist that you use the contact form on their blogs, some want you to send the book.
4. Be precise in what you want out of them; keep it short, simple and to the point.
5. You could also give them a free copy of one of your other books (if applicable) to give them an enticing reason to work with you, since that way, there’s something in it for them too.
6. You could also offer your book in different formats, i.e. ask whether they would like to have a PDF or a printed copy.
Now, since you are a writer, it wouldn’t reflect nicely if your email is full of grammatical errors. Thoroughly read the mail before hitting send.
While ending the mail, be polite and grateful if the reviewer does decide to review your book. But let them know they are not obligated to review your book since you understand how much time and effort goes into the whole process. Latsly, if you don’t hear back from them, don’t lose hope! They generally receive a lot of emails, hence give them a week or two to respond. If you still don’t get a response, don’t hesitate to send a follow-up reminder email.
If they do reply and all goes well, after the review has been done, don’t forget to share it on your social media platforms for your followers to read and engage. It is also important to respond to everyone who shows an interest in your book. They may share your marketing content, offer to write a review for you, or recommend your book to others. This helps in building long-term relationships with your potential customers. Also, if the book reviewer/influencer feels that you are completely relying on them to promote your book, they make not put in as much efforts since it doesn’t reflect too well on you.
Hence, in the end, no matter how much help you take, you need to be proactive and do everything in your power to market your book yourself!