How do I get reviews for my book? This is the question on most authors’ lips. We know that reviews are important for the success of a book, so most authors try to understand how to collect good reviews that can help them improve their book visibility and sales numbers.

But before diving into how to get reviews for your published (or soon-to-be-published) book, let’s first discuss who you should ask to review your work.

How to get book reviews for indie authors

Getting Reviews from Readers

Most often, when we think of reviews, reader reviews are what comes to mind.

Collected through Amazon, Goodreads, your author website, or other sources online, reader reviews can help boost your book’s discoverability (impacting Amazon’s and other stores’ recommendation engines).

Just waiting, hoping readers will leave you a review on Amazon is not an effective strategy. Collecting reviews from readers is an active task. You’ll need to find ways to (kindly) solicit reviews.

The first ten reviews are often the hardest to get, but you probably know more than ten people who have read and appreciated your book.

A starting point is reaching out to your beta-readers and people you know have read the book. The first ten reviews are often the hardest to get, but you probably know more than ten people who have read and appreciated your book. Send them an email or a message on social media asking them to review your book. Make it as easy as possible, providing clear instructions and a simple way to do it. For example, you can ask them to reply to your email, review the book in the store where they bought it (add links to your book on the major online bookstores), or use a form on your website. Don’t be scared to ask and follow up after a week or so if you don’t receive an answer.

If you have an email list of people who are interested in your book, ask them to (buy and) review it. Add some of the first testimonials and endorsements to those emails as examples and social proof.

Use websites and marketing tools that can help you find new readers and reviewers. We recently partnered with Written Word Media, a company that offers different ways to promote your book and collect emails.

Getting Reviews from Media and Influencers

Existing readers are not the only possible resources. A very effective way to build interest around your book and gain visibility and publicity is to obtain reviews from the media and influencers. However, consider that most established reviewers will only consider professionally made and edited books. If you need help creating a professional book, consider our publishing packages.

Here’s a non-comprehensive list of places to approach.

  • Favorite blogs, websites, or podcasts that have a point of intersection with your book. (Example: If you are writing true crime or a crime novel that draws from actual events, true crime podcasts or blogs might be interested in reviewing your book.)
  • Print publications that have a book review section or may be interested in writing on a topic that connects to your book in some way. (Example: If you wrote a cookbook featuring recipes from New England, the newspapers or magazines of that region may want to review your book or fold information about your book into a news story about a food festival that is coming up in the town where you did your research.)
  • Research sources that you contacted to conduct research for your book. Call on the organizations, clubs, specialized groups, etc. that you consulted, and see if they would be interested in reviewing your book for their newsletter, website, or any other publication they may distribute. 
  • Local bookstores that spotlight books in their newsletters or have their employees feature an in-store write-up about what they’re reading. (The relationships you build with your local booksellers now can pay off later!)
  • Print or online publications devoted to book reviewing—particularly those that spotlight indie or self-published authors. (Example: Foreword Reviews, Booklist, BookRiot)
  • Smaller review blogs and websites can be a great starting point, especially if you can find sites dedicated to your specific genre. There are hundreds of sites you can find on Google typing things like “Book review sites”, “[book genre] book reviewers”, or “book bloggers”. Here are some examples of blogs we have found (note: we haven’t worked with these sites and this is not an endorsement): Kindle Book Reviews, Maryse’s Book Blog, Mom with a Reading Problem, Crime Fiction Lover.
  • Reputable sources for paid reviews—such as Kirkus Reviews* or Chanticleer Book Reviews
  • Reputable contests and book awards that could feature your book and provide judge’s reviews that can help you with marketing and promotion. Here’s an example from our author Janine O’Neill, who entered a Writer’s Digest contest for self-published e-books—her book CLOSE TO HOME: Sexual Abusers and Serial Killers, Memoir and Murder received an honorable mention and a formatted judge’s review.

*We also recently partnered with Kirkus Reviews and Luminare Press authors can take advantage of a $50 discount when getting a review.

Put Google and social media to work! There are websites and online articles that list publications that do book reviews, as well as Facebook author groups that are committed to sharing that information.
Examples: Search “Book reviews” on Facebook or Instagram and you’ll come up with communities like Book Bloggers, Book Lovers and Reviewers.

A Google search of “Book Review Podcasts” will come up with both podcasts and lists of podcasts organized by type like this one here:

Making contact

Once you’ve identified some places that may be interested in reviewing your book, you will need to contact them, usually via email or the contact tab of their website. Make sure you know the following things:

  • Any guidelines the reviewing site, blog, podcast, or publication may have for soliciting reviews.
  • Who the contact person is for queries soliciting reviews.

Here are some things that you’ll want to have on hand when soliciting a review:

  • A personalized cover letter
  • A one-sheet or full press kit
  • A digital review copy

These are some examples of how you can receive reviews for your book. If you are interested in publishing a book, schedule a free consultation with us!