Your book won’t go far unless you can prove yourself by getting reviews, but for writers who are just starting out, that’s easier said than done. It’s a circular conundrum: you need reviews to get readers, but you can’t get reviews unless people read your book.
Not helping is the fact that you can’t buy reviews. Your reviews need to be organic, freely chosen by readers who could have done anything else with their time but chose--generously--to spend it reading and reviewing your book instead.
How do you find these people? Answers range from asking friends and family to offering your book for free to anyone willing to read it, but if you want a straight-shot answer with guaranteed reviews in the end, you’re in luck.
Here are some of the best places online to submit your book to get those awesome reviews. While there is no hard guarantee your book will be chosen or that your reviews will be as high as you hope, aiming for a variety of reviewers is a great strategy for landing publicity and boosting your book’s rating online.
The Book Blogger List is exactly what it says: a directory of book bloggers for every genre and style open to reading, reviewing, and publicizing books. Each blogger is different, so when submitting you should watch your formatting and give as much care as you would to a submission to an agent or editor. Bloggers also fill up slots quickly, so be prepared to wait for your reviews to come in.
The benefit to book review blogs is that each blog has its own readership and audience. In addition to scoring a new review under your novel’s online listing, you can win new readers to your list and social media base, helping in the long run as well as boosting your current release.
Book Sirens is a flexible service designed to get reviews for your ARC's. They offer both free and paid plans to land readers and can easily give your book a solid boost. There is no guarantee that Book Sirens will accept your book or that their readers will pick it up, but their flexibility and fast-growing community make them a solid choice when trying to land new readers for an upcoming release.
Like Book Sirens, Readers’ Choice allows you to grow your readership and offer your book to potential readers on their own platform. Readers’ Choice is a free service, but offers less outreach than Book Sirens and also has no guarantee of readers choosing your book. This is a great option if you hope to grow your reader base over an extended period of time post-release.
Pubby works differently from other review services. Pubby gives you the option to earn reviews for your book by reviewing other books. This is not the same as a review “swap” because your reviews will not be mutual, and you also have the option to purchase credits toward additional reviews.
Pubby offers a fast turnaround and has an option for readers to purchase your book from Amazon, which allows for prized verified reviews. The timeliness and effectiveness of Pubby’s services make it a strong consideration.
Expert Review Services
If you really want to give your book the look and feel of professionalism, a professional review is one of the best ways to do it. While many large reviewers remain closed to submissions from self-published authors, others open their services to anyone.
Keep in mind that top reviewers might be more prone to negative reviews than standard book bloggers and might require more time as well to read your book.
Yes, that Kirkus. Kirkus has offered the gold standard in book review services for years, and it is open to self-published authors. Give it a shot!
Chanticleer is the only major review company focused predominantly on self-published titles. Its reviews are open for submissions through select formats, and it can well be worth sending your book to Chanticleer if you want to secure a high-end review to show on your page.
How do you like to get book reviews? Do you know of other reviewing hot spots you want to share? Please comment in the section below or join my Facebook group for self-publishing fiction writers to continue the discussion.