Tag Archives: marketing

How to ask for reviews of your self-published novel on forums

Congratulations, you’ve published your novel! Well done, that’s a point many people don’t reach. Now you just need to sell it. And that’s harder than it looks. Statistics published in The Guardian reveal that half of all self-published authors earned less than $500 in 2011. When you consider that hundreds of thousands of books are self published annually (319,000 in 2012), you’ve got a lot of competition.

It is widely acknowledged that having reviews helps sell your novel. On Amazon Kindle, readers can browse by review rating – and any book that’s never been reviewed is cut right out. Reviews help wavering potential readers make up their minds whether or not to buy. Readers might even discover that your book exists by reading a review of it on a book blog they follow. So reviews are an important component of marketing your book.

So how do you get reviews?

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How to pitch your novel to a book blogger

If you have published a book, reviews are important. Reviews on Amazon and Smashwords help sell more books and reviews on book blogs present your book to an interested audience. So you go looking for some book bloggers who review your genre. Now you just have to convince them to read your book. How do you do that?

Know who you’re pitching to

Before you do anything, research. Don’t just look for an email address and get started. Read the blog’s review policy and make sure your book fits within the genres the blog reviews. If the blog has review submission guidelines, make sure you read them carefully. A busy book blogger will refuse or even ignore an incorrect submission.

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Author engagement

Author engagement is important for an indie author because it humanises you to your potential audience and encourages them to be interested in you and emotionally invested in your success. If readers feel that you are their friend, they will be more willing to support you and your work.

But recently I’ve come across a few authors who just don’t seem to get it. They posted links to their blogs without getting stuck into conversations, or they tweeted nothing but promotional information about their books. From a reader’s point of view, this is off-putting. Nobody likes a spammer. What we want to see in our twitter feeds and on the forums we frequent is interesting information, helpful advice, people talking with passion about something they enjoy.

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