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Dos and Don'ts for Soliciting Book Reviews
Written by
Maria Murnane
November 2014
Written by
Maria Murnane
November 2014

A couple posts back I provided an example of smart book promotion, in which an author successfully landed a glowing review in a popular online publication just perfect for her target audience. Today, I'd like to dig deeper into the subject of book reviews by offering a couple dos and don'ts:



DO research reviewers that are appropriate for your genre.


A great way to find potential reviewers is to do a Google search for book bloggers. Book bloggers love to read, and they love to write about what they read, regardless of the publisher (indie or traditional).


Another way to find potential reviewers is to look up successful titles in your genre on Amazon, then scroll through their reviews. Some reviewers on Amazon have quite a following, and some also list their email addresses in their profiles. It takes digging, but you can find them!


DO personalize the messages you send.


Taking a moment to personalize each message is not only respectful and professional, but it will also be appreciated by the recipient. It's easy to spot generic copy/paste emails, and they are less likely to get a response.


DON'T ask your friends and family members to post positive reviews of your book.


I read a lot about book marketing, and I'm surprised (and disappointed) to see how many blogs/articles suggest that authors ask their friends and family to write positive reviews of their books. I completely disagree with this approach. If you bought a book based on the positive reviews and later found out the reviews had essentially been planted, wouldn't you feel deceived? I certainly would.


Securing book reviews takes work, but it can be done. So what are you waiting for?




Maria Murnane is the best-selling author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life, Honey on Your Mind, Chocolate for Two, Cassidy Lane, and Katwalk. She also provides consulting services to aspiring and published authors. Learn more at


This blog post originally appeared on Reprinted with permission. © 2014 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

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  • Nina Angela McKissock

    So, WHAT do we send them? A chapter? Should the cover image be included? I have a long list of people I've researched and I feel are valid to my topic. It is nearly impossible to get to them, really. For example, when I listened to Terry Gross' interview with Bradley Cooper addressing how he cared for his father during the last six months of his life, I researched finding him and sending him a chapter, but they are so protected. Every avenue was a hoax.

  • Patricia Robertson

    Thank you. Helpful tips!

  • Renee Canter Johnson

    Thanks for the tips.  My novel 'Acquisition' was released on November 7 and I've been thinking about the right way to approach reviewers.  This is extremely timely for me. 

  • Olga Godim

    I feel like getting my books reviewed is an uphill battle all the way. I have stopped trying, which doesn't do my books any good.

    One of the complications, and the most serious one, arises from some authors' unethical behavior. You know what I mean; some cases made a big splash online recently. As a result, many reviewers don't want to deal with indie authors anymore. I'm a member of BookLikes - a website for book readers, something like GoodReads but better. Most reviewers there swear never to accept another book by an indie author for a review. And I can't even blame them. After the recent uproar about a bad review, with legal actions against the poor reviewer just because she didn't like a book, nobody wants to get entangled in such filth.  

  • Maria Murnane

    @Janet have you checked out my webinar on book marketing? It is packed with creative ideas for getting people to pay attention to your book. Here's the link. :)

  • Janet Singer

    Thanks for the tips, Maria. I am in the process of organizing a "Blog Tour" for my book, Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery, which is due out in January 2015. I'm focusing on bloggers about OCD as well as some book bloggers. If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears!