How do you go about getting reviews for your novels?
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I independently published my first multicultural novel, and now that I've started promoting it, I was wondering how all of you are going about creating buzz and getting reviews for your books? To be honest, I thought writing novels would be the hard part, but getting anyone other than the people I know to read and review my book has been the greatest challenge thus far.
  • No problem! I'm happy to share. I owe a couple of kind authors for giving me advice. It's easy to feel like this is all one massive competition, but the truth is that readers are always looking for new authors to check out, and authors like to support each other. ;) I'll go ahead and paste!
  • Thanks so much, Lynn, that's super helpful. NetGalley and book tours are new to me. I'm still playing catch up, but I'll definitely be better prepared for my next book. Would you consider posting your answers in the Authors of Romance group, too? ( I think this is really valuable information and it would be a shame if it goes unnoticed here due to group inactivity.
  • Oops! I forgot one! There are book tour companies who will use their connections to book bloggers to help you get exposure and reviews. They ask for your cover, blurb, sometimes an excerpt, and any social media links you have. They post an ad for a period of time, and interested bloggers sign up to host you and read/ review your book. It's a cheaper option than NetGalley, and it can be tailored to your needs/budget. Xpresso, Enchanted, and Sage tours are reputable ones, but I'm sure there are more. ;)
  • Oh, you've got friends and family on board to read and review?? That's AMAZING, considering friends and family are notoriously the hardest to get to invest money in your work, haha, let alone review! I have a handful out of HUNDREDS across social media who have agreed to read and review. Most people just say "Wow, that's cool!" or expect freebies. Lol. The best way to get reviews is to submit to book bloggers. Compiling a list is EXHAUSTING and exhaustive, but it's so worth it because they love what they do, and their influence among the romance reading community is incredible! People WANT us to succeed, so as long as we give them something to get excited about, they've got our backs. ;) I've narrowed my list down to the ones that are most relevant to my genre, so I'm happy to share it with you. Some blogs don't review or promote self published work, but most do, and are enthusiastic about it, because they know that there are so many talented indie authors just waiting to break through. Some are currently closed to review requests, but just keep checking back periodically and submit when they open. ;) Another way to get reviews, which costs a pretty penny (like $400) is to get on NetGalley. It's basically like placing an ad, and anyone interested in reading and reviewing your book will sign up. All of the most influential review sites have an account, so it might be worth the money. I've also assembled a "Street Team" of 50 people, mostly followers from my old tumblr account who followed my stories on a story sharing site. I made a blog post calling for volunteers whom I'd send an ARC copy for them to read for free, in exchange for their honest reviews. They're posting them to Goodreads and, on release day, to Amazon. That's all I've got for now. If I discover any other tips/tricks, I'll happily share!