Promoting Your eBook Means Getting Reviewed

When our authors go off to self-publish their ebooks, we sometimes feel as if we are releasing innocents to the world. Some of them have not even thought about promoting their books. And they must, because books don’t leap into bestsellerdom. They have to be promoted.

This piece is aimed at ebook authors but it applies to traditional books and books with traditional publishers as well. Publishers don’t always do the best job of promotion and wonder of wonders, they too are somewhat baffled by the new world of books.  “…while ‘word of mouth’ is the holy grail of book-selling, we publishers were never very involved in the conversation,” writes Island Press Publisher David Miller in the Washington Post. “…publishers now must connect directly with readers. Increasingly, we need to create word of mouth ourselves.”

So however you get to publication, you should be taking promotion into your own hands, and key to promoting an e book (or any book) are reviews. So today, we offer some websites where authors can go to get reviewed:

Goodreads is pretty much the go-to site for both readers and authors. The Goodreads community is 14 million people and growing. They are all book lovers. You will want to post your book and author profile on Goodreads. And if that doesn’t generate reviews, you can also advertise. Goodreads enables authors to promote themselves according to genre, reader age, gender, and location. In other words, you get an extremely targeted advertising opportunity.

Successful ebook author, Hugh Howey, featured in our last blog, started his publicity campaign with Goodreads bu sending free copies of his book to bloggers and reviewers. A few raves and the reviews snowballed. Fiction author Lindsay Buroker says she spends $4-$5 a day on Goodreads and earns $10-$14 in royalties.

Bookrooster will route your book to a select group of readers who will read your book and post their reviews on Amazon. The $67 fee Bookrooster charges does not necessarily buy you good reviews, just honest ones. As the old expression goes, a bad review is better than no review at all. And a mix will look more true than all five-star reviews. You will have to line up for Bookrooster, which is currently accepting only two titles a day.

The Kindle Book Review offers a list of reviewers for your Kindle book. You choose the reviewer by scrolling through a list of reviewers until you find one whose expertise matches your book. Write a formal review request, inclulding a brief synopsis, the author’s name, the title of the book, and a link to the book in the Amazon Kindle store. Include a digital copy of your book in the format that works best according to the reviewer’s specifications.

KBR reviewers are not obligated to review your book, but if they choose to do so, they will be honest. If you get a good review or good-enough review, you can add it to your website or prodcut page.

The Indie View offers a similar list of reviewers. If you get one of them to give you a four or five star review, The Indie View will give you a page to list and promote your book.

BookDaily gives subscribers access to the first chapters of books so they can sample books they might like to buy and read.  Authors can register for free and post a book chapter, upload a bio and photograph, upload a promotional video and a link to their website.

The Book Hookup is a group of five reader/reviewers in various parts of the country. They are accepting a “limited” number of e books for review in a limited number of genres, including contemporary fiction, romance, historical romance, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, paranormal and young adult.