Book Reviews Sell

It’s a fact: book reviews sell.
Yet, most authors never bother to add this into their marketing mix. Like much of their book promotions strategies, they leave getting reviews to chance.
Many authors know if they are serious about positioning their books in the marketplace they need to have them posted on Amazon. That’s a given.
What’s not a given is how to optimize your opportunities on Amazon. To get the most out of your efforts, reviews play a big part in your overall success.

3 Ways

The top three ways to get reviews are:

  1. Friends and family
  2. Colleagues and thought leaders
  3. Those who have reviewed books similar to yours

Friends and family

This group is likely the easiest to ask, but unfortunately may not be the quickest to respond. If they do, their reviews may not be as detailed as you would hope for. If they are not familiar with how reviews work, friends and family may post a very short review that doesn’t tell the potential reader much at all.
“Sue’s book is great. Get it!” can do more harm than good. After all, when someone reads a review, they want to know something about the book than simply “Get it!”

Colleagues and thought leaders

In most cases, this is a better choice than friends and family. The challenge with colleagues and thought leaders is limited time. The best thing to do is reach out to them to see if they would have time to review your book.
If they say yes, ask they how they would prefer the book be sent to them; electronically or hardcopy. Obviously, if it’s a Kindle book the answer is clear.
However, if it’s a physical book, they may want you to send a copy to them. Don’t skimp on this. If you can get a few great reviews from powerhouse thought leaders, this could make a huge difference in the number of sales you will get.


One of the quickest ways to find people who want to review books is to go to Amazon and check out reviews on books in your genre. There are some people who love reviewing books and welcome the opportunity to receive review copies.
Create a spread sheet with the names of people who have reviewed books. You may likely see a few names come up again and again. These are the people you want to contact with your request.

Prepare for the Ask

Before you inquire with a potential reviewer, it’s best to have all your ducks in a row.
Prepare everything ahead of time in order that you can respond to those who are interested as quickly as possible.

  • PDF of the book
  • Hard copies ready to mail out
  • Proper mailing packaging
  • Media releases about the book
  • Cover letter
  • Author one sheet

What You Do and Don’t Have Control Over

You have control over requesting reviews, but you don’t always have control over how many, if any, reviews you receive. However, there are a few simple ways to boost your reviews.

  • Give people plenty of time to review your book
  • Stay on top of the process
  • Set goals as to how many people you will reach out to

As with anything, the more effort you put into the process of getting reviews, the greater the outcome.
Although this does take time to do it right, it’s worth it. Imagine getting dozens of reviews for your book. Think of the credibility this will give you and your book.
To make this a smooth process commit to attempting to obtain at least two book reviews a week. This is enough to make a difference but not so many that it will be overwhelming.
It’s likely once you begin you will find it to be easier than you thought. And the easier it is the more action you will take.
Begin today to get your first, or next, review.
Reviews are just one way to increase book sales. To avoid being among the majority of authors who sell less than $100 a year in books, plan your process for marketing.
Not sure where to begin?

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