Every author needs reviews of her work to help future readers make the decision to read her book. The big question becomes, where can an author find reviewers to write those reviews? Here are some ideas of where to track down reviewers.
Even before the book is published, check review sites online. An internet search for “book reviews of [genre]” will provide a strong starting point. Sites already publishing those types of reviews will be likely resources to find reviewers. Some sites, such as RT Book Reviews, specialize in providing reviews in a genre. Approach the review writers listed there and ask if they are available and interested in reviewing your book. Read the fine print on the site; some sites charge to review your book.
Are you member of a writing group or book club? Ask fellow members to read and review your book for you. People you know will be more likely to follow through for you than strangers.
Donate a copy of your book to the local library and ask the staff to review the book for you. How about your local independent bookseller?
Have you met fellow writers at a writing conference? Contact them as potential reviewers.
Check your social media connections for people who will be likely candidates. A blanket post requesting reviewers may get names of interested readers, but evaluate them as to appropriateness before handing over your manuscript. Just because a reader is willing doesn’t mean he’s a good match. Is the book in his area of interest or expertise? Have you seen other reviews he has written?
Look for bloggers in your genre. The blogger may be interested in reviewing your book for the blog. Read the content for several posts to make sure the blogger’s tastes and views parallel your own. If the two of you have dramatic differences of perspective, your book may not get a fair consideration.
Don’t overlook print media. Your local newspaper may provide a venue for book reviews. Regional magazines, newsletters in related industries and organizational magazines can all provide potential reviewers. Choose outlets with an interest in your genre for best results.
Does your publisher have a place for reviews on the company website? Check there for names of potential reviewers. Ask your editor or publicist for names. They have a stake in getting reviews for your book and should be able to provide at least a few names.
Is your book on online sites? Make sure your author information there lets readers know you appreciate their reviews. Tell them how important their reviews are to you and ASK for the review.
Check with other authors in your genre. A mention from someone in the field can carry a lot of weight. Who do you respect in your genre? Who do you read? Contact those writers and ask if they would be interested in reviewing your book. If they say yes, great. If not, thank them nicely and ask if they can suggest someone.
If you sell the book in person, be sure to ask each purchaser to leave a review at his site of choice. Explain how precious his opinion is to you.
People willing to give you a review may not know where to put it. Remind them of the bookseller sites and various book-oriented sites such as GoodReads and Shelfari. If they aren’t willing to post on those sites, offer to post it on your own website or social media page, with their permission.
Always ask for the review. In every interview you give, article you write and presentation you give, remind people how important reviews are to writers.
Above all, make sure to acknowledge the people who provide you with a review. A comment on an online review or a thank you note or email will let the reviewer know you saw the review and appreciated the time invested there.