Garnering Free Reviews for Your eBook

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Garnering Blog Reviews for an eBookThis article was written by guest contributor and BookBaby author Lexis DeRothschild.

Nothing makes my day like a great review of my book. Sure, paid critiques are easy to get. But if you’re like me, that money needs to go towards other things. Let’s get to work on a marketing plan to generate free buzz from bloggers.

Q: Who are these people anyway?

A: Go to Google and type “ebook reviewers.” The search engine will come up with blogs or websites devoted to the mission of finding hot, fresh books. There are THOUSANDS of them. Don’t get overwhelmed. Get a coffee, water or wine and start your research.

Q: What do I do?

A: Take a list and look for reviewers who write about your genre. This leads back to the ever-present indie-publishing mantra: Know your genre and audience.

“The Cat Letters: A Tale of Longing, Adventure and True Love” is categorized as a humor, fiction, and quirky hen-lit e-Novella. The target audience is college-educated women, most often with cats, who’ve seen their share of trouble in the love department. I approach reviewers who are into my niche.

Go to the selected websites and get to know the reviewer What do you like about the site? How much traffic does it get? Are there books featured on the site like yours? Who is this masked person and what do they care about? Maybe you both went to the same college or he/she is a rock climber, like you.

Find one thing that you have in common with the reviewer to include in your email request.

This person is going to work on your behalf – for FREE. Remember to have a gracious tone when you contact the bloggers/reviewers that fit your genre and audience. Make your request quick and easy to read, with a brief description of your book, a quickie bio and links to your website, Amazon Author page and email address. Include a connective sentence like, “I loved your review of (put book here).” or “I’ve climbed Yosemite. Have you?” Look for typos and grammatical errors before sending.

Q: What don’t I do?

A: The #1 pet peeve of any blogger/reviewer is when writers don’t follow the submission guidelines. Because I didn’t know how to make an ePub of my adorable eNovella, I tried to drive a bargain.

This is what happened:

Me (sales-y): Buy my book and I’ll send you the money.

Critic (appalled): Obviously, you are new to getting reviewed. This is not how things are done, missy.

Me (to self): Tsk, tsk, Lexis. You blew it.

I bit the bullet and bought a data converter to send him the book according to his specs. It was way too late to make a good impression and I’ve not heard back.

Learn from me, fellow authors. Send it the way they ask or you will be crushed.

Also, do not send a mass email to a bunch of reviewers that you haven’t researched. Ick.

Q: Ok, Lexis. I’ve sent out an email blast to ten people. It took a lot of time. Now what?

A: Wait. Be patient. 80% of my queries were answered and 20% reviewed my eBook. These are great stats for a first-time author developing a following.

Q: How else can I create buzz?

A: Lots of blogs have giveaways of an eBook being reviewed to their readership. Do it! It doesn’t have to be hundreds. Pick a number and give eBooks away until it’s done.

In these technologically dizzying times, word of mouth is still the best way to drive up book sales.

Q: Yay! I got a review. What do I do with it?

A: Bravo. This gift can go on your website, in press materials, your Kindle page or social sites. Thank the blogger with a heartfelt email or a gift. I send a mug or journal from “The Cat Letters Store.”

Also, find a gracious way to share the exciting news with your readers!

Lexis De Rothschild is a deft drinker with a writing addiction. “The Cat Letters: A Tale of Longing, Adventure and True Love,” is her first published work. In a former life, Lexis was a start-up specialist in the financial and fine arts industries as well as a third generation waitress.

Lexis lives in an idyllic seaside town with her beloved partner, the neighborhood stray cats and pretty tropical fish. Besides her obsession with writing quirky fiction, she is a green machine; growing vegetables, using wood heat and reducing her carbon footprint.

Chris Robley is an award-winning poet, songwriter, performer, and music producer who now lives in Portland, Maine after more than a decade in Portland, Oregon. His music has been praised by NPR, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, and others. Skyscraper Magazine said he is “one of the best short-story musicians to come along in quite some time.” Robley’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in POETRY, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, Magma Poetry, and more. He is the 2013 winner of Boulevard's Poetry Prize for Emerging Writers and the 2014 recipient of a Maine Literary Award in the category of "Short Works Poetry."

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