Friday, August 14, 2015

Creating Your Own Blog Tour - Step Three - Finding Reviewers

Happy Friday! Eek! How much do you love weekends? Today will be awesome. If you believe it, so shall it be. As you can see by the title of this post, today is step three in my post series about creating your own blog tour. Like yesterday, I'll recap the previous days and go update the links in the other posts so you can find your way around the series easily. Ready? Grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going!

In this series:
How to Sign up Bloggers
Creating Promotional Materials and HTML
Finding Reviewers
Creating a Thunderclap Campaign
Throwing a Facebook Launch Party

As you can see, we're getting into where you can find reviewers for your book! Whether it be for ARCs (Advance Review Copies), or after your book has hit the shelves, you can use these tips to find people to read your stories and write down their thoughts.

First off: Never pay someone for a review. An honest reviewer won't take money anyway (they're in it for the books, baby!), and it comes off as sketchy.

#1: Facebook Groups
There are so many groups of readers on Facebook, it would take you forever to go through them all. So, rather than wade through knee-deep muck, let me show you how to get to your target audience.
  • Open Facebook
  • Go to the Search Facebook bar on the top of the page
  • Type in your genre (the master genre, not a sub) and hit enter (don't choose from the dropdown yet!)
  • A page will open that has a list across the top: Top, People, Photos, Pages, Places, More\/
  • Click More and choose Groups (here's my search for Fantasy)
  • Check out groups with readers of your genre, and join one or two you think are relevant
  • Introduce yourself and lead with: I joined this group because I'm looking to give away a book in this genre to (x number) of people who may be willing to write a review.
  • Don't spam groups, and don't give up. If you don't get enough requests this round, wait a week or two and try another couple of groups.
#2: Amazon
I know this sounds crazy, but go to your book and check out the also bought scroller. See what people are crossing from your book to another, reading, and writing reviews. Try to stick to books in the same genre. When you contact a reviewer who loved another book from the also bought list, tell them others who read that book they loved are reading yours, and ask them if they'd like a copy for review.

#3: Goodreads
This is what Goodreads was made for! There are so many options to find the right reviewer. You can compare shelves, check out books in similar genres to your own (like on Amazon), and join groups readers have formed that revolve around your genre. There are even groups created specifically for folks who like to review. Score.

#4: Bloggers
Go find blogs that have readers of your genre and that write reviews. Follow them for a while, and get to know what they like and don't like. Once you've found a couple, connect with them via comments or other things before you reach out to ask for a review. Book bloggers will remember you. Trust them to be intelligent, thinking beings who have feelings.

You can also ask friends to share a request for reviewers on their Facebook timeline. I did that, and it worked rather well.

Now, a few things to remember:
  • If you want ten reviews, you need to have at least twelve reviewers. Some people will forget, and some will miss their deadline.
  • Don't be a nag.
  • Remember to thank each and every person who reviews.
  • Offer the reviewer something besides money (like swag they can't get any other way or a signed copy of the book once the review goes live). Everyone asks, "What's in it for me?" Make it worth their while in the little ways and you'll get more return on your requests.
  • People like to feel special. Don't mass e-mail your ARCs. Send them one at a time, include a little thank you with the book, and mention something about the reviewer like: I was happy when you responded to my Goodreads request. I know this takes more time, but it's worth it. You're building relationships. After all, this isn't the only book you're ever going to write, right?
  • Ask your reviewers a good month before you plan to send the book to them, and give them a solid date when they can expect it. Don't miss this deadline.
  • Give reviewers a good two to three weeks to read the book before release day, and ask them to post their reviews one day after the book goes up for sale (this is for ranking purposes).
  • If one of the people who read your ARC don't like your book, find out why (it will help you improve), and thank them for their time. They may not like this one, but may love another one you write in the future. Don't burn bridges!
  • Go to the blog where your review is and SHARE IT! Promote those who promote you.
I hope this helps. If you can think of any more, feel free to leave suggestions (no hyperlinks, please) in the comments below.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


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