Lola’s Advice is a monthly feature on my blog Lola’s Reviews, which will be posted on the first monday of the month. Lola’s Advice posts are usually how-to or tips type of posts. They are mainly aimed at authors, but I also try and show the blogger/ reader side of the topic I address. I share my knowledge or personal opinion on mostly book, authors, marketing and promotion related topics. I hope it’s helpful for authors and bloggers alike. Also even though it’s advice please understand that even if you follow all my advice it still won’t guarantee your book will be a success, but it hopefully will be helpful. I also believe that not everything works for each author, every author and book is different and different strategies work for different people. So please use whatever you want to or fits with your style. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.
Reviews are very important for authors and it can be hard to get reviews. And when a reviewer does agree to review a book it can happen they only post it on their blog or goodreads, but as an author you probably want them to post on amazon as well or maybe on B&N or Kobo as well. Posting reviews on other sites is called cross posting. From organizing tours I’ve noticed that a lot of bloggers don’t cross post their reviews. I can warrant a guess to the reason, I think a lot probably simply forget. They don’t usually cross post their reviews so it isn’t a habit and they won’t do it with your book either or they are very busy and don’t have time to cross post their reviews. Yeah sure it only takes a few seconds to cross post a review on another site, but if you have to do that for every book you read it can still add up.
I do think there are a few ways authors can encourage reviewers to cross post their reviews and this can even help for reviewers who has already reviewed your book, even month or years after they read the book it can still be helpful if they cross post it. Do keep in mind that some reviewers have a reason for not cross posting, either they don’t have an account somewhere or they have their own reasons for not wanting to post their review on their site. I’ve also heard that cross posting reviews could hurt SEO for your blog, I don’t know how bad that is, but I can imagine some people don’t cross post their reviews for that reason. I think it’s important to respect that. And while trying to get as many reviewers to cross post their review I think it’s also important to be realistic about it and know that if you get 10 reviewers for your book, probably only a few of those will cross post and in most cases you will never get everyone to cross post their review and I don’t think it’s realistically to expect that, although ofcourse it can never hurt to try, but realistic in your expectation.
Why is cross posting handy for Authors?
It can help to have a lot of reviews on multiple sites, for one it simply looks good if your book has a few reviews on each site, reviews give potential readers a feel of the book and why others did or didn’t like it and it can help when submitting your book to promo sites or ads as most of those will ask for a minimum amount of reviews or an average rating. And the more reviews and higher rating you have everywhere the less big the impact of a negative rating will be. Also different readers will visit different sites, so if you only have reviews for your book on Goodreads, that won’t help readers who don’t know of or don’t use goodreads. So in general I think it’s a good idea to encourage cross posting of reviews, at least on the main sites like Goodreads and Amazon and maybe even B&N and Kobo.
Ways to get reviewers to cross-post their reviews
- Ask the Reviewer or remind them about it. This is the most simple one and probably effective in most cases. When you contact a blogger with a review request ask them if they want to cross post their reviews. Or if you look for reviewers in another way, like a sign-up form or arc list, again add a note or mention that cross posting would be Did you forgot to ask it in that initial e-mail or didn’t they cross post? You can always ask them (again) when they send you the link to their review. Simply thank them for the review and ask if politely if they would consider cross posting on amazon or wherever else you want their review. A lot of reviewers will cross post their reviews if you ask and if not they will probably let you know as well. As a tour organizer I always add a question to a sign-up form for my tours where I ask reviewers where they will post their reviews, in the hope that asking them about this makes them more likely to cross post their reviews as well.
- Ask/ mention it on social media. I’ve seen a few authors do this and while I am not sure how effective it, it seems easy to give it a try. You can do a post on facebook or tweet on twitter etc and simply let reviewers know you appreciate it when they cross post their reviews or to let them know how much it can help authors. I know I have been reminded this way a few times that I hadn’t cross posted a review and then did so.
- Read the review policies. It is always a good idea to read a blogger’s review policy before sending them a review request. If your goal it to have bloggers cross post their reviews, make sure to pay attention to that when reading a review policy. Most bloggers will mention in their review policy where they will cross post their reviews. It’s always handy to be aware of their normal policy before asking them to cross post and if someone says they won’t cross post on site X, don’t ask them to.
- Reward reviewers for cross posting. This option is a bit more costly, but I think it can be very effective and I’ve even seen the effect of this with some of my tours where the author did a giveaway for reviewers where they had to post their review on both their blog and/or amazon and goodreads. Consider doing a giveaway to reward cross posters. Reviewers who forget cross posting or don’t do it as it takes more time and effort, probably will do so when there is a reward for it as that might make it worth to do so. Ofcourse when you do a giveaway, always make sure you are aware of the rules concerning giveaways and what’s legal and what not. I’ve also seen some authors who only give out review copies of later books in the series after they have read the previous book in the series. Either you can keep track of this with a form the reviewers have to submit and then you could make the sites you want them to post on at least obligatory. Or you can keep track of this yourself. And when your next book comes around remind reviewers again about posting their review of the previous book.
From a blogger point of view: cross posting my reviews
When I started blogging I only posted on Goodreads and my blog. I always posted on goodreads already before that, so also posting on my blog was the next natural step. I never bought books on amazon and back then Kobo didn’t offer the possibility of reviews, so I never really thought of cross posting my reviews. It also seemed like a lot of effort to copy and paste my review everywhere else. Then when an author specifically asked for it I would cross post my review, but only sporadically. I think it only changed when I started organizing blog tours and came in more contact with authors and slowly realized how much cross posting helped them. Then I started cross posting most reviews that I got a review copy for and for indie reviews and only now I am at a point where I try and cross post most of my reviews. But when a book isn’t released yet when I write my review, I still forget now and then. I think it’s not too much effort and if it helps authors I will gladly do it, but sometimes I review a book before release day or I am really busy and I forget. So it still happens that I don’t cross post a review. When I cross post I usually post a review on my blog, Goodreads and Amazon and also on B&N and Kobo when I feel like it, Usually I just copy and paste the summary of my review on Kobo and B&n as their sites have a word limit. Also I still haven’t found out how to get a permalink for reviews on B&N, or maybe it really isn’t possible. I usually don’t post my reviews on sites beside that, usually because I don’t have an account there and don’t want to make one. I never really worried too much about how cross posting negatively impacts my SEO for my blog, if it does it would be a shame, but I probably still would cross post my reviews. So that’s my point of view on the topic of a blogger.