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.
Today I want to talk about reviews and how you can use them to promote your book. Reviews are great in and off itself, reviews on blogs and vendor sites and social media are a way how others help you promote your books. Having more reviews on sites like Goodreads and vendor sites is always a good idea. Which is why I already talked about how to get more reviews for your book and how to get reviewers to cross post their reviews. Today I wanted to focus on what you as the author can do with reviews. I think reviews are a great way for you as the author to promote your book as well, as you use other people their words about your book to promote it. And I think that can be very helpful, ofcourse you as the author want people to buy your book, but that message gets even stronger when your followers hear what others thought of your books as well. So I think using reviews or quotes form reviews to promote your book can be an important part of your marketing strategy.
Where to look for reviews for your book
There are a few ways to find/ look for reviews for your books. The most obvious ones are to look at sites like Goodreads and vendor sites like Amazon and such and take a look at the reviews there for your book(s). If you sent review copies of your book to reviewers, they will often reply when they have reviewed it and send you the link. Many bloggers and reviewers also tag the author on social media when they review their book. So keep an eye on your e-mail, vendor sites and social media. I think with those you already come quite a way to collect reviews Besides that you could google your book with the word reviews and see if you can find reviews on blogs, where the reviewers might not have cross posted on the other sites.
Once you’ve found some reviews I think it’s helpful to collect some links to reviews if you want to share them, but mostly I think it’s important to pick quotes from reviews you want to use and collect them somewhere with the name of the reviewer and/ or blog next to it. Pick quotes that nicely sum up your book, show the reviewers their enthusiasm or love for the book or illustrate a specific point you want to focus more on. Don’t pick quotes that are to long, but everything from a few words to a few sentences is usually fine. These quotes you can use to promote your book. Most bloggers and reviewers are okay and even honored if you use their quote to promote your book and as long as you make it obvious it’s a quote from a review and name the reviewer I think you don’t have to ask the reviewer. But if you want to be on the safe side you can always contact the reviewer and ask if it’s okay to use a quote from their review to promote your book.
How to use Reviews to promote your book
- Post about Reviews on social media. This is one of the ways to promote a review more directly. If you have found a new review for your book you can post about it on your social media. Maybe even tag the reviewer. If the reviewer is a blogger I would advice to always use the link to their blog when you promote or share their review as that’s most helpful to them. So basically use your social media to let your followers know about this review. Maybe this review will convince others to read their book and it’s a nice thanks you to the reviewer. Most reviewers like knowing the author saw their review. Most social media’s are suited for this, I’ve seen authors who did a pin board with pins to blogs who reviewed their book or authors who posted on facebook about a new review, shared the link on twitter etc. Use whatever social media accounts you have to promote the review.
- Retweet or share reviews. Most reviewers will promote their own reviews, a simply way to thank them and to make sure more people see their review is to like their post and share it. You can also leave a comment if you want. Also be aware of the social media sites and how they work. For example on facebook any interaction on a post makes sure they get seen more. So sharing their review might be even more helpful than just posting about it, ofcourse you can make your own post about the review, but if possible share it as well. Same goes with likes and commments on facebook, while on twitter a like mostly works as a way to communicate to the reviewer you’ve seen their tweet.
- Use quotes on your website. You can use review quotes or links to reviews on your website, so visitors can check out reviews for your books. Depending on how you set-up your website and what you like best you can either set-up a separate page for this, incorporate it on already existing pages and use quotes and/ or links. Just go with whatever you think looks best. For an example you can check out SJ Pajonas her website page for Face Time, first you see some information about the book and how to buy it and then if you scroll down more you see a header that says Praise, where she has listed some quotes from reviews, she has listed the quotes and then the name of the reviewer and the blog. Another example is Siobhan Davis her website page for Saven Deception on this page you see info about the book and then a heading that says praise for Saven Deception where she listed multiple quotes for the book and the reviewer name and/ or blog name below that.
- Use quotes for teasers or images. I’ve seen a few authors do this and I think it can work well. If you make teaser images for your book you can use a quote from your book, but you can also use a quote from a review instead. Ofcourse you have to pick a quote that fits with the rest of the teaser and isn’t too long. Or if you have a cover or social media banner you could add a quote on there as well. Get creative and look for ways to use images and a quote to promote your book.
- Use quotes for social media posts. This is one I’ve seen more often, when posting on social media to promote their books authors can include a quote from a review. Either this can be a more generic post like see what kind of feedback our book got or what people are saying about the book. Or it can be one quote as an introduction to a promotional post or sharing the link to where to buy your book. Or maybe you’re doing a sale and use a quote in that post as a reason why people should pick up your book.
- Use quotes in your book or cover. I most often see this in paperbacks, where before the book starts there is a list of quotes. Sometimes even on the front cover a small quote or one or two quotes on the back cover. I also think including quotes in your book can work for e-copies, but I see it less often often there. Although the back cover idea won’t work for e-books as they don’t have a back copy, but you could think of including review quotes at the front or the back of your book, after the story has finished for example.
- Use quotes on book pages/ vendor sites/ blurbs. I personally am not a big fan of this, but I’ve seen some authors do this in a way that seems effective. You could include a review quote at the top or bottom of your book blurb. I know a lot of the big publishers do this as well and it can be a nice way to make sure people read that quote as most people do read the blurb for a book. Another idea is to use book pages on bookish social media or one vendor sites to add reviews. Amazon for example has a spot for editorial reviews where you can add reviews. Or on goodreads you can “review” your own book, but instead of sharing your own thoughts include quotes from reviews.
From a blogger point of view, how do I make sure authors see my reviews
As a blogger I always feel happy and honored when an author acknowledges my review or shares it in some way. It makes me happy knowing that the author saw my review. Most often I see authors liking my reviews or sharing when I tag them on social media. Some authors stop by and leave a comment on my review. And I know my review quotes have been used in a book a few times and I’ve seen them on some websites (both websites I linked to before include one of my review quotes). My strategy for making sure the author see my review as usually pretty simply If I received a review copy from the author I will e-mail them the links to my reviews. If I got a book from netgalley I submit my review there. Then once the review goes live on my blog I will usually promote them on social media and usually tag the author and/ or publisher on twitter. Usually that’s it. Sometimes I will tag the author on facebook, but only rarely.