According to The Huffington Post, who cited Bowker numbers, the number of new books published each day in the US is now up to 3,500. That’s 3,500 Each Day!
This, according to Bowker, who issues ISBN numbers, does not include eBooks that are published without benefit of an ISBN number. Holy cow! Can it really be more than 1.2 million per year? Last I read somewhere, the count was 750,000/yr and I thought that was staggering! If you are a newly published author, how do you even begin to compete with those numbers? Everyone points to getting book reviews. I’ve covered that topic before–it’s still relevant.
And according to the Huffington Post, Amazon calls the reviews “Social Proof.” Maybe so, but you can buy reviews, and I’m not talking about the reputable sites that receives a submission and returns an “unbiased” opinion–such as Kirkus. Kirkus is well known and wields some influence, often turning a five-star rating into gold. Still, whether the source is Amazon or Goodreads, I am getting a lot of review requests, many of which have obviously not scanned my Submission Guide.
What are the seven sources for book reviewers?
- Amazon Reader Reviewers
- Book Blogger Directories
- Writers Digest
- Publishers Weekly (now BookLife for self-published authors)
If you’ve ever left a review for someone else, you are an Amazon reviewer! There are several levels of Amazon reviewer that include 1) Hall of Fame Reviewer, 2) Vine Voice, and 3) Top Ten Reviewer. I am currently ranked at 58,291 and obviously not in one of the top three categories. (You will note, however, that even one additional “helpful review” can reduce that number fairly quickly.) (See my reviewer profile here.)
I come under the classification of “Amazon Reader Reviewer,” those who just love books, love reading, and will return a review upon request. So how do you find reviewers willing to read and review your book? Search! Time consuming, yes–and you’ll be glad you spent the time. These reviewers (like me) are free, except for the free copy you’ll supply for them to read.
How or where do you go to search for reviewers?
- Probably the quickest method is to do a Google search here for the top Amazon reviewers. When you follow the link to his or her Amazon profile page, you can usually find an email address where you can send your pitch. If they repost to their own blogs, they’ll also list their blog address. The top reviewers are extremely picky, but it never hurts to try. You can narrow that search according to your genre, such as “romance.”
- Goodreads – If you are a budding writer and aren’t already familiar with Goodreads, you should be. There is such a wealth provided here from reviews and book recommendations to Giveaways. A quick search for reviewers will net you a list of more than 300, but better yet, look for authors in your genre. Most will review, many on an exchange or reciprocal basis.
- Bloggers – Again, a quick Google search for “book blogger” plus your genre will give you more than you can pitch in a day. Do the research on their blog, their name, and read some of their book reviews. There are bunches of book bloggers in WordPress, including myself. Be sure to view their submission requirements, which besides the title, author information, and genre may include more details such as the synopsis, date of publication, and book length. Discern the book format they require then construct your pitch letter, email, or contact.
- Book Blogger Directories – There are almost as many book blogger directories out there as book bloggers featuring reviewers, and fortunately, a number of enterprising souls have begun creating directories. I am listed in The Book Blogger List as well as Melanie Rocket’s Directory of Book Bloggers.
- Writer’s Digest – Writer’s Digest is an online magazine that includes helpful articles, webinars, and free writing downloads. Their “2nd Draft Critique and Editing Service” is broken down in various categories, but shows you the cost up front.
- Publishers Weekly – Publishers Weekly has a new site for self-published authors they now call BookLife and the new home of PW Select. This is their marketing program for self-published and Indie authors who can now submit their books for free review consideration.
- Kirkus – Kirkus has a history of 82 years in book discovery, 10,000 reviews published in one recent year. They also review for the nation’s top publishers such as Harper Collins, Harlequin, and Penguin Random House, but be prepared to pay for the privilege.
The possibilities for numbers of free reviews are out there. For those willing to research and spend the time writing review requests, the rewards are there. Judging from the number of requests I’m receiving, there are many who are willing to put in the effort. If you are serious in your marketing promotions and seeking reviews, it’s just a matter of time. How long did it take you to write your book? Then, this should be no problem. ©2016 Virginia Williams