Your book is written and published. Finally people can read it and hopefully those people will get the messages you wanted to share in the book. However, it also helps if your target market knows that your book exists. This is where book reviews come into play. Publishers will typically send out review copies to book reviewers, but you may know of some book reviewers that are bloggers that you also want to review your book. You might also send review copies to podcasts that you want to be interviewed on. A review copy can be a pf of your book or a print version of your book. At Immanion Press we typically send out pdf review copies of the book, which we found works well. If you know a reviewer that you want your book sent to, ask your publisher to send a copy of your book to that reviewer and provide contact information to the reviewer.
A book reviewer is someone who will write the review for your book and post it on their website or magazine. They may also share it on websites such as amazon, goodreads, and library thing. The book reviewer will read the book to review it, which means that they’ll share both what they liked or didn’t like about the book. The review will not necessarily be a five or four star review, and could even be a one or two star review. As the author, you have to keep in mind that the reviewer is still promoting your book. You may not like the review, but it will be an honest one.
I’ll admit when I had my first few books reviewed, I didn’t always handle the reviews as graciously as I wish I had. It’s important to realize that the person reviewing isn’t making a personal attack. They are reviewing your book and sharing their opinion. Whether you agree or disagree isn’t relevant and it can actually make you seem controlling if you comment on the reviews that have been offered (unless you are answering a question in the review).
If you, as an author, have a website (you should, if you don’t) I recommend linking the reviews to the page for your book. That way readers can see what others have said about the book. You should also include a link to the amazon, good reads and library thing page for your books so that people can see reviews left on those sites, and offer their own reviews. If you want people to write reviews on those sites, I suggest posting a link to your social media and asking people to write reviews. You might get some reviews, but remember they may or may not be favorable. Book reviews do help with the sales of your books. When people see reviews it helps them decide if they will buy the book.
The most important thing you can do is step back and recognize that whatever reviews you get are the ones you’ve gotten. Some will be good, some will be bad, and yet all of them will speak to what people thought of your book. You can’t control their reactions to your book, but you can accept them with grace and appreciate that someone took the time to review your book.