So, you have written, edited and printed your book. Congratulations! You have accomplished quite an achievement and you should be extremely proud. Now you are about to face your greatest challenge yet: convincing your fellow literary lovers that they should read your book.
It is a noisy world out there: the average person receives thousands of advertising and marketing messages every day. This can make it difficult to communicate that your book is out there and worth reading.
How do you pique someone’s interest amongst all that noise and distraction? One excellent way to get the word out about your book is through a book review.
A review helps promote your book in numerous ways. First, it conveys to a reader that someone else has already read your book and was impacted by it enough to tell everyone else what they thought. Reviewers often highlight the strongest and catchiest parts of your writing, which can only serve to entice potential readers to read your story. Also, a review is a very real and tangible conversation between readers; one that often creates some buzz.
One thing to keep in mind is that book reviews have changed over the years. No longer confined to print outlets like newspapers and magazines, reviews can be found all over the Internet: on retailer sites such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble and on online newspapers such as the Huffington Post – there are even entire blog communities completely devoted to book reviews.
So how does an aspiring author get in touch with these outlets? Here are examples of great ways to reach out to these communities:
- Create a presence on social media; Twitter and Facebook are great places to have an online presence and are perfect for starting conversations, announcing news and perhaps receiving a fan letter or two (or three)!
- When publishing with WestBow Press, you will have the opportunity to promote your book through the book review program, BookSneeze.com. BookSneeze is a site devoted strictly to book reviews and contains a large community of online reviewers that maintain their own blogs. Once you place your book on the site, bloggers can easily download it, read it and then review it on their blog. With thousands of participants, much of the blogger outreach process is done for you; all you have to do is wait for the reviews to start showing up!
- Last but not least, reach out to your family, friends, church, community, etc. The people that you know and trust can be the most powerful word-of-mouth network you can get as an author, and their reviews might be the most helpful.
Now that your book is finished, continue your hard work and get your book out there! And remember: a review can be important link between you and your readers in this bustling book-reading world.
About Jolene Barto
Jolene has been able to see the publishing industry in all its varied sizes, from editing for a small university press to currently working for the world’s largest Christian publisher. Currently working as Communications Coordinator for Thomas Nelson, Jolene organizes social media campaigns and is a member of the BookSneeze team. She received her degree in Communications from Middle Tennessee State University and her MFA in Creative Writing at Murray State University.