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How to Get and Keep 
a Reviewer's Attention

 

In the past ten years I’ve dealt with a number of authors who have approached me in various ways in order to get me to give them a review at amazon.com. 

Here are my top 10 ways to get and keep a reviewer’s attention:

1. Finding a Reviewer: Find a reviewer who has reviewed similar books or look for reviewers who have done a good job on books you have read and liked. Once you have found a reviewer you like, look at their amazon.com profile to see if they are accepting books or if they have a public email. 

2. Initial Contact: Say the reviewer’s name in email. Never use something like “Dear Sirs” especially if you are writing to a woman. That happened to me recently. Try to personalize the email and find some way to connect with the reviewer. 

3. Show an Interest in the Reviewer: Take the time to find out if the reviewer has their own site. Then mention that you looked at their site. While at the site make sure to find out what the reviewer is accepting. If they don’t have a site, mention that you read some of their reviews.

4. Email and First Letter: When writing the email about your book keep things short and to the point. Say something tantalizing about your book that is sure to get the reviewers attention. It is better to send detailed explanations of your book when you mail the book. A reviewer may not take the time to print off a copy of your email. So include a copy of the original email or include a new short letter with your contact information. It is important to include your email address in case the reviewer has any questions. It is also more likely that you will get a notification email when your review has posted. If you have a website make sure to include that information in the letter you send with your book. Also include a link to the book at amazon in your email! That allows the reviewer to quickly look at your book and to see what others are saying. If you don’t have any reviews, don’t worry. Some reviewers like to post the first review.

5. What Not to Say: Never say: “I’m glad you have agreed to review my book.” The reviewer won’t decide this until they have your book in hand.

6. Sending the Book: Send your book by Media Mail. It saves you postage and puts less pressure on the reviewer. It is likely that the reviewer already has a pile of books to review and it is going to take a few weeks or even months before they get to your book.

7. Contacting the Reviewer After You Have Sent the Book: I advise you not to do this. If you want to know if a book arrived do something easier: send a postcard that the reviewer can mail back to you as soon as the book arrives. Once you have received notification that your book has arrived be very patient and refrain from contacting the reviewer. Some reviewers will feel stressed out if you get pushy and may even return your book or may put your book under the pile of books they have to review instead of on top! In other words, they will avoid your book because you are stressing them out! Instead of contacting the reviewer, think positive thoughts and hope for the best. At one point I had 200 books to review so it took months to get to a review. I now don’t accept as many books at once to prevent this from happening. 

8. What Not To Ask For: Never ask a reviewer to return your book. Your book is a gift in exchange for a review. Never include a return envelope for the book. Instead, encourage the reviewer to donate your book to a local library or charity. They may also want to send the book to another reviewer or to a friend.

9. How to Respond Once a Review Posts: Send the reviewer a thank you note in email or send a thank you card. If the reviewer says something negative in the review try to remain professional. 

10. Promote Your Book: Once you have a few reviews use them to promote your book at your site or in email. You may even want to ask the reviewer if you can use part of the review as a “blurb.”