I may have mentioned one or two thousand times here on the blog how important getting reviews are to a book's success. So it's not any wonder that I often get emails asking how I was able to find so many reviewers, especially from indie authors.
The good news is that there are thousands of book reviewers out there. The bad news is that you'll need to find a way to sort through thousands of book reviewers to find the ones that will be most interested in your work. To help with the process, here are five simple ways to find the right reviewers for your book.
1. Identify your comp book
You want to find one or two books that you believe would have a similar audience to your own book. Your comp book can focus on a similar topic, be in the same genre or have a similar writing style to your own. Your not looking for a replica of your work, just something that will appeal to the same readers. When deciding the type of book to use, you'll want to focus on books that have a high number of reviews. Even if a book is the perfect comp for yours, if they don't have at least 50 reviews, it'll make the next steps harder to complete.
2. Stalk their tour
Most books have a blog tour these days and that is going to help us out a bunch. Check the author website for your comp book and search for a list of all the bloggers that participated in that book's tour. If you can't find it on their website, a quick Google search should bring up the info either on the host blogger's site or with the tour company. Add all the participating bloggers to your list.
3. Sources from the source
No matter how you feel about Amazon, they are the ultimate source when it comes to reviews. On the Amazon page for your comp book, you'll want to review all the 4 and 5 star reviews. Click on the name of the reviewer and check out their profile. Not everyone will list an email or website, but some will. For all of them that provide a contact method, add them to your blogger list.
4. Don't over think it
Pull up our friend Google and do the most basic search you can. Start with "Readers who loved COMP BOOK". I plugged Rite of Rejection into that scenario and came back with millions of search results. Obviously, not all of those are reviews, but the first several pages were filled with them. Another great Google search is to set your comp book aside and search for reviewers for your genre. For example: "YA dystopian reviewers". That particular search brought back 897K results. I'm thinking that should provide plenty of reviewers. Go through as many of those results as you can stomach and add the reviewers to your list.
If you've got a good comp book, you should have a significant list of potential reviewers for your book. Resist the urge to send a form request to all of them. This will almost certainly gain you next to no takers. Before contacting anyone, you'll need to go through your list and find out who is open to new reviews, taking your genre, still active, etc. This step will most likely significantly reduce the number of bloggers on your list. This is why you'll want to collect as many potential reviewers as you can.
My positive response rate to review requests was 35%, but that is pretty high. 25% is probably a realistic expectation. If you reach step five and don't have four times as many bloggers on your list as your target number of reviews, go back and repeat the process with another comp book.
Getting enough reviews for your book isn't an issue of not enough reviewers out there. The roadblock is in finding the ones who are most likely to enjoy your book. Using a targeted search can make the process easier on you and help you find your next biggest fans.
For more information on how to find and contact reviewers, be sure to sign up for my mailing list to get a free copy of my DIY Blog Tour eBook.