Tag Archive | book reviews

How To Get Libraries To Buy Your Book

Rebecca Langley lays out a specific list of to-do tasks to try and get your book into libraries. It’s not for the marketing faint of heart, but if you can get in, libraries are all over this country.

Getting into your local library is probably easier than what she describes. Knowing your librarians and finding out what they might be looking for for their patrons is helpful. Just ask. Rebecca is right, it’s all about getting patrons in the door.

She doesn’t mention audio books. Having your book as an audio book is also another plus. Findaway voices is a new service that puts your audio book on multiple formats (including audible).

And look at that list of reviewers (Library Journal, Kirkus, PW, Booklist…) early in your writing process. Many free reviews require the book 3 months before publication. You can send them an ARC (advanced reader copy), so that is helpful. But you’ll have to plan ahead. I know once your book is done, you really want to get it out, but getting your book reviewed by a few of these companies can go a long way in selling more books. I know I wish I had done this for a couple of my books.

And speaking of reviews, you’ll want a decent number (10-20+?) of reviews on Amazon before you do any marketing. Librarians look at Amazon too.

Best of luck!

Stay safe!


Library books have a longer shelf life than in bookstores, and they get more action, because there’s no financial risk for the inquisitive reader.

Source: How To Get Libraries To Buy Your Book

CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

As the Author World Turns on Amazon Book Review Policies

I was surprised by the information that you don’t have to purchase the book on Amazon to get it reviewed. Probably true but I bet verified reviews (purchased books from Amazon) don’t get looked at as hard.

I also can’t imagine that I would go so far as to copy my reviews and keep track of the ones that get taken down, then contact the reviewer and ask them to protest to Amazon? REALLY?! Who has time for that? And who wants to hound a reviewer. That’s a sure fire way to not get them to leave a review again!

I’d be okay with checking a review I left for someone else – a good friend and fellow author – and contesting if they took my own review down, however. Though I’m not sure I’d take the time to go back and check on my reviews, either.

But anyway, good information on the much needed Amazon review process.


By Judith Briles Amazon: Love it … or hate it … but, you gotta deal with it.”Why are my reviews being removed?” is an ongoing question that authors ask. There isn’t a live program that I do t

Source: As the Author World Turns on Amazon Book Review Policies

my imageCKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

NetGalley Test – Book Reviews

So I’m dipping my big toe in the NetGalley waters.


What is NetGalley?

This is what they say on their website:

NetGalley is an innovative and easy-to-use online service and connection point for book publishers, reviewers, media, librarians, booksellers, bloggers and educators.

NetGalley delivers digital galleys, often called advance reading copies, or ARCs, to professional readers and helps promote new and upcoming titles. Professional readers–reviewers, media, journalists, bloggers, librarians, booksellers and educators–can join and use NetGalley at no cost.

Their description says they take ARCs, but they accept already published books as well. I’m putting my book “Will the Real Carolyn Keene Please Stand Up” on their site – see the Netgalley page here.

Here is another post I ran about NetGalley in 2017. The link is probably still worth reading but I don’t know if the cost figures would still be accurate for today.

I am using NetGalley through BooksgoSocial (BGS). They currently charge $74 for putting your book in NetGalley for a month, $139 for 2 months and $199 for 3 months. I got a cheaper deal so watch their site for the occasional deal.

Here is a link to a youtube video of BGS telling you what NetGalley is all about.

After a month, BGS will send me the reviews. I’ll let you know how it goes and if the reviews seem to translate into sales.

CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

Book Awards (and Reviews!) – Readers’ Favorite

Readers Favorite - Book Reviews and Award Contest

There is still time to enter the 2018
Readers’ Favorite Book Award Contest

Only 3 days left to enter your book – FINAL DEADLINE
Enter your manuscript, published or unpublished book, eBook, audiobook, comic book, poetry book or short story. We offer 4 award levels in each of our 140+ categories, allowing you to only compete against books in your particular genre for a more fair and accurate contest, giving you the greatest chance of becoming an award-winning author!


  • Chance to win one of $50,000 in free prizes just for entering.
  • Chance to have your book made into a movie or TV show.
  • Chance to be published by an award winning traditional publisher.
  • Chance to be represented by a leading author marketing and PR firm.
  • Chance to be represented by a leading literary management company.
  • More features including a book review, award ceremony, and publicity.

When you enter, you automatically get a free review that they post for you on facebook, twitter, google+, Barnes & Nobel, Instagram and Pinterest. They also ask the reviewer to put it on their personal Goodreads account (if they have an account there) and you are able to put excerpts on your Amazon author central page (Amazon won’t let them post a review).

I entered my second Agnes Kelly Series book “Narrow Escape in Norway” this year and already received a 5 Star review! I won’t know if I’ve won anything until September.

“…This story is for all those readers who enjoy suspense, mystery, and adventure. I like the way the author creates secrecy and intrigue around the disappearance of Agnes’ father and pulls readers in to learn what exactly has happened to him. The fluidity in writing gives a good pace and movement to the story and the adventure, suspense, and laughs make the book fascinating to young readers. There is a sense of excitement and curiosity that builds up while trying to find out about Agnes’ father, which will keep readers glued to the book till the very last page. I am sure that, like me, young readers will be waiting for the next book.”

                                                                                     ~  Mamta Madhavan

Book Reviews and How to Get Them


cat with gun

Short of getting your cat to persuade your readers to leave a review of your book, how do you get people to review your book?

  1. Ask
    Of course, this is the first step. Anyone who buys your book in front of you, or someone you hand your book to, you need to sincerely ask for a review. Look the person in the eye and let them know how helpful it is to you if they can leave you a review. If you are mailing a book to someone, put a personal note inside the book asking for a review.
    Of course, you have that same request (and easy link in your ebooks) in the back of your book. That’s a given.
    It’s important not to get upset when these people forget or they just aren’t comfortable leaving you a review. It may not even be about you or your book. Just be happy when reviews show up.
  2. Book Giveaways
    I think these things are good to do, but not for getting reviews. I don’t find people who get free books automatically leave reviews. I think book giveaways are better for connecting to readers. And this can eventually lead to word of mouth sales or at minimal, word of mouth reads. Maybe it will lead to a review, but don’t hold your breath.

So what is a author to do?

alien- spaceplace.nasa.gov

from spaceplace.nasa.gove

We can help each other!

I am aware of two facebook groups of writers through BooksGoSocial where authors read and review other authors.

BooksGoSocial Book Buying Review Club  

This group requires you buy a book on Amazon and post the official review before you can ask for a review for your book. This is because Amazon will post reviews that are verified purchases. They don’t always post reviews that are not verified purchases. They will only allow a certain percent of non-purchased reviews.
In this group, you pick a book with the same price point as the book you will want a review for yourself (and you are only allowed to pick the last on the post list) – books that cost e.g.  $.01 -.99 or $1.00 – 2.99 etc.
There is also a post for shorter books.

Then there is the BooksGoSocial Book Review Club

In this group, you are not required to buy a book, but you are required to prove you have reviewed another author’s book on Amazon.

Both of these groups require you to be accepted into the group and that you participate in the group, plus you can’t do review swaps – you review my book and I’ll review yours. Amazon can find these and they will take down these types of reviews.

Both of these groups are for middle grade through adult novels – fiction and non-fiction.

BooksGoSocial also has a group for children’s authors. Though this is not specific for reviews.

Hopefully all authors review any book they read, but these are 2 ways to guarantee you get reviews that are so helpful to you.

NetGalley Book Review Program: A Case Study

I thought this was an interesting and helpful post about the NetGalley Review Program. If you’ve ever considered using NetGalley, this is a post worth reading. I’ve heard many people say “Never pay for reviews.” I’m not sure “never” is always accurate but before you pay for a review from anyone, do your homework to try and find out if it’s worth the money you will be spending.

There are many companies out there willing to take advantage of the struggle authors have with getting their name and books out there. That’s why there are so many different things (and people or companies offering those things) out there telling you their thing is THE thing you need to do, or one of the most important things to do.

I do agree that increasing the number of reviews you have is one of the first things you need to do as an author, but do you need to pay for those reviews. Maybe or maybe not.

See what David Kudler did with his book.


Most publishers (large and small) struggle with making their titles visible. In the trackless jungle that is the modern book-buying world (the Amazon?), getting your book reviewed is an essential part

Source: NetGalley Book Review Program: A Case Study – The Book Designer

PW Select Book Listing: Another tremendous waste of money | Michel Sauret – Award-Winning Army Journalist | Independent Author

“One of my goals on this blog is to share my self-publishing mistakes so you don’t repeat them yourself. I’ve already discussed the importance of spending your money wisely with my artic…”

Great opening paragraph to a good post by Michel Sauret (no I didn’t spell his first name incorrectly – what parent does that to a kid!) about Publishers Weekly paid reviews. Check it out (and his Kirkus article)! I’d think long and hard before I spent money on a review for all the reasons Michel says in his Kirkus posts. I’d rather spend my money on facebooks ads or on travel to actual bookstore, libraries, book events… I think my marketing dollars are better spent getting more Average-Joe/Jane reviews. I haven’t cracked the library barrier (other than person to person), but I’m not sure getting a paid review from say Kirkus or Blue Ink will get me looked at anyway. Obviously PW Select is not the way to go, either!

You can get a free review from Library Journal and Foreward Review (a new co. in the review business) if you plan ahead – get them the galley or book 2-3 months ahead of your publishing date. I wish I could make myself do this, but I have not been able to hold onto a finished book for that long. I’ll have to try it sometime, but it’s a lot to ask when a review from one of these places might not even get noticed. It is a risk you take.

Library Journal will also review already published books, but it would only be if one of their online magazine folds wants to read it and post a review. I sent my Agnes Kelly MG mystery adventure (Intrigue in Istanbul) to one such reviewer and never heard back. It cost me the printing cost of the book and shipping, so I wasn’t out much. If you go to their site and read their submission policy, you’ll be directed to how this works.

Michel said it cost $50 for a Midwest Book Review. Midwest Book Review didn’t used to charge for reviews. That’s new to me. I’ve had a few of my books reviewed by them (before they charged for it) and I’m not sure how much the reviews helped, though $50 is not too much to charge, in my book.

I’d love to hear other author’s insights or experiences. How do you get your reviews?

Source: PW Select Book Listing: Another tremendous waste of money | Michel Sauret – Award-Winning Army Journalist | Independent Author

Here are all the New Amazon Book Review Policies

I don’t know if this post has the right information (can’t always believe everything you read 😉 ). But if it is, it is a bit disturbing.

Source: (Michael Kozlowski of Good E Reader) Here are all the New Amazon Book Review Policies

Why I have stopped reviewing books from Celebrity Authors

I wouldn’t go so far as to not review a celebrity author’s book if I take the time to read it, but I definitely go out of my way to read indie authors and review their books on multiple sites, (if I like it). If the book needs help, I contact the author and suggest such – even though that might not make me popular. If my book needed help, I’d want people to tell me. It doesn’t help anyone if I just lambaste them for poor writing or editing online. Do indie authors listen to my suggestions – I’m guessing not many, but if enough people them them their book needs help, then maybe they will listen. All indie authors benefit when our group as a whole puts better work out there. Yes, it’s competition, but it also helps our reputation as a whole, and that helps everyone!

Gisela’s Straightforward Blog: Why I have stopped reviewing books from Celebrity Authors.

How to Get a Truckload of Reviews on Amazon

Penny has some very good ideas for getting reviews for your books. I would also recommend any book you give or sell should have a colored slip of paper asking for a review. Another idea is book giveaways or discounts for people willing to give you an honest review. And don’t forget to do book reviews yourself. If you expect to get them, you need to expect to give them!

How to Get a Truckload of Reviews on Amazon.