One of the first things an author is looking for when their book is released (or just prior to its release) is a review of their book. Book reviews can be a very helpful way of letting prospective readers know what the book is about, if it's something that would interest them, and if the reviewer thinks it's any good. If a reviewer doesn't like a book, more often than not they will not print a review of the book at all, but that's not always the case. Books can and do get negative reviews. Still, book reviews are more ammunition for authors to use in their marketing arsenal.
Getting a book review from a traditional reviewer, such as one who writes for newspapers, magazines or other publications, can be just as challenging as getting a book published. Producers for network television shows can receive 50-75 review copies per day and they may only feature a book on their programs once or twice a week. One newspaper book reviewer told me he has stacks of books in his office, and he receives about 200 books per month. He is only able to review about six books per month. Most book reviewers only publish reviews by authors they know, or books from particular genres or books from the major NYC publishers. As you can see, getting a book review is not always easy.
But, it can definitely be done. The internet has made getting a book review a bit easier these days, but the author has to realize these reviews won't appear in their local papers. They will mainly be available online. That's OK, because readers are turning to the internet to search for reviews of books they may have heard of, or books relating to a particular topic. With so many blogs and websites online, it has become easier to get online book reviews, although sending a review copy to these sites is still no guarantee your book will be reviewed. However, it is often easier to get an online review than a review published by the "traditional" media. With that in mind, here are five sources for online book reviews that you may find helpful:
1. Midwest Book Review. This is a website operated in Wisconsin, but they do literally dozens of reviews each month. Even better, if they review your book they also post that review to your book's listing on Amazon.com.
2. Blogcritics. Blogcritics.com has more than 2,000 contributors and publishes hundreds of original articles and reviews each month. They are also a source for articles for Google News and Yahoo news.
3. BookReview.com. Although this site also offers paid services, authors can send review copies and get them reviewed at no charge. If the reviewer likes the book, they will write a review. They also post their reviews at Amazon.com, which is a good selling point for your book on Amazon.
4. Christian Review of Books. For authors who have written a Christian fiction or non-fiction title, the Christian Review of Books will fit the bill. They not only write reviews, but they do book giveaways, interviews and even accept articles written by authors.
5. Amazon.com. Have you been getting rave reviews for your book from your readers? Great! Tell them to put their thoughts into words and post their reviews on your book's listing on Amazon.com. Amazon itself doesn't write reviews, but anybody can post a review on Amazon. Don't contact everyone you have ever met and tell them to post glowing reviews of your book. Not only is it not honest, but Amazon customers can see right through that tactic. Do encourage your readers to post honest reviews of your book (after they have read it) on your book's page. If they love it, that will be no problem for them. Pick out the two or three best reviews and include some of the quotes from the reviews in the press releases for your book.
There are many other online reviewers of books, of course. You can find more at The Complete Review.