The Care and Feeding of Book Reviewers

What do authors crave? Book reviews. Most especially, five-star book reviews, but in reality, any book review is a good one. Why? Because it’s book reviews – pure numbers – that boost a book’s visibility on sites such as Amazon, Christian Book, and Goodreads. People looking for books see what the search engines tell them are the top sellers, the most active, the books people are “talking” about in the cyber world.

How does an author get reviews? Begs, pleads, threatens (this only works with family and close friends), and whines. Does that work? Marginally. So what’s the better way?

How about cultivating relationships with people who do book reviews? There’s a revolutionary thought. Many authors build what they call their “street team” and offer them freebies and perks for being the frontline of their book’s release. These folks agree to post reviews, create blog posts, and share on social media forums like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

That’s great! That’s just what an author needs. But … how do we reach out and find other reviewers beyond our circle?

Start stalking the reviewers – in a good way!

Find books comparable to yours as far as genre and audience appeal. Visit Goodreads and look at the reviews for these books. Are there some reviews that really stand out to you? Reviews such as you’d like to get? Click on the reviewer’s name and go to their Goodreads page. There’s a place there to message the reviewer and offer them a copy of your book to review. You can’t demand a review if you send the book, that’s not allowed, but if this person is regularly reviewing books and you’re impressed with how they do it, ask them if they’d like a copy of yours.

(It should go without saying – so of course, I’ll say it – that your book needs to be worthy of a good review.
If you’ve got twelve reviews and they’re all three-star and below, don’t expect better from someone who is reviewing books regularly.)

Now you have your street team and you have some new reviewers. What do you do next? That’s right, you’re not done. Check Amazon and Goodreads often – even daily when your book is released. Both places allow you to click a little button after the review that says either “helpful” or “like.” Click. Click on each and every review you’re given. This shows the reviewer that a) you read their review and b) you value it. It doesn’t matter if you have ten or three hundred reviews, you should be personally clicking on each and every one. That’s the pay-back for your reviewers. That’s their “thank you.” Neglect that, and you’re neglecting your reviewers in a world where it’s getting more difficult to find them.


Published by Pegg Thomas

Pegg Thomas lives on a hobby farm in Northern Michigan with Michael, her husband of *mumble* years. They raise sheep and chickens; keep a few barn cats, and Murphy the spoiled rotten dog. A life-long history geek, she writes “History with a Touch of Humor.” Pegg is published in the Barbour historical romance collections. Pegg also works as Publisher of Smitten Historical Romance, an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. When not working or writing, Pegg can be found in her barn, her garden, her kitchen, or sitting at her spinning wheel creating yarn to turn into her signature wool shawls. Pegg won the Romance Writers of America's Faith, Hope, & Love Award for 2019, was a finalist for the 2019 ACFW Editor of the Year, and a double finalist for the 2019 ACFW Carol Awards.

8 thoughts on “The Care and Feeding of Book Reviewers

  1. Great post! Speaking as a reviewer here, if I may add one small suggestion. I always get excited when an author takes the time to drop by my blog and comments on the review post or the author interview. It’s like you said above, it’s like a little thank you! ❤️


  2. I am reviewing more books and I am a member of several launch teams or street teams. I am always thrilled to get a message from Goodreads that the author likes my review. I am striving to be a better reviewer and it helps to feel validated!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Good morning / evening. Thank you for this inspiring post. I am a Book Reviewer in Australia, but looking to read and to review (for free) as I LOVE reading and writing. I have just started my blog Book Reviewers International recently, where I post Reviews of works that I like reading and invite other Reviewers to join as Contributors there.


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