One of the most important things you can do to promote your book is to get reviews. If you are lucky and have a publishing house behind you, they will more than likely send out ARC's (Advance Reader Copy) months in advance of the release date. Most of these ARC's have not been through a final edit. They do this so that when the book comes out there will already be reviews (hopefully good ones) out there to recommend the book. It is also an opportunity to take one-liners from a review and include it in the book. Another reason for an ARC is to request an endorsement for a book. These endorsements would come from people whose name has clout behind it and would be included either on the cover or inside the book. We will talk about how to get an endorsement at a later date. But today, I want to talk to those self-publishers out there who need reviews and aren't sure how to go about getting them.
Fortunately, there are many options out there for you, but take a page from the publishing houses and do what they do - get your reviews in place before your book comes out. I have made the mistake of not doing that and I really think it harms the sale of your book. If I had done my homework I would have had over 20 reviews in place before my book came out. As it stands now, reviews are trickling in but they are coming in. So, the months leading up to your release date should be all about your marketing campaign and getting reviews and endorsements. But where do you go to get them?
After you select the reviewers that interest you, the program will begin to generate a list of reviews for the books selected (which you can export to excel). Some of the reviews will include emails and a website where you can contact the reviewer and get a better idea of their interest in your genre. This is an incredible time-saver! You don't have to go out and search for your potential audience - they come to you! This list kept generating names and stopped at 19 reviewers. As you can see from the example below, each reviewer's name comes up with a website or email or both. Now all you have to do is contact the reviewer and ask for a review in exchange for a free copy of your book. How easy is that?
Finally, you have probably noticed that I didn't tell you to go to your family and close friends for reviews. There are two reasons for this: