When I finally published my first fiction novel, I ended up with fewer than 40 reviews. By the time I had finished writing my second, I had spent a lot of time studying what other indie authors were doing to get hundreds of reviews on launch day.
From that point on, I have never received less than 100 reviews for every book I release just by applying those strategies.
Reviews are important for many different reasons. Not only are they social proof that people like your book, therefore encouraging people who may be on the fence that they should purchase a copy, but if you’re able to secure 50 reviews you’ll qualify for all promo sites, including the biggest one of all: BookBub.
Here’s a few ways you can garner hundreds of reviews for your books and best of all, most of these strategies won’t cost you anything.
Obviously, your list is going to be your most powerful asset when it comes to getting people to review your book. The key is to make sure that you cultivate an ARC (advanced reader) group from your mailing list and provide them with sufficient time to download and read your book before launch day.
I also make ARC’s very limited so that readers act quickly in claiming a copy before my limit has been reached. When I started out I was offering up to 400 review copies but these days I stick to around 100.
To make delivery easier, I automate everything by setting up a BookFunnel.com page with a secret download link.
You can customize the landing page to include your book cover and blurb as well limit how many copies are available for download. Once they’re all claimed, the download link becomes inactive.
Facebook Boosted Posts
I have never spent money on Facebook advertising other than with boosted posts. The truth is, boosted posts have always been enough for me and I can run them with a limited budget.
When it comes to garnering reviews, I use boosted posts on my author page to reach new readers. I create an attractive graphic that features my book cover and a button or text that says “GET YOUR FREE COPY”.
I post the link to a private download page in the comments section of my boosted post and run it for 48-72 hours. I spend no more than $25.
Facebook New Releases Groups
Join Facebook groups that cater to your genre and create a post offering a free copy of your book in exchange for an honest review. I’ve launched countless new pen names and mailing lists by doing this and it doesn’t take long or cost any money.
The key is to feature a killer book cover, a well-crafted blurb and to limit the number of free/review copies offered so that people take action because they don’t want to miss out.
When distributing review copies, try to get those readers into a special mailing list created just for them. That way you can follow-up with a link to your book when it goes live, reminding them to post their review. It’s also a great way to build your review team for future book launches.
There are 2 easy ways to generate reviews from Goodreads. The first is by contacting readers who have left reviews on books in the same genre as yours and offering them a free review copy. I’ve done this many times successfully and enjoyed connecting with readers on a more personal level.
Start by finding active groups in your genre, and then send a message to active readers offering them a free copy of your book. Be clear with the details such as when your book goes live so they know how much time they have to read and review the book.
The second way is by running a Goodreads giveaway. You can find details here: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway
You can choose to set up either a Kindle Book giveaway or a paperback one. I’ve done both but these days I tend to stick to Kindle since it’s more affordable and I don’t have to worry about shipping out paperback copies.
Booksprout is my secret weapon to quickly building a review group of readers who will help launch books and even new pen names. BookSprout is very affordable and allows you to automate the entire process of creating review groups, distributing books and follow-up.