Saturday, June 29, 2013

Getting people to review your book

Image credit: IMG_1686.JPG By pedrojperez

How do you get people to read and review your new book?

Here is how I do it.  (With few useful resources at the end of the post.)

- Start high. Go to the top websites in your field. Send them a pitch letter asking for a review. Include the benefits to their readers of such a review.

- Write a concise, straight forward pitch letter. You can use the pitch letter with slight modifications for every site you pitch. When you write the letter, focus on the benefits for the site. All sites have a huge problem: how to get and keep readers. Offer them something that will help, entertain or appeal to their readers, and they will love you.

- Plan on spending about two hours a day finding websites and ezines. Think of it as a marathon, and not a sprint. When I was being paid to pitch book reviews to websites, I tried to find 5 good sites a day. I usually had to look at 20-50 sites to choose those 5.

- Send your pitch emails out on Tuesday and Wednesday. For some reasons those are the best days for pitching new stuff and writing to people who don't already know you.

- Plan on generating a steady stream of pitches. Ideally, for a year. (Social Media Marketing experts estimate it takes about a year of steady work to build an online following.) Repetition and persistence are your friends.

- Keep track of all the sites you approach. What you sent, when, their response.  (I used both Highrise and the Triple Track process. Links below).

SEMrush is a tool for finding and evaluating sites. Use SEMrush to search for sites by keyword, look at site traffic numbers, and find sites similar to the ones you are looking at.

Headline Hacks is a free PDF from Jon Morrow that tells how to write quick effective headlines. This is an excellent cheat sheet on writing good headlines.

Highrise for contact management, a.k.a 'keeping track of who you talked to and what you promised to do.' The intro package is free, and should be enough for most authors.

Triple Track process.  One writer's submission tracking system, and his explanation of how and why to track submissions. Effective, and essential. Free Excel templates for download.
You may not hear from a site for a month, then suddenly they want to review a book. The triple-track process will allow you to keep track of all the editors you email, and the submissions you have in the pipeline.