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11 Ways to Get Good Reviews for Your Books

How to Get Good Reviews for Your Books Copyright 2016 Joan Y. Edwards

“11 Ways to Get Good Reviews for Your Books” by Joan Y. Edwards

This is the third in a series of blog posts about reviews and reviewers. I hope you find it useful.

Due to technical difficulties, my interview with Stephanie Barko will be delayed for a while. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Many times the publisher will get reviews for your books. They may pay someone to do a review of your book. Many resources say authors shouldn’t pay for reviews. It’s up to you. Study and decide for yourself.

Authors will help themselves sell books if they set out to get at least 25 reviews. The more favorable reviews you get, the better your book looks to those who are studying your book’s reviews to help them decide to put down their money to buy online. Even if they plan to buy it in a bookstore, they will probably check the online reviews. Many people who are avid readers belong to Goodreads. Amazon bought Goodreads. Goodreads members are noted for creating a large buzz for books they love. You’ll want reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads.

Amazon Prime members don’t pay for shipping. Barnes & Noble club members don’t pay for shipping. If people order a book from a Barnes and Noble bookstore in person, usually they don’t charge for shipping.

How can authors find people to do a review for them on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and/or Goodreads? Here are my thoughts after reading the articles in the resources area plus others.


  1. Write a good book.
  2. Tim Grahl says that when you make meaningful relationships with people showing you care about them and they care about you, then they will want to want to buy your book and share it with their family and friends.
  3. Almost all the resources I read tell authors to make online connections: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram. (Choose three for your focus. Ask the followers of your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus, or other Social Media, “Are you willing to do a review of my book for me? Would you do one for Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads?”
  4. Ask bloggers that you follow if they’ll do a review on their blog. Many times they’ll also post their review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and GoodReads.
  5. Tell potential buyers: If you’re willing to do a review for me, I’ll be glad to give you a paperback copy or Ebook copy. I know sometimes life may interfere. When you give someone a review copy, you can’t control whether they actually do the review or not. Be ready to accept that they may do a book review for you, but they may not do a book review for you.
  6. If someone buys a copy, tell them you’ll give them another copy if they write a review for you.
  7. Check Amazon’s top reviewers list. Many reviewers list their email address or website  which may have their contact information. This is tedious to find out which ones do books like yours.
  8. Ask for reviews on the Amazon Forum for Authors http://www.amazon.com/forum/
  9. Ask people in your critique group.
  10. Both Amazon and Goodreads offer ways for you to do Giveaways. With Amazon’s giveaways, you can designate how many people have to respond before Amazon selects a winner or you can designate that the first 5 people to sign up win a copy of your book.  You can make a condition that they do a review or they follow you on Twitter. With Goodreads, you send the autographed copy of the book to the winner. So you can personalize it. With Amazon Giveaways, you pay for the book and the shipping. So the winners do not receive an autographed copy of your book.
  11. When you are giving presentations, ask anyone in the audience who might be interested in doing a review to stop by and see you afterwards.

I’m sure there are many more ways. These are enough to get your started. Brainstorm others. I listed eight resources to help you do a more in-depth study. I put five asterisks by number 8, as I believe it’s the most outstanding of all the ones I listed. I believe you’d enjoy most.


  1. Book Promotion Hub “Three Simple Ways to Get More Book Sales from Goodreads:” http://www.bookpromotionhub.com/6199/3-simple-ways-to-get-more-book-sales-from-goodreads-marketing
  2. Empty Mirror Books, “Ten Ways to Find Reviewers for Your Self-Published Book:” http://www.emptymirrorbooks.com/publishing/10-ways-to-find-reviewers-for-your-self-published-book.html
  3. Goodreads. “Author Program-use Goodreads to Promote Yourself and Your Books:” https://www.goodreads.com/author/program
  4. Jodie Renner “Using New Amazon Giveaway to Promote http://jodierennerediting.blogspot.com/2015/03/using-new-amazon-giveaway-to-promote.html
  5. Megan Marrs. “Amazon Reviews:” www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2014/04/10/amazon-reviews
  6. The Washington Post. “Why Amazon bought GoodReads:” http://www.bookpromotionhub.com/6199/3-simple-ways-to-get-more-book-sales-from-goodreads-marketing/
  7. Tim Grahl. “How to launch your book with at least 25+ Amazon reviews:”  http://timgrahl.com/amazon-reviews/ 
  8. *****Your Writer Platform, “Get Reviews for Your Book:” http://www.yourwriterplatform.com/get-reviews-for-your-book/

Thank you for reading my blog. I appreciate you very much. Let me know your ideas for getting good reviewers for your books. Click below and scroll down to the bottom to tell me your ideas for how an author can get someone to write a review for a book.


Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2016 Joan Y. Edwards


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12 Responses

  1. Joan,
    Here’s another helpful resource for writers, right on the coattails of your recently published book: Joan’s Elder Care Guide. You are so good at providing resources of all kinds. Thanks for passing along ideas for getting reviews. I hope you’ll receive many reviews yourself. I love that you’re always striving to help others! You’re tops!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Linda,
      Thank you for writing. I’m glad that you believe it’s a helpful resource for writers. Thanks for saying that I’m good at providing resources of all kinds. That makes me smile because I love to help others find ways to do what they strive to do.

      Celebrate you
      Never Give Up


  2. Joan, as you know, I get a lot of honest reviews through review exchanges.
    Here is how I do it:
    If I consider a book to be worth 4 or 5 stars, I will provide a public review. I’ll publish it in my newsletter http://wp.me/P3Xihq-1 and happily post it on any web site the other author specifies.
    However, I don’t trample on another writer’s baby. If I don’t consider the book to be excellent, I will privately let the author know why, pointing out what in my opinion are its good points, and where it needs improvement.
    Naturally, I expect the same in return.
    Also, I am not interested in certain genres.
    At the moment, I am looking for advance reviews for my book Hit and Run, which is due to be published later this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dr. Bob,
      Thanks for writing and sharing that you get reviews by exchanging reviews with other authors! What a neat idea! It is very respectful of you to honor those whose books you find below the 4 or 5 stars by not posting reviews for them online.

      I hope that you find many reviewers for your new book, Hit and Run.

      Celebrate you
      Never Give Up


  3. I agree reviews can help sell books, but I had no idea 25 would be required. Thanks so much for the helpful information. I’m going to make an effort to get 25 book reviews for my upcoming books. I’ve also heard to have reviewers ready to leave a review on launch day to help boost the buzz.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear J.Q. Rose,
      Thank you for writing. Parameters for the number of reviews an author should have may fluctuate depending on their personal goals, readers points of view. I read somewhere that Amazon markets books more when they have 25 reviews, like also bought this book. I have 10 Reviews for Joan’s Elder Care Guide and 18 for Flip Flap Floodle.

      I’m getting better at asking people to do a book review for me. It takes a lot of courage to do that. I have to accept that they have the right to say, “Yes” or “No.” And if life steps in they have a right to change their “Yes” to “No” after I’ve given them the book.

      I wish you good luck with getting 25 reviews on your next releases. I’ll be glad to do one for you! So now you only need 24!

      Believe in you.
      Never Give Up


  4. thanks for this list. Will save for when it’s my turn!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Carol,
      Thanks for writing. I’m glad you’re going to save this list. I hope you need it really soon.

      Believe in you and your writing
      Never Give Up


  5. Another helpful post, Joan. You’ve enlightened me with resources I was unfamiliar with and ideas I hadn’t considered. I’m marking this post for closer inspection.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sandra,
      Thanks for writing. Thanks for saying this post is helpful. I’m glad that I enligtened you with resources you were unfamiliar with and ideas you hadn’t considered in getting reviews for your books. I hope you’ll find ideas to use when you do your closer inspection later.

      Enjoy your day.
      Celebrate you.
      Never Give Up


  6. Getting reviews is one of the biggest challenges for me with my cozy mystery series. My biggest obstacle is: ME. I’m too shy about asking for a review. I want it to just happen organically and keep my fingers crossed that a good one will fall from the sky. This post is very helpful and I may start to get out of my own way. Thank you, Joan Edwards!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Joan Reid,
      It is difficult to ask people a yes or no question. Reward yourself for asking someone to write a review for you. Tell them how easy it is. Tell them it dorsn’t have to be long. The stars are whar counts.

      Believe in you.
      Never Give Up


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