12 Ways to Use a Book Review to Sell More Books
Getting your book reviewed is a critical step in your book marketing strategy. Reviews tell potential readers that your book is worth their time and increases your credibility. But how do you turn that review into a stream of marketing content you can use to promote your book? Here are twelve ideas that will help you use your Literary Titan book review to sell more books.
1. ADD A REVIEW EXCERPT TO YOUR BOOK COVER
Praise from a credible source is valuable. Build that value directly into your book cover. An excerpt from a book review, also known as a blurb or quote, should sell the main point of your book.
Selecting the perfect quote is important. Here are some tips to help you structure your excerpt to make it short and engaging.
How-to: Here is an example that we’ll break down into an excerpt:
What starts as an average but bleak crime quickly turns into a uniquely riveting police procedural. Readers are taken on a relentless and harrowing journey full of murder, mystery and utter mayhem.
⭐ Use ellipses (…) to shorten sentences and focus on the selling point of your book.
“…full of murder, mystery, and utter mayhem.” – Literary Titan
“…a uniquely riveting police procedural.” – Literary Titan
⭐ Add words, but not a lot, and always put them in parentheses.
“…uniquely riveting… (and) a relentless and harrowing journey…” – Literary Titan
Tip: With a Literary Titan book review you’ll have a great selection of possible excerpts. Create a few excerpts, and then create a poll on social media to get feedback on which one works best. The poll will solicit feedback to help you pick the best quote, and it will also give you yet another way to promote your book by creating a conversation about which blurbs work.
2. POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA
To engage readers on social media you need content. Book reviews are a perfect way for you to create a stream of content you can use to get readers’ attention on social media.
Social media content ideas:
- Announce your new reviews. Ex: “I just got a great review from @LiteraryTitan. They said it was ‘relentlessly entertaining’. Check it out here, AddLink”
- Create several excerpts from your review and post them along with your thoughts, appreciation, or an anecdote
- Create graphics featuring short quotes from your review and post them
- Create graphics with longer excerpts from your review
- Create animated images (GIFs) or videos showcasing your review or excerpts
- Create a short video of you reading your review and sharing your thoughts
Tip: Schedule your social media posts to give you maximum exposure over a long period of time. Use a social media tool like CrowdFire to schedule posts and see post analytics.
You can adapt any of these ideas to fit your preferred social media platform. Your imagination is the best tool. These ideas should inspire you to create your own appealing content.
3. INCLUDE BOOK REVIEWS ON YOUR AUTHOR WEBSITE
Your author-website should host all of your editorial reviews. The reviews should be easily accessible, but never get in the way of the main attraction… your book!
How-to: Create a page dedicated to your reviews and put a tab at the top of your site labeled “Book Reviews.” Or you can add a link to the reviews on your home page. Name the link something generic like “Book Reviews,” or you can use something catchy like, “What People Are Saying.”
Formatting the review is important. You spent a lot of time collecting professional reviews; make sure they look professional on your site.
- Ensure each review has a title
- Justified alignment helps, but is not required
- Attribute the review to the reviewer
Tip: If your review is lengthy, readers may shy away from reading the entire review. Create a short excerpt from the review and then put it in bold at the top of the review. This way, readers can simply browse through the quotes if they want.
Tip: Create a few blurbs from your reviews and then add them in key places throughout your website. The blurb placements should never be obnoxious, but they can add a lot of value when added sparingly and in the right places; like at the bottom of pages, in your sidebar, or as a supplement to your book blurb.
4. USE YOUR BOOK REVIEW TO GET MORE REVIEWS
One review is great, but more reviews are better. You can use your Literary Titan book review to entice other reviewers.
How-to: In your query to other reviewers, let them know that your book received a rave review from Literary Titan.
⭐ Example: Literary Titan just gave me a stellar review and said my book was “…a uniquely riveting young adult novel.” I would love to hear what you think. Can I send you a free copy?
Tip: You can send a longer quote, but remember to keep your query short, attention-grabbing and relevant to the reviewer.
Reviewers get a lot of review requests. You are more likely to pique a reviewer’s interest if you already have a glowing review. The review assures them that your book is worth their time.
5. INCLUDE BOOK REVIEWS IN PRESS RELEASES
A press release is an effective way to create a narrative about your book. A press release is a page or two of marketing copy about you, your book, and any news you have to share about it. Ex: A new book release, book award win, or a book promotion.
A well-written press release can be sent to your email subscribers or attached to a query letter, but it works best when it’s sent to the media and published on their news sites. When the media publishes your news on their sites it creates a significant online presence for your book.
Right now, when you google your book, you probably see your Amazon book page, your author website, and a few blogs that reviewed your book. However, if you have your news published on media sites, a Google search for your book can return hundreds of results. This lets the Google algorithm know that people are interested in your work. You’ll appear higher in search results, ensuring people find the content you have designed when searching for you online.
A compelling excerpt from a professional in your press release will grab the attention of readers and establish credibility. Showing the recipient that people already love your work will give them the confidence they need to promote your book to their audience and contact you for more information.
Tip: A well-designed press release can be saved as a PDF and attached to any email as supplemental material for recipients to look over if they wish. This could be agents, publishers, reviewers, journalists, or anyone you contact about your book.
Your press release should be concise while conveying the important details about you, your book, and your news while still being engaging. If you’re struggling to write your press release, or need to distribute your press release to the media, you can use Literary Titan’s Press Release Service to write and distribute your press release.
6. USE REVIEWS ON MARKETING MATERIALS
Use your review and excerpts on book marketing materials like bookmarks, postcards, posters, shelf talkers, table signage and more. Creating marketing material makes you look professional and creates an atmosphere around you and your work.
⭐ Bookmarks are great for handing out at book signings or leaving on the front counter of bookstores or libraries. Add an excerpt to the front of your bookmark or add a longer quote to the back of your bookmark.
⭐ Postcards are great to send out when announcing a book launch or book signing. Postcards have more space to work with so you can add a longer quote from your review or you can add a short excerpt that supplements the other info on the postcard.
⭐ Posters look great behind you at book signings or hanging up at bookstores. There is a lot of room to work with on posters but be careful, you should not use that space to post a full review. Select one to three quotes to use on your poster. The poster should be designed to be eye-catching and lure people to your book signing table or your bookshelf at bookstores.
⭐ Shelf talkers are small signs that attach to the ledge of a retail shelf. If your book is sold at bookstores, you should provide those bookstores with shelf talkers that point out the selling points of your book and/or a quote from your review.
⭐ Table signage is a great way to showcase your entire Literary Titan review. Picture this: you’ve set up your book signing table, you’re talking to an interested reader, and someone else walks up to your table. While you’re busy talking to one person, the other person is flipping over your book to read the blurb. They then look over at your table signage to read a review from a respected source. This buys you enough time to end your conversation with the last person and make your way over to the new person who now has plenty of information about your book. Table signage is a great way to decorate your book signing table with a professional review.
Tip: Literary Titan book reviews have their own page on the Literary Titan website and can easily be printed and used as table signage; just like in the example above.
Tip: Unless you have years of graphic design experience, you should hire a professional graphic designer. Great-looking marketing material conveys a sense of professionalism to potential readers. You can hire a graphic designer at sites like 99Designs.com.
7. USE REVIEWS TO APPROACH BOOKSELLERS AND LIBRARIANS
Booksellers and library directors don’t have time to read every request or book they come across. They rely on reviews from professional sources to help them find great books.
⭐ Booksellers are interested in selling successful books, not making books successful. They need to know that readers like your book. How do they know that? By reading book reviews. In your query letter to the store owner or the store’s event coordinator, include review excerpts that show how great your book is or how it reaches a particular audience. Ex: Literary Titan said that my book is, “A charming children’s book that is filled with vibrant illustrations that convey a powerful message on diversity and inclusion.”
Tip: When contacting booksellers, you can also include sales data or a mention of the number of reviews on sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and GoodReads, along with the average rating. Sales data with a book review show booksellers that your book will sell.
⭐ Library directors are interested in books that fulfill their local reader’s needs. Do their readers need to learn something or do they need more quirky sci-fi novels? For example, if the library is located in rural Kansas, they probably don’t need how-to books on surfing– or maybe they do. Go find out, and see if your book will fill their need. In your query letter, explain how your book fills their readers’ needs, and use quotes to drive the point home. Ex. Literary Titan said that my book was filled with, “…practical money management advice that anyone can use in the age of cryptocurrency.”
Tip: Ensure that your book is available through library wholesalers, Like Baker & Taylor, before contacting librarians. Most libraries only buy books through wholesalers.
Tip: Include quotes from your favorite reviews in your queries, and then include the full review as an attachment or a link. This way they can read more if they want to.
It is important that you only include professional reviews. Do not include reviews from friends or family, or even worse, a review from yourself. You need validation from a professional third party. Saying, “I think I wrote the best book ever,” sounds biased.
8. INCLUDE REVIEWS ON AMAZON AND BARNES & NOBLE
Amazon and Barnes & Noble have dedicated spots for Editorial Reviews on your book’s product page. This should tell you how important Amazon and Barnes & Noble think editorial reviews are, and how important they are to readers.
On Amazon, the Editorial Review section appears before the Customer Review section and appears alongside your book’s description in the Kindle app. Use the Editorial Review section to showcase your professional reviews.
- Login to your Author Central account
- Click on the Books tab at the top of the page
- Click the image of the book you want to update
- On the Book Details page click the Edit Book Details button
- On the next page click Add Review next to the Editorial Reviews section
- You’ll then see a popup window where you can enter your editorial review
- Enter your editorial review along with attribution
- Click Save and then allow up to 24 hours for it to show on your book page
Literary Titan provides all of its authors with detailed instructions to add their Literary Titan book to Amazon’s Editorial Review section.
Barnes & Noble: Login to Barnes & Noble Press. Click the cover image of the book you want to edit. Scroll down to the ‘Editorial Reviews’ section and click on the ‘Editorial Reviews’ title. Enter the name, website, and an excerpt of your review.
Tip: You can include the star rating of your review by adding these emoji stars. Just copy and paste these into your editorial review.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ OR ★★★★★
You can include an entire review in the Editorial Review section, or just some excerpts; it’s up to you.
9. ADD REVIEWS TO YOUR BOOK METADATA
What is metadata? Metadata is a set of information that describes your book. This information helps readers find your book, and helps retailers categorize your book.
Why is metadata important? Good metadata makes your book easy to find among millions of other books. Example: Let’s say a reader is looking for a sci-fi western featuring a time-traveling baby. If you wrote a sci-fi western with an infant protagonist, you want your book to show up. If your book’s metadata contains all those keywords (sci-fi, western, baby, time-travel) then your book will show up in the readers’ search results.
What should I include in my metadata? Here is some information that you can include in your metadata to get you started, but you can include more.
|Author Name||Book Blurb (brief book description)|
|Book Format||Book Weight|
|BISAC Subject||Publication Date|
|Page Count||Runtime (audiobooks)|
The Citations section is where you’ll put your professional reviews and book awards.
The Book Blurb can include a quote from your review. This can be a good way to work in a profitable keyword. Using our previous example: You use ‘infant’ throughout your blurb to describe your protagonist and use a quote from a review with the words ‘time-traveling baby’ to ensure you capture all possible search terms for your book.
How-to: There is no single place to send your metadata and have it updated everywhere your book is available. But there are a few ways you can make it easier on yourself. First, if you have a publisher, send your metadata to your publisher, they’ll do most of the updating for you. If you use a service like Draft2Digital, they often have a way to update your metadata in their system and they’ll distribute the information. Otherwise, create a spreadsheet with all your metadata. This will make it easy for you to copy and paste it into the different places where your book is available; Ex: Amazon, B&N, Alibris, Kobo, etc.
This may seem like a lot of work, but making your book easy to find among millions of books is essential to your success. A reader cannot buy your book if they cannot find it.
Tip: Adding ‘Literary Titan Book Award’ or similar keywords could put your book in the ‘Award Winners’ category of retail sites that have a section for it.
Tip: Regularly review and update your metadata. If you make updates to your metadata make sure you distribute the metadata everywhere your book is available.
10. USE REVIEWS TO BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE
A positive review can boost your confidence as a writer. With that confidence you’ll find yourself writing with zeal and marketing your book with vigor.
If you lack confidence in your writing, a well-written and insightful review validates your hard work and will keep you going. Save the review page, and look back on it whenever your motivation is lacking. Print out the review and hang it up where you write. Motivation is key to completing your manuscript.
You might see other books winning awards and think, “Those books are better than mine. I have no chance of winning.” A glowing book review gives you the assurance you need to know that your book is good enough, and that you, too, you can win awards. The same is true for seeking guest spots on blogs, podcasts, and YouTube channels. Confidence and determination are all you need to embark on an impressive marketing campaign.
Writing is often a solitary endeavor. A professional book review gives you that much-needed outside voice that tells you that you are doing great work.
11. USE REVIEWS TO IMPROVE YOUR WRITING
Not all reviews are positive, and that’s okay. In fact, it’s great. I know it sounds odd, but a critical review is key to developing as a writer.
A professional review will provide you with a thoughtful analysis of your book. Take time to dispassionately consider all the reviewer’s points. These types of reviews give you important constructive criticism that will help improve your current book, your future books, and you as a writer. Never stop writing. Use it as an opportunity to fix what’s not working and keep what is.
Remember: Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and J.K. Rowling are all best-selling authors, and they all receive a lot of 1-star reviews.
Tip: Many professional review services, like Literary Titan, allow you to see and approve your review before it is published. Make sure to select or request this option if you’re unsure of what the feedback will be, and then you can decide whether or not to publish the review.
12. AUTHOR INTERVIEW
The Literary Titan Book Review Service includes an author interview consisting of four questions specific to your book. Here are some ideas you can use to turn that author interview into a stream of content you can use to promote your book.
⭐ Include the author interview in your “About the Author” section on your website. This will supplement your biography nicely, provides an engaging Q&A section for readers, and discusses things that don’t normally come up in a standard author bio. Tip: Enable comments on your website or blog to allow for further conversation with readers.
⭐ Share your author interview with your newsletter subscribers. The author interview is a great way to inspire conversation in your current fan base as the questions will give them insight into your inspirations, writing process, themes, and more.
⭐ Add the author interview to your Amazon book listing in the ‘From the Author’ section. How-to: Go to Amazon Author Central, click the ‘Books’ tab, click the book you want to update, click ‘Edit book details’, click ‘Add from the author’.
⭐ Share the author interview on social media. You can post the entire interview in one post, or you can create a stream of content out of one interview by posting one question and answer in each post. Tip: Create eye-catching graphics that will accompany your interview.
Your author interview should be engaging and informative. An author interview is a great marketing opportunity for you to do two things at one time: intrigue potential readers and inform past readers.
Tip: In general, you should not reply to questions with a one-sentence response, but your response should not be a book in and of itself either. Be yourself, be informative, be anything but boring.
BONUS: LITERARY TITAN BOOK AWARDS
Every book reviewed through Literary Titan’s Book Review Service is automatically entered into the monthly Literary Titan Book Awards. If your book receives an award, you will then have a lot of fantastic new ways to market your book.
Click here to read a free guide that will show you how to use a book award to sell more books.
These are just a few ways you can use your Literary Titan book review to promote your book.
Get creative and think of new and interesting ways you can share your book review with the world.
If you think of any cool ideas, share them with us on Twitter or Instagram @LiteraryTitan.
Don’t have a professional book review yet?
Submit your book to our Book Review Service. All entrants receive:
- A guaranteed book review
- Entry into the Literary Titan Book Awards
- Author interview
- Promotion on our social media
- Access to a library that will help you sell more