where do you find book reviewers blog post featured on blue background
Blog Book Marketing

17 Places to Find Book Reviewers | IBR Book Marketing Series (Part 8)

17 Places to Find Book Reviewers is an author and publicist resource to helping indies get book reviews. The eighth installment of the IBR Book Marketing series, this post includes both free options and paid options.

17 Places to Find Book Reviewers

by Joe Walters

where do you find book reviewers blog post featured on blue background

Book reviewers play an important role in the book-buying process.

As an author, you’re told early and often that you should try to get more book reviews. It’s great for marketing, they say. But is it really?

I’ve been a book marketer for three different indie presses now, having marketed and promoted hundreds of books, and I can say pretty confidently that the answer is yes.

Book reviews are incredibly important. Readers want to buy books that have been vouched by real-life people (like Amazon’s consumer reviews) and experts (like with blurbs & media). Nothing ever guarantees book sales, but getting reviews can at least help. Book marketing is all about about doing the things that can help.

So where you do you find book reviewers?

Let’s explore some options.

  1. Book review publications

Professional book reviewers are a good way to start this list. There are people out there who focus on books across a number of genres; their audience is readers, booksellers, and librarians. The content they publish is about books, and they are experts in the book field. This is different from someone who runs a niche publication, like one about ducks who could review your book about ducks.

If you want to get book reviews, you should definitely try to get reviews from review publications. Here’s a list of 30+ book review sites to get you started.

But there are way more than that. Just type keywords into Google like “[Your Genre] book reviews,” and you’ll find a number of them that are not on our list. Review publications will usually offer the chance of being reviewed for free or to guarantee a review by paying for it. More on that in the paid section!

  1. Amazon

Amazon is one of the most influential places to get your book reviewed. Not only is it the place that most people buy books, but it’s also the place with the most book & product reviewers. 

You can find Amazon reviewers by searching for books similar to yours and reading those reviews. When the reviewer has a picture, click on their name. This means that they created a reviewer profile, and it’s possible they shared information on how to get in contact with them to request reviews in exchange for a free book. 

Amazon used to share a list of their top reviewers, but they’ve recently gotten rid of that. This is probably because they were being bombarded by tons of review requests. Take it from me, a guy who gets tons of review requests. 

It’s not easy to get book reviews from Amazon consumers, but it is possible. You can increase the amount of reviews you have on there in different ways (like building a launch team), but since that includes people you know, I’ll get to that in #8.

  1. Goodreads

Goodreads is a social networking platform for readers, run by Amazon. Similar to Amazon, reviewers can create profiles and write reviews on book pages. You can find those reviewers by searching similar books to yours on Goodreads and reaching out to them if they share contact information and express interest in free books for review.

But the book pages aren’t the only places to find them! They also have groups and forums on Goodreads. It’s not easy to get reviews by requesting reviews on forums and groups, but it is possible. (Sensing a pattern here?) 

  1. Social Networking Sites

Social media has made it easier than ever to connect with likeminded people. Search functions and hashtags enable you to find real people talking about your book’s topic in real time. That means you could find reviewers on Instagram, Facebook (including Facebook Groups), Twitter, the hundreds of Twitter alternatives popping up, TikTok, YouTube, and more.

Want to know the best way to get book reviews from social media?

Be real!

If you decide that a certain platform is your platform–the one where you will invest the most time and where you will build your following–then you will want to post often, be likable as a human (easy, I know! 😂), and when your book is coming out and/or when it’s out, you can mention a few times how helpful reviews are and that you’d love their support in that regard. Let people know how they can get a free copy in exchange for review. (I like Google Forms!) And again, super important, don’t be pushy!

If you find a book reviewer who doesn’t follow you, follow them. Be real as a follower. Engage with their posts and support them long before you request help from them. Reviewers on social media are sent review requests in their DMs and emails all the time, and they don’t have time for most of them. Build a real relationship with these people—which definitely requires time!—and your chances of converting them into a reviewer for your book will increase. 

  1. Book Review Directories & Lists

You can also find book reviewers in long lists and directories online. You have our list of review sites, IndiesToday, Bookbloggerlist, Book Reviewer Yellow Pages, Kindlepreneur, and more. There are a whole lot of reviewers in the world, and a whole lot of reviewers want to appear on those lists. It helps them get more and better books as well as drive more traffic to their websites. 

You should definitely check out these lists and directories, but don’t get lost inside them. Some are so long that you could spend all your marketing time combing through them, and you might not even get that many reviews out of it. Since they appear on those lists, other authors have access to them too, meaning they get a ton of pitches. Find some that you like, send some pitches, test if it works, and if it doesn’t, get out of there. 

  1. Book & Niche Blogs

Researching & pitching blogs could very well be my favorite way to get more book reviews. Some of the bigger book blogs will get boatloads of review requests per day, but the nice thing here is that NOT ALL BLOGS ARE BIG.

Some have small, dedicated audiences, and some have little to no audiences. I like them both! The nice thing about small blogs is that they’re not inundated with hundreds of review requests, and they often are willing to post their reviews on Amazon and/or Goodreads.

You’re dealing with one person a lot of the time, so you can cultivate a relationship by being kind, supportive, generous (like sending a physical book & a custom bookmark, playlist, etc.), and you can increase your chances of being reviewed for this book AND the next one. You can find blogs by using keywords on Google, social media, and on hosting platforms like WordPress.

There are also a ton of niche blogs out there. If you wrote a travel memoir, you could reach out to travel bloggers who want to read more. Wrote a business book? Business bloggers could be interested in that, especially since they’re not receiving hundreds of book review requests.

  1. Local publications & platforms

Don’t sleep on local platforms! In addition to national publications and review publications, you should definitely look close to home for book reviewers. I’m not saying you’re definitely going to get a review if you pitch a magazine with a local angle, but I am saying that your chances increase with smaller outlets. They may not leave their review on Amazon and their readership might not be in the tens of thousands, but if all it takes is a pitch and sending a book, then I’d say reaching out to local publications is worth it.

  1. Your personal connections

You may get the most traction out of this one. Other authors, friends, colleagues, former teachers, acquaintances, and non-household-sharing family members can be great book reviewers for you.

Here are a few ways you can turn the people you know into book reviewers:

  • Ask fellow authors to blurb your book. They may want to write a blurb for you because they know you’ll use the blurb for your marketing material like on the back cover, in the opening pages of the book, and graphics. One great way to increase blurbs for your books is by offering to blurb their book first, at the same time, or afterwards.
  • You can also get writer friends to write a review and submit a review for publication at various review, literary, and local platforms. Instead of asking that team’s staff to do it, you can increase your odds to have that writer offer something already written to them.
  • Are you publishing with an indie press? Ask your fellow indie authors to write a blurb for you or simply to review it on Amazon and/or Goodreads!
  • Build a launch team before the book is published. Add a bunch of people who you know will want to support you—like your best friend Jon and Aunt Kate—and ask if they’d join your launch team. Basically, a launch team member is asked to read a book before it is published and then share a review on the day of or a couple days after the book is finally available on Amazon. It is totally fine to get friends and family members to leave reviews, but do note that Amazon can flag family members with the same last name and/or the same address as you and remove the review from the site.
  • If you run into someone who has read your book in person, it’s totally okay to ask for them to leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Don’t be pushy and probably don’t follow-up with them if they don’t—your relationship is more important!—but sometimes the first request can result in actual reviews.
  1. Your newsletter

Having (and actually using!) a newsletter is one of my favorite ways to market books. Social media is cool and all, but what happens when the platform you’ve chosen to focus on (like Twitter for example) up and changes everything about it?

Email is as close to direct person-to-person marketing that you can get online. It’s an excellent way to speak with your fans, keep them, and watch your fanbase grow. If you are operating a newsletter (particularly if you have multiple books), you should definitely ask them a few times to leave reviews for your books. Your biggest fans are probably in that email; make sure they know what could help you.

  1. The back of your book

In the back of books, authors and publishers share acknowledgement pages, author bios, and “More books from the author/publisher” pages. You can add a page at the back that requests readers to leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads! You can even make it a clickable link for the eBook after you’ve published.

If your reader has already finished reading your book, they are the best possible candidates for leaving book reviews. This means that every time you run a book promotion, you are asking that reader to review your book.

Here’s our guide to selling more books on Amazon.

  1. Sponsored & editorial book reviews

As you’ll see, you won’t get reviews from every single review platform. Sometimes you might not get any. There are not enough review platforms on the planet to cover all the books published on it.

Some review publications offer the chance to guarantee a review by paying for it. It is a chance for authors to appear on reader-focused websites; increase their validity & searchability; add blurbs to their book; get starred reviews and the recognition that comes with it; post something new and exciting to their existing fan-base; appear on book lists; and get real honest engagement with a piece of art they care deeply about. 

Here are 5 reader-focused review platforms that offer sponsored or editorial book reviews:

  1. Pubby

Have you heard of Pubby? It’s relatively new, but it’s a rapidly growing community where authors review other authors’ books on Amazon. You can do a 10-day free trial, retaining the reviews you get during that time, but then you pay per month to stay on the platform. You’re not allowed to pay for Amazon reviews directly, but this site is a clever little workaround that offers incentives to those who participate.

  1. Reedsy Discovery

I love Reedsy! It may initially be a site where writers can get freelance editors, designers, and marketers, but when you look a little further, you can see that they host a ton of consumer reviewers too. Reviewers can create a profile on there to get access to free books before they publish and earn tips for writing great reviews.

  1. Netgalley

Netgalley is a place where readers & book reviewers go to get free copies of books in exchange for review. There’s a big pool of readers here, and it’s got a safe distribution process that a lot of publishers and review platforms like. It’s pretty expensive for solo indie authors, but publishers could find the expense worth it. Reviews are that hard to come by sometimes. Some authors team up with other authors by joining a co-op where they split the cost to join. Check those out too!

  1. BookSirens

BookSirens is a clean, user-friendly site where authors upload books that are available for review, and reviewers browse available books for review. They also have a large list of book bloggers by genre. You do have to pay for the service, and it won’t always increase your reviews on Amazon, but it can work for the right books. I used it with some (varying) success during my time at Paper Raven Books.

  1. Online Book Club

Online Book Club is a review and social networking site somewhat similar in concept to Goodreads. There are a lot of readers on this platform, and you can advertise on them in hopes of getting reviewed. You can get some free reviews on Online Book Club too, by reaching out to different readers and being active in the groups. Keep that in mind too!

  1. Hidden Gems

Hidden Gems sends out an email every day with new books available to review on it. They do a great job of curating their options, and they even send out review reminders to those who have agreed to review the books. They also share ebook deals—a nice addition to their ARC program. It is a much cheaper option than Netgalley.

Best of luck in finding great book reviewers! If you have any feedback on any of these platforms, please share them in the comments.

About the Author

Joe Walters IBR founder

Joe Walters is the founder and editor-in-chief of Independent Book Review, and he has been a book marketer for Sunbury Press, Inkwater Press, and Paper Raven Books. When he’s not doing editorial, promoting, or reviewing work, he’s working on his novel and trusting the process. Find him @joewalters13 on Twitter.

Thank you for reading Joe Walters’s blog post “17 Places to Find Book Reviewers!” If you liked what you read, please spend some more time with us at the links below.

1 comment on “17 Places to Find Book Reviewers | IBR Book Marketing Series (Part 8)

  1. Pingback: What Are Book Blurbs and How Do You Get Them? | IBR Book Marketing Series: Part 1 - Independent Book Review

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: