Written by A Guest Author March 10th, 2022

Writing Book Reviews to Promote Your Own Books

By Emily-Jane Hills Orford

If you’ve written and published a book, you know the importance of book reviews, both good and bad (yes, bad reviews are important, too). But did you know that writing reviews of books you’ve read and publishing them on various sites is a great way to promote your own book(s)? It follows the Canadian Authors’ Association motto of “writers helping writers,” something that other author groups promote in various ways as well. It’s true, though; if you help someone else, you are, in fact, helping yourself as well.

Authors almost have to beg for book reviews. Without these reviews, their status on Amazon and other book sites dwindles and the book remains inconspicuous. However, the more reviews the book receives, the higher the overall rating – even if the reviews are negative. So, you’re doing everyone (yourself included) a favor by writing book reviews.

How does this help you? Well, first of all, your name is attached to any review you write and publish, even if it’s only posted on your personal Facebook page. Take this idea a step further and attach a promotional byline to each of your reviews, like: “Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford (insert your own name here), award winning (if you’ve won some awards) author of” and here I list at one of my books and I usually include a link to my author website.

Secondly, if your review is well written (even if it’s negative and even if it’s short), it reflects your ability to express yourself in writing. Readers are impressed by a well-written review, and it often leads them to follow the reviewer and look at what else they’ve written.

However, positive or negative, make sure you’re being fair in your review. Don’t trash a book just because you don’t like the subject, or you don’t like some of the views being shared. Be professional – always – in your overall assessment. Too much negativity will reflect badly on you as an author.

You can seek paid book review assignments, where reviewers are paid for each review they write. Make sure that this is by a third-party organization, and not by the writer themselves, or with the expectation that the review is positive.

If you’re using this tactic to promote your own books, then perhaps you should consider starting your own blog and posting your reviews; or you can post them on Amazon and other book-selling venues, as well as sites like Goodreads. Most public libraries also allow you to post reviews of books in their collections on their websites or through their eBook loaning services.

The important thing to remember is everything you write and publish has your name attached to it. Writing book reviews is a good way to positively direct would-be readers to your books. And that’s what we all want, isn’t it? Perhaps they’ll even leave a review of your book. Something to consider: another promotional move that may pay off very well for you. It has for me. Happy reading, writing and book reviewing!

Bio: Emily-Jane Hills Orford is a country writer, living just outside the tiny community of North Gower, Ontario, near the nation’s capital. With degrees in art history, music and Canadian studies, the retired music teacher enjoys the quiet nature of her country home and the inspiration of working at her antique Jane Austen-style spinet desk, feeling quite complete as she writes and stares out the large picture window at the birds and the forest. She writes in several genres, including creative nonfiction, memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction. http://emilyjanebooks.ca


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