Many writers have asked me how they can get early reviews from industry reviewers and review blurbs from established authors, so today I'm going to answer that.
So how do you get early reviews and review blurbs? The easy answer: just ask. Really. That's what it boils down to, asking someone. Ask lots of someones and you're bound to get a 'yes'.
The more detailed answer: research, ask and ask others. Like so many things, including sending out agent queries, asking for reviews and blurbs is a numbers game that requires some preparation first. So let's break it down.
Research: You'll need to do some research to find out which reviewers read your genre and which authors are open to writing blurbs. Check your local newspapers to see if they still have a book reviewer. If they do, send the reviewer an email, with a brief synopsis (1-3 paragraphs) describing your book. Think of this synopsis like back cover text―present tense, exciting ad copy.
Check out the top reviewers on Amazon or Chapters and contact them. Search online for reviewers who write blogs, or have a Myspace or Facebook or Twitter account. An easy way to find these blogs is to Google search terms like "romance blogs", "mystery blogs" or whatever genre fits your book.
Use these same methods to contact authors whom you'd like a review blurb from, especially social networks. Contact authors who write in the same genre as you or have themes similar to what is in your book. Keep in mind that authors are busy people, so give them enough information to make a decision, including word count, genre and why you chose them.
Give authors plenty of notice; don't email them expecting a blurb in a month or two weeks. Sometimes you have better luck asking a mid-list author to write a blurb than a bestselling, award-winning big name author. Sometimes.
Ask: When you contact potential reviewers, make sure you remember to actually ask them for a review or review blurb. You can't get a 'yes' if you don't ask. Be gracious no matter what their answer is. Thank them for their time, regardless.
Ask Others: Don't just ask couple of reviewers and then wait months for an answer. Ask others! Keep asking. It's a numbers game, remember? You may have to go through a few nos to get that one yes. And you want more than one review.
Finding reviewers isn't that difficult nowadays; it just takes some work. Finding authors to give you a review blurb may take a bit more time, but it's so worth it. Just remember, do the research, ask and ask others.
Reading is subjective; everyone has different tastes. Writers should never expect 5 star rave reviews, though it's awesome to get them. An honest review is worth more than gold. Even if it's 3 stars and the reviewer didn't like one of your characters. There is always something to learn from a review―for an interested reader and the author. But the key to getting a review is to ask.
P.S. If you've read any of my novels, please consider writing a short review and posting it on Amazon, Chapters, B&N, Kobo etc. And do send me a copy and let me know if I have your permission to use it on my blog and website. :-) Thank you.