Are People Saying They’ll Review Your Book and Then Not Doing It?

books popping out of computer screen

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is this:

“How do I get others to review my book? I’ve sent them out to many different people to read. They said they would do an Amazon review, but they haven’t yet. I’ve asked three times and it feels funny to ask again.”

So let’s answer this one.

First there are four different types of reviews and reviewers:

  1. Industry Trade Reviews
  2. Off-the-Book-Page Reviews
  3. Endorsements
  4. Reviews from your Customers

Each kind of review is unique and each has a different purpose. Knowing that is not enough. Now you need to know which types of reviews are right for your book and your objectives, in addition to what the specific strategies are to secure them. This is key. Here is an explanation of each kind of review:

Industry Trade Reviews

These are reviews by media outlets that speak to book store owners, managers and librarians everywhere. A review in these media outlets tells them what books they should “order in” to the library or book store. This is why you see books stocked and available right at publication date. They were reviewed in one of these industry trade outlets, which signaled to owners and librarians what is likely to be in demand.

Off the book page reviews

These are reviews in magazines, online outlets, and other media that don’t speak to the book industry. Having a review in these outlets gives you exposure to a bigger audience beyond your friends and personal networks. It also gives you enormous credibility. There are hoops to jump through to get this kind of coverage. Plus, the logos will look great on your book or media page on your website¬† as well as in other marketing materials.


These are reviews from other experts who, through their positive comments, benefit you with the “halo effect”. Have you ever considered buying a book on a topic you are interested in, but you had never heard of the author? Those endorsements on the back cover from experts or other authorities giving it a positive review may be just the thing that got you to buy the book. I’ve done this many times, and other people have as well. It gives you tremendous visibility and credibility to have such endorsements. They aren’t always easy to get though and there are some strategies that will increase your chances of securing them.


Also known as social proof, these are your Amazon reviews, GoodReads reviews, etc. These are reviews from the list of people you’re sending books to. These are average readers who have wonderful things to say about your book. They aren’t experts. They aren’t going to endorse you. They aren’t speaking to book store owners and librarians, and they aren’t working within the media. They are your readers. Your tribe. Your people. Their positive review encourages others to buy your book.

Those are the four main types of book reviews.

Deciding which are the most appropriate for you depends on your goals and objectives. Once you know that, then you can use the appropriate strategies for securing these powerful reviews. The biggest mistake I see authors and business owners make is that they don’t set it up to win from the very beginning, and then they end up wondering why the reviews are happening. This can be very frustrating, and usually people ask me about this after the fact, rather than beforehand so they can plan.

If you’re curious about the strategies, send me an email at joanne (at) joannemccall (dot) com. I’ve got some great offers coming up that you will find super helpful if you need this kind of support.

To your success!

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