From The Book Designer:
Two years ago, it was so easy to find the top Amazon.com reviewers and approach them and ask for reviews. There was software that let authors and publishers find the name and email addresses of the thousands of Amazon reviewers who had already written reviews of books in a similar vein.
I had written a self-help book for women about lowering stress, so it was easy to find the bestselling books on stress reduction and find the contact information on Amazon of those who had reviewed those bestselling books.
Then, I put together a BULK email using MailChimp and emailed THOUSANDS of reviewers all in one afternoon.
It. Was. Awesome.
Then, for some reason, in March of 2018, Amazon made a decision to hide the email addresses of reviewers on their profiles. Speculation was they did this because of the new GDPR rules and regulations but no one really knows why. This completely stopped authors from being able to email potential reviewers–even if the reviewers didn’t mind being contacted with their information public on their profile.
Does this mean it’s the end of finding targeted reviewers for books? Absolutely NOT! But it is a lot harder than it used to be.
Amazon is REALLY working hard to hide the contact information of book reviewers, and GoodReads only lets you message a few readers every day before shutting you down for the day. HOW, then, can you reach the reviewers and readers who write reviews?
. . . .
Debbie [Drum] has a program called Book Review Targeter that pulls data on readers and reviewers of specific books. I LOVE the idea of using software to find readers and reviewers of books written by authors in my community. There are authors out there who have already written books that appeal to MY readers. Finding readers and getting them to consider my book is SO much easier when I start by knowing my fellow authors and reach out to THEIR readers.
With this idea firmly in place, and knowing that it is no longer “cool” to mass email folks. HOW CAN I REACH THEM?
. . . .
Amy: Debbie, is there any way in today’s world, to email readers in a way that does not “spam” them?
Debbie: The good news is YES.
When researching comparable authors to find books that have a lot of reviews online, look for bestselling books to start. When a bestselling author releases a book and they have done “everything right” – meaning
- they have done the market research,
- their cover is beyond professional,
- their description is spot on and convincing,
- and their content is killer,
then that author will probably have a lot more reviews and you will get better review response results from mass cold emails.
I would say first test out in a small segment to see if mass emailing will work for you. If it doesn’t, don’t give up. There are certainly other ways to get the reviews you need to sell more books.
Amy: So what other options do we have? That’s the next question.
Debbie: Social Media is also a great place to find reviewers. When looking for book reviewers, and influencers that can share and promote a book, I like to start with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.
All of these amazing platforms have direct messaging and commenting components to them.
What’s so great about this? A lot of these social media platforms are listed on an Amazon reviewer’s bio page.
. . . .
Amy: What is the best way to connect with readers in this new world?
Debbie: There are only four rules to follow when it comes to contacting reviewers.
Here they are:
#1 – Be Brief
This is the most important that’s why it’s FIRST. Don’t write paragraph after paragraph after paragraph. This is a HUGE mistake. In a couple of sentences you can explain what your book is about, why you are contacting them, what they will get out of it (more about this in #3) and what to do next.
People will tune you out if you go on and on.
Link to the rest at The Book Designer