Monday, February 9, 2015

10 WAYS TO GET REVIEWS by author Alinka Rutkowska

Now that my book is out in the market, I am always on the lookout for ways to garner reviews. One of my friends, author Alinka Rutkowska, graciously offered to provide a guest post for my readers with tips on getting book reviews. She also is welcoming her latest book release, CINDERELLA'S SECRET SLIPPER, this month. Be sure to check out her book trailer link following this fabulous post:

10 Ways to Get Reviews
by Alinka Rutkowska

Reviews are one of the first elements customers look at before deciding whether to purchase your book. The more reviews your title has, the stronger the social proof that it’s a product of value. The more
Amazon reviews you have, the more its algorithm will take notice and promote your book for free. There is no reason why your title should drown in the ever expanding book ocean. Below are 10 things you can do right now to get those reviews.

1) Professional Reviews

These can be paid or not and have all kinds of prestige levels. 

For example a Kirkus review ( is considered very prestigious but it will cost you between $425 and $575 and you'll have to wait between 4 to 9 weeks.

Readers' Favorite ( offers you a badge you can use if you get a 5 star review and they offer both free reviews and paid express packages. So it will cost you between $0 to $199 and it will take between a few days to a few months. 

Is paying worth it? A good editorial review from a professional institution gives your book instant credibility and something you can proudly display in your Amazon “Editorial Reviews” section.

Is there a better way to spend 400 bucks? You certainly can get a review avalanche for this price if you just send your print book to interested reviewers, and many will accept a digital format, which costs you nothing at all. But how do you find these people? Read on.

2) Review Swaps

Authors often swap reviews. I've done it a couple of times but there is always one problem: what if they give you 5 stars and you only want to give them 3? It could also be the other way around. These are a little bit tricky but if you want to try it out, join any Facebook group for authors and try connecting with people one by one. I think it works best with authors writing in the same genre.

3) Blog Tours

These are very popular. You pay an administration fee to a company, which organizes a blog tour for you and your book and as a result you will get some reviews. I've done two with two different companies and my results varied. One of them delivered all the posts and reviews (but I paid $400!) whereas the other one (which seemed better organized and had a better website) did not. You have to schedule these well in advance, prepare guest posts and interviews, so it's a lot of work but you will get some reviews (depending on how many blog stops you pay for!).

These tours often give you exposure but not sales. It can be a good start if you’re brand new and it will help you connect with people. For your next book, you could contact these bloggers directly, mentioning that they’ve already featured you ;)

4) Connecting with Bloggers 1 by 1

If you want to bypass the administration fees you can try contacting bloggers by yourself. Google a competitor's book "+review" or "+blog tour" and you will then get a list of bloggers who featured it. You can then try contacting them one by one. Many of them will ignore you but some will reply and post reviews. It's a numbers game. The more people you contact, the more reviews you'll get.

5) Amazon Top Reviewers

How great is it to get reviewed by an Amazon top reviewer? Did you know that they actually compete with one another to review more books and get more likes for their reviews? Go to, look for those reviewers who review your genre and ask them to review your book. Mind your manners. Often once you've established a relationship with such a reviewer they will be there for you for all your future book launches. Warning: this can be time-consuming.

6) Author Marketing Club Reviewer Grabber 

There’s a very handy tool you can use if you are part of the Author Marketing Club (premium feature.... called the “Reviewer Grabber” and it allows you to run an Amazon search of reviewers who left a review on any of the books you put in the search box. I typed in “children’s books,” chose the ones I was interested in and I got a list of over 100 reviewers, with more than half listing their email addresses and the rest giving away their websites.This was so much faster than going through the Amazon Top Reviewers one by one!

7) Organically (Call to Action within Book)

Of course you can get your book published and hope for the best but my experience tells me that only 1% of book buyers will bother to leave a review. The first book I’ve ever published got 20 reviews after 2000 purchases.

How can you increase this percentage? Simply ask. At the end of the book add a call to action, asking people to leave a review. I do this in the form of a funny limerick. If you’re traditionally published, negotiate this with your publisher and make sure it’s in your contract.

8) Free Promo

A popular way of boosting sales, increasing your fan base and getting reviews is a free promotion. KDP Select allows you to create free promotional days as one of its benefits. But it’s not enough to give your book away, you have to promote the fact that your books is free so that people know about it. Here are two sites that are handy for this: and Remember that this is time consuming and you might end up getting far fewer reviews than you expected.

9) Library Thing

You can ask your publisher to run an “Early Reviewers” giveaway at LibraryThing ( or you can run a “Member Giveaway” as an author on the same site. The great thing about is that you don’t even have to offer a print book! You can give away up to 100 digital versions and then you just send them off to all who requested your book. It’s expected that they write a review in return.
10) Cracking Goodreads for Reviews (My Favorite)

This is the least utilized and the most effective method. Goodreads seems scary to many authors since it’s not very user-friendly and you might waste lots of time there without getting any results. I've spent countless hours on Goodreads trying to figure out how to use it to build my readership and I finally cracked the code.

There are two very effective ways you can use to get reviews from passionate readers on Goodreads. One involves creating a giveaway and the other one doesn’t. Both allow you to build a mailing list, which should be every author’s number one objective when creating an author platform.

You can do it, too. It's all here:


Alinka Rutkowska is an award-winning and best-selling author and coach.

She’s been featured on Fox Business Network, Examiner, She Knows, She Writes, Blog Talk Radio, The Writer’s Life and many more.

She’s giving away presents!

READERS: Go to and get one of her children's books for free!

AUTHORS: Go to and get her ebook "200 Book Marketing Tips" for free!

Cinderella’s Secret Slipper
by Alinka Rutkowska

Asin number: B00S5AB1J6


"Cinderella's Secret Slipper" is a story of our favorite princess who more than anything else wants to wear her famous glass slippers to her son's birthday party. But she can't because her four-year-old smashed one of them in an attempt at killing a mosquito on the wall. Where is she going to get a glass slipper now?

Trailer/read aloud version of book (first part):

Social media links:

Purchase info:


  1. Replies
    1. Hi, Bob, and welcome to my blog! I'm glad you found this post helpful and hope you will tell your friends about it as well...

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

  2. Thank you for having me, Donna! I'm excited to announce that I managed to launch "Cinderella's Secret Slipper" with 100 reviews and I did all using the sources provided in this article.

    1. HI Alinka! Thanks again for the great post. All of my readers don't always comment but they always read my posts...;~)

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

  3. Great post, Alinka. Thanks for sharing Donna. :-)
    All the best to you both on your books.

    1. Hi Tracy! I'm glad you enjoyed this post. here's to a great 2015 for all of us...;~)

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

  4. Thanks Alina & Donna!
    Great ideas. I have a book coming out this year and will be exploring further!

    1. Congratulations on your book, Tracey! Yes, ideally you want to publish it with a BANG - or a review avalanche :)

    2. Hi Tracey! I can't wait to see it!

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!