Sunday, May 15, 2022

What To Do With a New Book Review

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

Last week I got an email from our author support team at Morgan James Publishing. I'm intentionally starting the story here because from my years in publishing, it is important to select and work with a team who helps you in unexpected ways. The email told me about a new review for Book Proposals That Sell (the Revised Edition).  As an acquisitions editor, I watch many authors choose not to have a team but there are unexpected benefits from working with a team.
The author support email told me about a new review from a trade magazine. The team sends out review copies so I have no idea how the publication got my book for review. Typically publications receive many more books to review than they can possibly assign and publish. Many authors would like for their book to appear in a local newspaper yet that newspaper may only publish six or seven reviews a week—like what happens in my local Denver Post. These few published reviews come from hundreds of books which they receive.  Anytime you get a printed review it is rare.
In this article, I want to tell you about what I did next. You can use this information for any review for your book such as an online review which are public information just like my print review. I could have celebrated it and put it into a file. Instead I took additional actions and encourage you to do the same. It often takes author work to get reviews. The main way to get reviews is to ask people to review your book. I have a free teleseminar about getting reviews (just follow the link for this teaching).
When I received the review from the Morgan James author support team, the email had the text of the review in the email but they also sent the print review which included the entire publication. I could have cheered to myself and then filed the review and forgotten about it. But I didn't. Instead I loaded a program that I have called Corel PDF Fusion. Google the name to purchase it or you may use another tool. This program allowed me to load the PDF, then separate out the single page with my review.
After isolating the single page of my review, I carefully read the review several times and isolated a couple of glowing sentences from the review. Because I had isolated a single page for the review, I uploaded this page to my website (so it will always be there and not disappear).
For my next step, I loaded a program called Author Lab. Follow the link to learn more and gain lifetime access for only $80.  For my work in publishing, I use this program almost daily. It has royalty free stock photos for example that I use on my blog. 

One of the tools in this program is called Testimonial Builder. I read the review several times and look for a glowing statement or two. Then I opened Testimonial Builder. In a few mouse clicks, you can select a background and image (I selected a woman since it was a woman who reviewed my book). Then this tool allows you to add a sentence and her name, then save the image. I am not a designer but in a matter of minutes I created a professional image with a sentence from the review.
For my final step in the process, I created several social media posts (check here and here), then scheduled them on Hootsuite for release. Notice my social media post includes a link to the full review where I got the sentence for the image. I will be using these posts on a regular basis in the days ahead.

Every day potential customers are reading reviews and making buying decisions about your book. A key part of my personal philosophy is every author has to take 100% responsibility for their own success. I encourage you to take similar actions with your reviews to get them into the market.
What actions do you take with a new review? Let me know in the comments below.

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