Self-publishing has changed the game in regard to book reviews. Very few mainstream reviewers will review self-published books. Book review bloggers review by niche, and many request books for review without actually reviewing. And there is a group of online publications that confuse reviews with summaries.
Here are a few strategic points about book reviews for you to consider:
- Try not to send your book out randomly, instead select a handful of reviewers (bloggers) who review fairly and write well. You want them to articulate why (or why not) a reader should buy your book. Read their reviews of other books before sending.
- When in doubt, send a press release to an online publication and request a mention and/or an interview. If they ask for a review copy, decline.
- Summaries are actually best for new authors. Pay someone to craft a really good summary without spoilers, and send it to online publications.
- Never solicit a review. Solicit a feature or write-up but never a review.
- Grab a handful of testimonials from Amazon or from your social media to place on your website before sending a release or announcement about your book.
Book reviews are not the final say about your written work, but for the sake of marketing the book and selling it, they can be sacrificed. Focus on the positive things readers say as opposed to what a stranger says, in this case.