Reviews are key to driving book sales. They also help to excite readers and generate buzz. But do you encounter problems when getting book reviews?
Well, I do.
There are numerous steps involved in this process: delivering your book to ARC readers and book reviewers, keeping track of their status, sending reminder emails, figuring out if they posted reviews (and on which retailer site).
Using Microsoft Excel or Google Sheet to manually do the above would have caused me a headache.
And this is where StoryOrigin comes in. The tool has made this book review process a breeze for me. And I would like to share how StoryOrigin has simplified my book review process~
P.S. Willing to pay for reviews? Check out this step-by-step guide on how you can get more book reviews with BookSirens.
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What Is StoryOrigin?
StoryOrigin is an all-in-one tool designed for authors. With StoryOrigin, you can build your email lists, increase sales/page reads and get more reviews. Here are some features:
- Create Universal Book Links, Audiobook Links, Direct Downloads, Reader Magnets & Review Copies
- Automate distribution of Audio Promo Codes & email follow-ups with reviewers
- Cross-promote your books through Newsletter Swaps & Group Promos
- Stay organized with Built-In Calendar, Campaign Note Keeping & Word Count Tracking
- Simplify your life with email service provider integrations, easy downloads & tech support for readers
Today, I’ll focus on how StoryOrigin simplified my book review process. StoryOrigin helps to collect review requests and automate review tracking for those I’ve given access.
- See reviewer’s profile on Amazon, Goodreads etc.
- Check reviewer’s historical completion rate before approval
- Automated email follow-up with reviewers
- Distribute file via Amazon or StoryOrigin
- Control who gets a review copy (reviewer must be authenticated to download)
1. Create Review Copy
After signing up for an account at StoryOrigin, you should see the Author Dashboard. You can then go to Review Copies to Create Review Copy.
This is very straightforward but I’ll walk you through the process (plus, some of my recommendations)~ 😀
The first thing you need to do is choosing how you’ll like to provide the review copy to readers.
- Download through StoryOrigin
- Amazon Pre-paid Book Link
Honestly, I’ve only done the first option. But this is quite easy. You simply have to download the mobi and ePub files from book retailers like Amazon, Apple, Kobo etc.
Next, you have to fill up your book information.
- Title: On top of the book title, I also included my series title here.
- Author Profile
- Book Cover: Note that optimal size is 400×600 & JPG or PNG file
- Tags: Maximum 5 tags
- Headline: This should be attention-grabbing. I usually put my book’s tagline here.
- Subheader: Recommended to use a 1-liner description of the genre or similar popular books.
- Book Blurb: Note the 2,000 character limit. Check out my blog article for tips on how to write a fiction book blurb that sells~
- Facebook Tracking Pixel: I strongly recommend that you add your Facebook Pixel. You can then choose to retarget these readers or build lookalike audiences. Check out my blog post for tips on how to set up Facebook Ads~
Book Sample/Preview & Complete Book
You will then need to upload book sample/preview and the complete book files. Bear in mind that mobi and ePub files are mandatory while PDF is optional. There’s also a maximum file size of 7 MB.
I recommend that you only offer the first chapter or first few chapters for the book sample/preview to let readers have a taste of your story.
You can use Calibre to convert your Microsoft Word doc to mobi and ePub. There are many video tutorials and step-by-step guides that you can learn from.
However, I didn’t do this cause I was a little lazy to learn another software ><;;
Instead, I simply uploaded my Microsoft Word doc to Amazon and downloaded the mobi file. Then, I uploaded the mobi file to Kobo and downloaded the ePub file (I tried uploading Microsoft Word to Kobo but the formatting was kind of weird). And there you have it! The mobi file from Amazon and ePub file from Kobo 😀 Remember to also upload the book sample!
Next, you have to state whether the book has already been published.
Assuming that your book is already published, you’ll need to fill up the retailer links and review platform links.
Also, you can select the platforms that you’re prioritizing for reviews.
Not Yet Published
If your book isn’t published yet, you can state the expected publication date.
Next, you have to select the links you’ll provide once the book is published. Remember that you’re required to upload the links that you select here. Again, you have to select the platforms that you’re prioritizing for reviews.
2. Check Book Review Page
When you’re done creating the review copy, just check that the book review page looks okay.
Here’s an example of how the book review page will look like:
3. Make Review Copy Available & Mark As Published
Once you’re satisfied with the book review page, you can make the review copy available. This means that signups will be open and people can request for a review copy.
The Mark Published button will appear if your book isn’t published yet. You should mark your book as published when your book is available at book retailers.
Note that you will have to fill up the retailer links where your book is available. StoryOrigin will then notify reviewers via email that your book is published and that they can now post reviews to the various platforms you’ve provided links to.
4. Announce To Your Street Team & Find Reviewers
If you have a street team, you can send them an email and ask if anyone is interested in reviewing your book. Remember to point them to the book review page at StoryOrigin.
You can also post on your social media channels that you’re looking for reviewers.
Personally, I think Goodreads is a good place to find reviewers. There are many enthusiastic readers who are willing to provide honest book reviews. Simply join the relevant Goodreads groups and create a new topic.
In addition, StoryOrigin allows you to publicly list your books. Readers who have registered an account at StoryOrigin will then be able to find your books and request review copies. I strongly suggest that you enable this, especially when you’re a new author with a small fanbase. This is a good way to kickstart your book launch and garner a few reviews 😀
When requesting reviews for your book, do include the following details:
- Book Cover
- Word Count
- Publication Date
- Number of review copies
Also, state where you prefer the book review to be posted. For example, Amazon, Goodreads etc.
5. Accept Or Ignore Review Applications
StoryOrigin will send you email notifications when there are review applications pending your approval in the last 24 hours.
You can check whether the reviewer requested for review copies of your other books, their profile on Amazon, Goodreads etc. and see their historical completion rate before approval.
Then, you simply decide whether to give them access to your review copy.
6. Let StoryOrigin Do The Rest
When you approve readers to receive a review copy, StoryOrigin will send them an email with a link to their review process page.
- Review Copy: step-by-step instructions for different devices & tech support
- Rating & Review: readers can simply copy & paste this on the various platforms
- Review Links: readers provide review links to confirm that they have submitted their reviews
StoryOrigin will also automatically send reminders to review your book if reviewers haven’t done so in 2 weeks. This is the greatest benefit to me. It saves me the hassle of keeping track of each reviewer’s status and manually sending email reminders.
Now It’s Your Turn
How do you manage your book review process? What are the tools and software you use?
Have you used StoryOrigin for book reviews? How was your experience?