6 Ways to Get Reviews for Your German Books
Most authors agree that reviews are an important aspect of book selling as they can influence a reader’s decision whether or not to buy the book. They may also be required if you want to book ads on certain ebook promotional websites.
Below, I’ve listed six ways to get reviews for your German books by contacting readers and book bloggers or doing giveaways.
1. Contact Book Bloggers via Rezi-Suche.de
Rezi-Suche helps authors find book bloggers that read their genre and are willing to accept new books for review. It’s simply a platform where book bloggers can register and provide information for authors such as the genres they read, the time it usually takes them to complete a review, whether they accept ebooks and indie books, and how to contact them. You as the author can also register yourself and your book on this platform and specify whether you offer review copies to anyone interested. However, don’t just wait for bloggers to contact you – most of them will already have their pile of books to read.
The advantage of Rezi-Suche, in my opinion, is that it provides a good overview of available blogs and you can search directly for your genre without having to go through all the possible search terms and results on a search engine. You still have to do the work of pitching your book to them, though. More on my experiences with Rezi-Suche in this post.
2. Giveaway to Bloggers on Bloggdeinbuch
Bloggdeinbuch is another platform that connects authors with book bloggers, but while Rezi-Suche is free for anyone to use, Bloggdeinbuch is a paid service. Authors can set up a giveaway on their site which will be advertised to all registered bloggers (those have been selected by Bloggdeinbuch according to their quality criteria). After bloggers have applied for a review copy of your book, you can select the winners and send them their book or ebook. Afterward, the bloggers will have 30 days to write their review and post it to their blogs and all of the common retailer and social websites.
The advantage here is that you don’t have to contact book bloggers individually, as on Rezi-Suche, but need only select the winners of your giveaway and send away the books. In addition, you know when to expect the reviews. You’ll have to ask them about their current prices by email (provided on their website). They are in the range of 200 to 300 Euro.
3. Giveaway or Reading Circle on Lovelybooks
Lovelybooks is the German equivalent to Goodreads (and although Goodreads also has a German reader base, you’ll find many more active German readers on Lovelybooks). On this social reading platform, authors can interact with their readers by setting up giveaways and book discussion groups (so-called reading circles), more on that in this post. Any user can register and set one of those up for free, but it also means you have to do everything yourself including sending the books or ebooks to the winners and moderating the reading circle. Lovelybooks readers, in my experience, are very eager to discuss books and most of them have enough experience with authors that they don’t need to be prompted to leave reviews on the major platforms.
4. Giveaway to Advance Readers on Vorablesen
Vorablesen is a paid service similar to NetGalley that allows authors to send out 100 review copies to readers before the book’s release. This way, authors can get their books into the hands of many readers at once (on Lovelybooks, for instance, you can only give away 20 books at a time), and collect a good number of reviews before they launch their book. Readers are incentivized to post their reviews on as many channels as possible once the book is out. You as the author will still need to send out the review copies, but Vorablesen coordinates everything else, such as advertising your book to their huge reader community (over 45,000). Their service isn’t cheap, but they have special conditions for selfpublishers, so contact them for more information (price range to be expected about 700-800 Euro).
5. Review Copies on NetGalley Germany
Since March 2016, NetGalley, originally an American business, has expanded its services to Germany. How does it work? Authors or publishers offer free ebooks (only digital books, as opposed to many of the above-mentioned sites) to the NetGalley community of readers. NetGalley stresses that its community consists of “professional” readers, such as book bloggers, journalists, and even librarians and book sellers. These readers can apply for the books they want to read and you as the publisher can then choose those who will receive a copy of your book and send it to them. You can give away an unlimited number of books.
There’s also an option to do giveaways. In this case, users of NetGalley can add your book to their wish list and you can periodically pick several random users who “wished” for your book to win it. This means, you won’t be choosing them yourself as you can do with “normal” applications, it’s more of a marketing instrument.
NetGalley can be used both for new releases to garner reviews before launch as well as for books that have already been published. They offer special rates for selfpublishers. At the moment this rate is 550 € for 1 book to be featured on their website for 6 months. After this period, your book will be archived and readers cannot apply for it anymore.
6. ShoppingTests and Amzstars
These two websites work similar to the Amazon Vine program for product reviews. Users receive Amazon products for a reduced price or free in exchange for an (optional) review (in case of Shoppingtests within 7-14 days after receiving the product). They are not obliged to leave a review, so it doesn’t contradict Amazon’s reviewer guidelines.
As a seller, you can create an account and offer your book for review. The platform then delivers the product (epub or PDF) to the interested users. Prices range around 100 Euro for both websites. Amzstars guarantees at least 10 reviews within 30 days or they will return part of the sum to you.