Author Support Services | Bringing your book to life

Reviews and Testimonials for Your Non-fiction Book

Collecting reviews and testimonials to include in your book

You’ll often see reviews and testimonials on the front page of a book or on the cover. It could be a few words, one line or even a paragraph about how great your book is.

Reviews and testimonials are ‘social proof’ that your book is worth a read. It’s much more powerful for others to say your work is good than it is for you to say it yourself.

But how do those reviews get there before the book is even published?

There are two ways a non-fiction author can do this, so read on!

How to get reviews and testimonials

  1. Sending out your manuscript for review

Only do this if you have trusted contacts to send the manuscript to. This could be to peers in your industry, clients who love your work or people who are familiar with your concepts and ideas.

If you are asking for reviews, you’ll have to provide a copy of the manuscript. So ask first then send the written work if they agree. This avoids unnecessary copies of your manuscript floating around town before you publish.

It can be hard to approach people to ask for reviews. Asking people to tell you how wonderful you are isn’t many authors’ favourite activity list. Instead, ask the writer to talk about the specific results or benefits they received from your book. This will have more impact for your readers than a general acknowledgement of your fabulousness. Then give a date you need the review by to avoid holding up the publishing process.

  1. Reusing current testimonials

If your book is about what you are currently offering in your business, you may already have testimonials from clients that relate to the content of your book. Those testimonials will need to be carefully curated to ensure they match the content of your book exactly. If you find some testimonials you can reuse, get written permission from the client to reuse them in your book.

How many reviews or testimonials to use

If you have a bunch of reviews and testimonials we’ll only use the best ones. Less is often more in these things. If the reader sees three pages of reviews and testimonials, they won’t read them all. If the reader sees three absolutely knockout ones they can personally relate to, they will be more likely to be influenced by them.

We’d usually put the reviews and testimonials on the first page you see as you open the book and a great ‘sound bite’ style one (or one from a high profile name) on the cover. If you only have a couple, we could put them on the cover for maximum exposure.

Ideally, we’d choose the ones that say something unique, have a different slant or area of service, or fill a different client need. You can imagine then that the collection we publish will give a broad idea of the variety of issues you help with and the variety of people you help.

Collecting reviews after publication

Don’t stop there! Keep encouraging reviews and publishing them on your website, social media and other platforms. The same goes for reviews you receive in video or audio format – these are fabulous on your website and socials.

Once your book is published, create a template email ready to send to customers to thank them for buying your book. Ask them to review your book via their preferred platform (eg. Facebook/LinkedIn/Goodreads) or on the website where they purchased the book (eg. Amazon/Booktopia). Make the names of each platform hyperlinks to your book pages to keep the email nice and neat and also make it super easy for the customer to click through and leave that review.  

If they prefer, they can email you direct with their review and you can pop it on your website. 

Reviews and testimonials create rapport with prospective clients and readers. You never know who is reading or what they are looking for, so showing them other people’s points of view is gold.

Alex Fullerton is an author’s consultant and self-publishing specialist at Author Support Services, based on a pineapple farm in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Australia. She has spent the last sixteen years working with business people to create concise, compelling, and comprehensive books that complement their businesses and increase their professional standing. Alex is supported by a dedicated team who provide a full self-publishing service, from planning to printing and promotion.

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