When you are publishing a new book, creating a Beta Group can be a great idea. But where do you find beta readers and reviewers for your book?
In today’s training, I’m going to share with you 7 ways to find beta readers and reviewers for your book.
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Why We Need to Find Beta Readers and Reviewers?
Recently I was sharing how I’m using a beta group for this project, and it’s really been super helpful for me. You can find it here: 3 Ways to Use a Beta Group.
After I posted this on my YouTube channel I received a question.
“These are great tips and tricks, thank you so much for sharing, but I have a question. How do you find beta readers?”
My previous training was all about three ways beta readers can help you when you’re publishing your book, but it didn’t cover how to get the beta readers.
So, I thought in this training I would answer her question and share with you seven ways to find beta readers and reviewers for your book.
First I’m going to tell you what I did. I simply asked those that are already following me on Facebook if they wanted to be part of my beta group. I set a page where they could sign up to an email list.
On that page I wrote something like this:
“I’m writing my next book, Broken Crayons Still Color and if you would like to be part of this it will only happen once. I will be sharing live videos as well as you will get a new chapter of my book every week, you can sign up here: URL.”
I had quite a few people who signed up from hearing about it on Facebook.
I also invited my current book reviewer team to join my beta group.
Can you guess how many beta readers I got?
I had 150 people sign up for my beta reader program for my upcoming book, Broken Crayons Still Color. Although I only have 127 that actually took the step of getting into the Facebook group, but 127 is incredible! They are active and I feel so blessed and so honored.
Seven Ways to Find Beta Readers or Reviewers
Beta readers will give you good feedback. They will help you create a quality book.
Therefore, it is a wise decision to gather your beta readers. Here are the steps on how to do it.
#1: Share with your existing audience online
The very first thing I did was asked on Facebook. This is why it’s so important to build your author platform and to dive deep into finding and determining your target audience and where you should be spending your time.
I only recommend one or two social media platforms. Facebook is where I spend a majority of my time.
I record my training on Facebook Live because that’s where I invest a lot of my time. So when I asked on Facebook for beta readers, I got a lot of people to sign up because I engage with them on a regular basis.
The other thing I did was I didn’t just put up a post. I changed the cover graphics of my profile and my page. And then in the description I include a clickable link where they can sign up. This is a big mistake I see a lot of authors making; you’re missing out on that valuable real estate by not including a link with a call to action.
So that was the first step. I asked my current followers. Wherever you’re the most active online, ask or tell them, “I’m going to be putting together this beta group, if you’re interested in this signup here.”
Make sure you have that set up ahead of time so that it’s automated, so that once you put that link on all they have to do is go to the link, add their name and email. That way you don’t need to be behind a computer adding people to a list.
Work smarter, not harder, that’s my mantra these days.
#2. Share with the book reviewer team that you already have
The second thing that I did was ask my existing book reviewer team. This is something I teach step by step inside my book How to Get Honest Reviews. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s on Amazon, or if you’re an Author Audience Academy member, you can download it inside the PUBLISH module.
I’m going to be sharing some of these tips directly from my book, so if you haven’t read that book yet I’d encourage you to get it.
I have a book reviewer team of hundreds. I let them know that I was going to have a beta group for this particular book, Broken Crayons Still Color.
I know that not all of you have been investing in building a book reviewer team, but why not? Do it! Start today!
Even if you start with one person that is one person you can contact when you have another opportunity.
You should also have an email subscriber list and if nothing else, sign up for a free account with Benchmarking Email.
It’s going to save you so much time when you’re following up, with your beta readers. It has everyone in one place, and it’s just going to keep everything organized and make these so much easier.
#3: Be active in a few groups in your niche on social media; Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus
The third way you can get beta readers or reviewers for your book is to be active in a couple of groups.
You don’t have to be active in every group. Choose a Facebook group, Google Plus group, or LinkedIn group; choose an active group in your niche. Then be active, be helpful and respond to others.
Don’t just go in there and spam. Be very, very careful to read the guidelines in these groups and never, never, never spam. Please.
I organized and have started a few Facebook groups and there are some people that come in there that just want to promote. That’s not the way to get on the good side of the group owner, or of the group itself.
That’s not the way to do marketing. You want to be doing it in a way that’s relational, that’s not pushy or self-promotional.
My Facebook group GodlyGain.com, doesn’t allow promotion. It’s solely for support, prayer, and for helping one another in keeping our eyes on Christ as we’re publishing new books and growing businesses.
You need to make sure that you know what the guidelines of the group are before you post.
#4: Ask those who email you or contact you on social media
The fourth thing you can do is, as you get people who contact you or reply back to you from social media, email or even word of mouth, ask them to sign up for your beta group.
They may say, “I loved your book. That was so great. I’m so thankful that you wrote that book.” Or, “I just couldn’t put the book down.” Or, “Wow, that was a really great tip that you shared in your book.”
Anything that they share about your book that’s positive, you could invite them to be one of your book reviewers or to be on your beta team; reach out to them.
I recently posted this the other day on social media. I said, “Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews when people tell you they’ve liked your book.”
I had two of my Author Audience Academy members who said that they feel scared to ask people for reviews.
But I told them;
Put together a few canned responses. A simple canned response could be, “Oh that just really made my day. Thank you so much for that feedback about my book, it would just mean the world to me if you could post that same feedback on Amazon. It helps the message of the book reach more people. I’m so blessed by you, thank you so much.”
Make it fit your personality and make sure to ask.
We should be willing to ask those who reach out to us on social media, email, in person, and tell us they’ve enjoyed our book.
#5: Ask your personal friends and family
The fifth way is to ask people that you have a relationship with already.
I asked my mom and my sister to be part of my beta team – they’re my best friends and my family. My mom sent me something recently that was helpful for chapter two. Then, she sent me a correction for a grammar issue from chapter one that even my editor missed.
So, sometimes your best friends, your closest family, can really be your strongest supporters when it comes to beta groups.
Now, it wouldn’t have your family post reviews for you. Amazon has mentioned in their terms of service that reviewers can’t have any financial investment and sometimes they’ll take down reviews if they know they are from your family.
But for a beta group, your family and your best friends may be some of your best beta readers.
#6: Add a link to your website or sidebar
The sixth way is to add a link about your beta group, or about your book reviewer team to your website. You could have a graphic in the side bar as well.
When I was growing my book reviewer team, in the beginning, I started with one person. We all start with one person.
It was in 2012 that I really decided to go for this and started my book reviewer team. I’m so glad I did. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I was so tired of spending so much time to get reviews. Now I send one email and we can get more than 30-40 people who say that they will review our book. They are posting them on Amazon, and it’s a blessing.
When I first started, I had a little graphic that I put in the sidebar of the website that was getting the most traffic at the time.
It only says, “Would you like to read more books for free?” Or, “Do you love reading Christian books?”
The graphic and link had a clickable link to the page where they could sign up for my book reviewer team.
My book How to Get Honest Reviews gives you all the steps on how to set up your book reviewer team.
#7: Make it part of your autoresponder sequence
Lastly, the seventh way is to add an email in your autoresponder sequence. You do have an autoresponder sequence for your email subscriber list, right? This is something I teach in the Author Automation System inside AuthorAudienceAcademy.com.
You can create one email in your follow up sequence that tells people that there is a way for them to get access to your books first and that they can read your books for free by being part of your book reviewer team.
Or, you can send out a broadcast email when you’re forming your beta group.
We continue to get new book reviewers on an ongoing basis, because I have an email in my autoresponder sequence telling them about it. You have to tell people about it, you have to get the word out. You have to be investing time into building your author platform.
This is a learning process. I’m continuing to learn every day and to be honest last week I was in a decision fatigue.
I’ve had to make so many decisions for this project because it’s the biggest thing I’ve ever done in the publishing realm and I have over 40 books; our publishing company has over 50.
It’s really exciting, but it’s been challenging as well. So I am learning, I’m in the trenches, and I always love hearing from you as well.
During these next ten weeks or so it’s going to be intense for me.
I will be
- Finishing the draft of one chapter every week.
- getting back a chapter from my editor every week that I have to accept the edits
- Creating a coloring page every week.
- Creating a PowerPoint presentation every week.
- Creating a viewer’s guide every week.
- Recording the video that will go along with the book chapter every week inside my beta group.
- Running a business and doing a ton of other things on an ongoing basis.
That’s just the bare minimum.
So, if you don’t see me as often on Facebook Live that is why. I’m going to try to get on as often as I can.
If you’re listening to my podcast, it would mean the world to me if you would post an honest review on iTunes that will help get the content and the training to even more people. I would just really appreciate it and I also have a special gift for you. Simply email me a screenshot of your review and I’ll send you the gift. Find the details here.
I hope that you found value in this training and you learned at least one thing you can implement right away. Write it down – what is the one thing you can do right now?
I want you to take action. I don’t want you to just take in more information.
It has been a rough few weeks for me. I’ve felt an intense spiritual battle as I’ve been writing this book Broken Crayons Still Color. So, if you’re a praying person I would really appreciate your prayers. I have not felt a resistance this strong.
I know that God is going to use this book and I’m really excited to see what He does with it. Right now I’m just taking one step at a time.
So if you feel resistance, if you feel like you just want to give up, believe me I know what it feels like. I’m there with you right now.
Things aren’t always easy, even when you’re doing what God has called you to do. So I encourage you to never give up.
We all have hard days where we just feel like hiding under the covers, forgetting the author thing and publishing any other books. We want to do normal life stuff. Yet, I believe that God has a purpose for each one of our lives, there’s a reason that He’s gifted you in the ways He has gifted you.
The Bible says we are to let our light shine, we are not to hide it, we are not to keep it to ourselves, and He will show you each step of the way what to do.
If you need help I would love, and I would be honored to be your author coach. I coach hundreds of members, inside AuthorAudienceAcademy.com.
I’m very active, I’m in the trenches with you, and in our private Facebook group every day. I’d love to see you there as well.
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