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How to Get Book Reviews Without Annoying Your Contacts: 10 Proven Steps

A surefire way to have your contacts rushing to give you reviews.

Receiving constructive feedback is crucial for growth in any field, especially writing. However, it's important to approach this process in a way that maintains strong, positive relationships with your contacts. Sadly, most writers just message everyone they know and practically beg them to read their story and give it a review on Amazon. A few may, but their reviews will likely be generalized because they never actually read your book. Others simply won’t, and if you keep hounding them, you WILL get blocked. Here are ten ways to receive constructive feedback effectively without ticking off your contacts:

1. Be Specific About What You’re Asking For

When you ask for feedback, be clear about what areas you want feedback on. This helps prevent general criticism and focuses the feedback on specific aspects of your work. making it more useful and less overwhelming. For example, if you have a science fiction story about a man who travels to the moon and wants to know about a specific scene or chapter that you want to focus on, let them know! It takes the pressure off your contacts. That means they won’t feel they must read your entire book and give you something you may have missed.


When I first published D-Voyant, I asked everyone I knew to read my book and leave a review. I must have asked at least 50 people. Do you know how many actually did? If you guessed 3, then you’re probably psychic, but 3! When you simply grovel at people’s feet and beg them for reviews, you look desperate for feedback and affirmation of what you created. Why would anyone want to read something from a person like that?


Instead, be confident, and show that you are self-aware of where you lack in your work. Ask them to look over those parts specifically.

2. Choose the Right People

This is the most important step on this list because the last thing you want is someone who lacks interest or doesn’t care about you to review your work. Reach out to people who have expertise in the area you’re seeking feedback on and are known for their constructive criticism. This ensures the feedback is valuable and delivered in a supportive manner.


When I started out, I remember asking a family member to review my book. They went through it with a red pen and made so many corrections to things that I genuinely didn’t see an issue with. Afterward, they told me that I needed to rewrite my book and include more details about certain characters that were not important or to take others out entirely. I felt like they wanted me to make the book for them instead of giving me feedback on what I had. Don’t put yourself through that if you don’t have to. Protect your book baby by putting it in the hands of people who care about you, your book, and the audience you are writing for.

3. Space Out Your Requests

This one is a step I shouldn’t have to say because it is common courtesy, but in case you weren’t raised right, avoid bombarding the same people with frequent requests. Give them time between feedback sessions. This respects their time and keeps them from feeling overwhelmed or used. It can also make them think a lot less about smashing that block button. That means NO: Multiple emails a day, sending bucket loads of memes to distract from your request or any other silly ways you may try to stay on their radar. It comes off as needy and like you don’t have much going on, which isn’t a good thing. So be chill, send out your message, and let a week go by before you check in again. If that doesn’t work, they are either really busy or don’t want to respond and that’s okay. You don’t want someone like that reviewing your book anyway.

4. Express Gratitude

Have you ever heard the term “You bring more bees with honey?” It simply means that being polite and pleasant will always breed better results, especially when asking something of someone. Always thank your contacts for their feedback, regardless of whether it's what you want to hear. Showing appreciation can reinforce your relationship and encourage more feedback in the future.

5. Implement the Feedback

Demonstrate that you value their feedback by acting on it. People are more likely to continue providing feedback if they see that their suggestions are taken seriously and applied.


Remember when Paramount Studios released that first picture of what Sonic the Hedgehog would look like in their movie that debuted in 2020? Yeah, the internet roasted that picture like it was made by Dr. Eggman himself. DO NOT be that person who receives worthy feedback and ignores it because it’s “Your story,” and “nobody gets it.” That will hurt you in the future because your audience will feel unheard.


Paramount survived that awful image by re-releasing an image that was so, so much better. It showed the fans that the studio wanted people to enjoy the movie more than anything else. A great move!

6. Ask for Feedback at Appropriate Times

Be considerate of your contacts’ schedules. Request feedback when they are likely to have the time and energy to give thoughtful responses. Avoid periods when they might be busy, such as project deadlines or personal commitments.

This will not only show that you are considerate of their time, but that you pay attention to them, and therefore care about what they have going on. It’s a great way to make people feel good about you, and therefore your work

7. Prepare Yourself to Receive Feedback

So, you finally get the person to agree to give a review. You are waiting and waiting and think that it’s gonna be amazing. Eventually, they get back to you and say something about your work that you take personally. You tell them how wrong they are and it starts a back-and-forth that doesn’t end well. Guess what? You won’t be getting feedback from them ever again, and if you only let people that you think will give you good feedback read your book, you will be missing an opportunity to improve your work.


Be mentally and emotionally prepared to receive feedback. This means being open to criticism and ready to discuss your work objectively without taking comments personally.

8. Provide Context

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love talking about their book. So, when you send out your request, make sure to give a good summary of what it’s about. Explain the settings and characters so that when your reviewer jumps in, they aren’t completely blind. This is especially important with science fiction where the details can be overwhelming depending on your writing style. Think of this like a trailer for your book.


When asking for feedback, give a brief context of your work. This helps the reviewer provide more tailored, relevant advice and understand your goals and challenges better.

9. Reciprocate

Offer to provide feedback on their work in return. This not only balances the relationship but also builds mutual respect and a collaborative spirit.


I have a small circle of people that I share my work with before anyone else, and the reason they are always available to read what I’ve got is that I always make time for them when they have a project that they want to share with me. It’s a give and take, especially when becoming an author. You have to value relationships and understand that you should give as much as you take, if not more!

10. Follow Up

This one is the easiest, but another very important step if you want to keep a strong contact for reviewing. After implementing feedback, follow up with those who provided it. Share how their input helped you. This shows that you value their advice and will keep them engaged in your progress.


My best supporters helped me make my stories better because they expressed to me that they wanted to see the main character D-Voyant interact with characters that didn’t like him as well as those that do. This way, readers could see how some people with Autism are sometimes treated by people who lack understanding of their condition. It made the story feel real and relatable, so I made sure to let them know that and thank them with an email and a small token of my appreciation, like a big discount code for my next book or a shout-out in my next book. That’s not only a way of saying thank you, but a way to encourage a person to come back for more of your books.


There you have it, my fellow authors. By using these strategies, you can maintain and even strengthen your professional relationships while gaining the valuable insights needed to improve your work. Remember, the goal of seeking feedback is not just to improve a single piece of work but to grow and develop professionally over time.


When all is said and done, seek a review from someone on Black Maverick Publishing’s editorial team. We offer free reviews to our subscribers which is a great way to get a review without the anxiety associated with asking for help. It's also a great way to add some credibility to your work!


Just subscribe below to gain access to free reviews, tutorials, interviews, Q&A, and more!


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