Self Publishing

How to get great editorial reviews for your book

I’m currently going through the process of getting editorial reviews for my upcoming book “The Book on Small Business Ideas.” It can be challenging, so I thought I’d get some best practices down here for you all. If you’re planning on publishing a “best-seller” quality book, editorial reviews are key to having a professional book.

From my post on small business ideas and side hustles, you’ll know I recommend publishing a book as a great way to earn extra, recurring income. Apart from the income, books open many possibilities and connect you with many people.

Editorial reviews help as social proof, validate your expertise, and build a triangle of trust between you, your reader, and a trusted source.

Editorial reviews are a great way to expand you network and build relationships. And if you want a true best seller and professional-quality book, you better have them. Here are some tips.

How to get great editorial reviews for your book

1. Get reviews from leaders in your niche or area of expertise

This allows you to leverage their brand power and build a relationship with them. Perhaps you’ll get a mention, appear on their podcast, or otherwise build your reach through them.

2. Quote target reviewers in your book

If you have someone you want to provide an editorial review for your book, but they are not in your network already, consider quoting them in your book. You can then email/message them thanking them for their quote used in your book. This is a compliment and great relationship builder, which may bridge you to having them provide you a review.

3. Provide a start of a review to get them going

When you request the editorial review, provide a sample review to get them started. My best editorial reviews were written 100% by the reviewer–people often surprise me with their great editorial reviews. But most people want a little start.

Do your research. Put their name at the end of the sample review. Include their credentials, a backlink to their site, and write the sample in a way that ties in to their core message.

4. Put your keywords and target phrases in editorial review samples

Editorial reviews are a great SEO point on the Amazon sell page. When you provide sample editorial reviews, ensure they include your keywords.

Reviewers will typically pick up on this and use those keywords.

You can also use the names of top authors or titles of top books in your space. This quickly solidifies your position in the space. Here’s one of mine as an example:

Move over Tim Ferriss, there’s a refreshed approach to unshackling yourself from the grueling busy-work of the grind.” – Matthew Hart

5. Provide the reviewer with a summary of your book and the full book (both in PDF form)

When you send an email or message requesting the editorial review, provide the person with a full PDF of the book along with a summary (typically 1-3 pages). The summary commonly includes an overview of you the author and the book. It also includes the table of contents. If you have other editorial reviews, include those too so people can see who else you’re getting.

6. Look at the editorial reviews of top books in your niche

Don’t reinvent the wheel! Look at the typical conventions and concepts used by top books in your niche and reproduce those in your reviews.

7. Follow up and request many reviews

Gaining editorial reviews is like any other outreach. You need to ask for more than you need and you must follow up with people. Some people require the follow up. Others may want to read every single word of your book and just need the time. Stay in contact and don’t give up.

8. THANK YOUR editorial reviewers

Here are a few ways you can thank your editorial reviews.

  1. Send them a signed copy of the book once published
  2. Give them a backlink wherever possible
  3. Mention them in social media and on your blog (promoting their material)
  4. Comment on and promote their material
  5. Ask how you can help them

And gaining editorial reviews is easier if you already have a good network!

If you build your network ahead of time, this is all easier. If you suck at building your network, my go-to recommendation is to read or listen to How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

A look at one of my new editorial reviews

Let’s have a look at one of the editorial reviews I just secured for my upcoming book.

“Justin provides an outstanding framework for any successful outlier who wants to start their own small business.

Whether you are ready to go all in on your own small business or you want to start with a side hustle, you have to read this book.”

~Dr. John Shufeldt – MD, JD, MBA, physician, multidisciplinary entrepreneur, author and speaker at

First, check out the credentials (MD, JD, MBA…sheesh)! Wow, that looks good. He’s a TEDx speaker and an entrepreneur writing in my space. He has a successful “Ingredients of Outliers” series of books.

His review hits some of my keywords.

I secured this review a couple of different ways, including quoting him in my book (which was easy because his story has a lot of parallels to my mine).

As a thanks for doing this, I’ll continue to share his books and link, just like I’m doing right here. He also gets a link right off my home page (at least at the time of writing).

Editorial Quote Sample

What tips do you have?

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