Arguably, having positive reviews written and posted where potential buyers can read them is a very important marketing tool. In some cases, even negative comments can boost the sales of certain types of books.
When we think of reviews, most of us are probably thinking about the reviews we see in our local newspapers at the weekend. Unfortunately, these are rarely available to the lesser-known or self-published author. In reality, the newspapers are bombarded with titles to review so with limited space they’ll usually only consider traditionally published titles or titles written by celebrities and well-known authors.
So how can we get reviews for our books? It’s surprisingly simple, we use the online stores. Using Amazon as an example, here’s how it works:
Place a link in the back of your book that reads something like this:
I hope you enjoyed reading (book title).
If so, I would really appreciate it if you would consider posting a review at the store that you purchased it from. This will not only help lift my profile as an author but it will help me reach potential readers like you.
If the buyer has purchased your book via their Amazon account, the review will be listed and displayed on your Amazon book page.
Other ways you can request reviews is via your website or email communication, for example, if someone were to email you to tell you how much they enjoyed your book, reply to their email and ask for a review. Always be polite and don’t be pushy. Some people will gladly offer a review, others won’t. Don’t pester them.
How will harvesting reviews help lift my profile and sales? Again using Amazon as an example, having positive star-rated reviews on your Amazon page will lift the ranking of your title and open it up to a wider market, so it’s important to get as many reviews as possible, and let’s face it, the online stores cater for a worldwide audience, which could be far more beneficial than having a listing in your local newspaper.
Dos and Don’ts
Don’t get upset if someone posts a negative review. This will happen when you start to get more and more postings, even the most successful authors get bad reviews from time to time. However, do check the reviews from time to time to make sure there isn’t a recurring theme, for instance, if a lot of readers are remarking on a certain aspect, such as the quality of the editing or too many typos, etc. it’s worth revisiting the book to see if there is merit in their claims.
Don’t pay for reviews but do contact journalists and organisations that offer reviews before sending anything off to them. Get their permission first. Unsolicited offerings are very rarely considered.
So it’s as simple as placing that little message in the back of your books and ebooks. Give it a go and get lots of reviews.
Next month we’ll be disguising how to manage your brand.
Until then, keep an eye out for our next newsletter, and have a great month.
Write on …