Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Five Star Reviews

I’ll confess in the first sentence that I don’t know a great deal about the review system on Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.com. I do know that some people make their buying decisions about a particular book based on the reviews—and if they are high or low.  Each site has a five star system where five is excellent and one star is poor.

It’s a common marketing technique to give your new book to some acquaintances then ask them to post reviews on Amazon.com or Barnes & Nobles.com.  Their reviews help raise the level of awareness about the book. For my Book Proposals That Sell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success, I sent about a dozen copies of the book to various people who volunteered to read the book and write a review. I offered the possibility on a couple of email forums where I occasionally participate.  I’ll be following up soon to encourage these writers to carry through with their promised review. Follow-up is always key throughout the publishing world. It’s the persistent follow-up which often makes a difference to the editor or to the writer or any other player in the publishing world.

Imagine my surprise today when I checked my reviews on Amazon.com and found my book at a three star level. What happened? At the time, I had two reviews—one which was five star and another which was one star. The words on the one star review were glowing about the book. I figured this writer must have made a mistake somewhere in the posting process. Amazon.com averages the star reviews—so if you get some high and some low—it comes out average. When I sent a gentle email to the writer and called it to her attention,  she figured out how to delete her first review and post a new one with five stars. Yeah!

As an author, I’m working hard to get the buzz going about this book. There isn’t one formula for the marketing so you have to use many different avenues to promote and encourage people to know about your book. If you have a printed newsletter or an ezine (even occasionally sent), let me encourage you to use the two excerpts from Book Proposals That Sell. If you have a writer’s group or an occasional mass mailing or emailing, I’d love for you to use these excerpts to give people a taste of the contents. It’s another technique that I’m trying for this book.

Publishers are looking for authors who take a proactive role in the marketing of their books. These types of authors understand that publishing is a business and the role of the author goes far beyond simply writing a manuscript, giving it to the publisher and counting on them to sell the book. It takes your effort and the publisher effort to give the book the best possible launch into the marketplace. May all of our books receive five star reviews.

3 Comment:

At 6:15 AM, Blogger C.J. Darlington Left a note...

Where is it better for you that we purchase this book? Directly from you, through Amazon, or at another site?

At 8:33 AM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...

Interesting question, C.J. In general, I've referred anyone who wants to buy my books to the bookstore or online sources like Amazon.com. With Book Proposals That Sell, I've taken a different approach. I've built it's own website and I'm actively working on the marketing (just beginning). I've got a marketing plan for the site and I will be doing my own fulfillment. I make more money on the sale if you purchase it directly from the site--and your book can be autographed--if you want. It's another way I've decided to be proactive on the marketing of this particular book, Book Proposals That Sell.

I'm aware the public loves to have buying choices. If you are ordering other books at Amazon.com (and get over $25 for free shipping), it might be better for you to get the book from Amazon.com (or Barnes & Nobles.com). Terry The Writing Life

At 5:12 PM, Blogger Robin Bayne Left a note...

I saw that 1 star review, when I posted my own review on Amazon. After reading her summary I realized her mistake and "reported" the review to the Amazon review-police. I'm glad you got it straightened out!

Here's another spot I posted the review:


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