Sunday, August 05, 2018

Why Every Author Needs Amazon Reviews (Including Me)

Book reviews is one of my on-going concerns with authors. Maybe they don’t care about book reviews and never put any effort into getting them. Their book has been available for months or years yet they  have zero or one or two reviews.

Other authors put effort into getting reviews when their book is first launched (which is admirable). Yet after the initial launch, they press on to other areas and never do anything additional about book reviews.

My focus in this article is helping you understand the on-going importance of book reviews. Whether your book is just launching or has been out for years, you still need reviews. A new review whenever it is posted is something you can tout and promote on social media.

I encourage every author to get at least 25 reviews when their book launches. It will take work from the author for you to get these reviews. Ask people if they are willing to read your book and write an honest review. Send them the electronic or print book, then keep track to follow-up and see if they have completed the review. From my experience you need twice the number of people to reach your goal for reviews. For example, if you want 25 reviews, then you will need to get commitments from 50 people. Why?

Life is busy and full of interruptions and many people don’t carry out on their commitment to review your book—unless you follow-up and ask about it—and even with follow-up some people will  not do it.

At first, you should have a goal of 25 reviews on Amazon. Then when you achieve that mark, your goal should shift to 50 reviews. Why?

When your book has 50 or more reviews, Amazon let’s the author (or your publisher) do some special advertising that was not available with less reviews. And when your book reaches 50 or more reviews? Then you have a new goal of 100 or more reviews.
Last week in Nashville I talking with David Hancock the founder of Morgan James Publishing, I learned when your book reaches 100 or more reviews, Amazon begins to do some behind-the-scenes advertising to promote and sell more books. The benchmark made sense to me since many books never reach that 100 or more reviews but the ones who do, indicate books which are actively selling.

Have You Read My Book?

The Audiobook is also available.

As of this writing, my biography, Billy Graham, A Biography of America’s Greatest Evangelist, has 83 Amazon reviews. I’m 17 reviews short of reaching 100. If you have read my book, I’d appreciate an honest review (hopefully four or five stars but honest is important).

When I learned about this 100 review benchmark, I wrote several friends and asked them to review the book. I’ve also been working to find more people to read or hear my book and write a review. If you are interested and don’t have my book, reach out to me and I’ll be happy to get you a copy in exchange for the review.

If You Get a One or Two Star Review

Sometimes an author will ask me what can be done when they get a one star review. I tell them to rejoice and they look at me like I’m crazy. You rejoice because that one star review has just validated your other reviews. If you see a book with all five star reviews, then it is like the author is orchestrating all of the reviews. If thre are one star reviews, then you know the reviews are real.
Don’t reach out to those people because it only feeds the trolls. Instead let it go.

Getting Reviews Is On-Going

My key point of this article is the process of getting reviews for Amazon or Goodreads or Barnes & Noble is ongoing for every  author. It is not a seasonal or one-time type of process. I would compare it to any type of marketing for your book. The process is on-going rather than hit or miss.

There is no single path to make your book a bestseller. If we had a formula then every book would be a bestseller. Instead each author has to try many different things to see which actions bear the greatest sales or results. It is much more of a marathon effort than a sprint. My intention is to help every author see the on-going necessity to encourage others to write reviews about their book.

Several times a week, authors reach out to me and ask me to review their book. I’ve written over 900 Amazon reviews and over 500 reviews on Goodreads. This experience makes me one of their top reviewers. People know if I say I will read the book, there is a higher probability that it will actually happen. To be honest, I receive stacks of books every day and can’t read all of the books I receive. It would be impossible. I do write reviews on any book that I read or hear. Sometimes it takes me a day or two to get the review written but it does eventually happen.

Are you continually working to get reviews of your books? Do you have other resources to get reviews? Then let me know in the comments below.


Discover why every author needs book reviews and what steps you can take in this article. (Click to Tweet) 

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1 Comment:

At 11:53 PM, Blogger Dove1919 Left a note...

I have started leaving reviews - however just choosing a number of stars. I need to do a better job and say something about the books.


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