Sunday, March 12, 2023

Four Ways To Get More Reviews

By Terry Whalin

Recently one of my Morgan James Publishing authors contacted me. Her book was released a few months ago and she told me a couple of moving stories about the effect of her book on her readers. 

Out of curosity, I looked at this authors book on Amazon. I was expecting to see a few reviews yet was surprised that no one had written a review. These reviews are a critical sales tool because every day people are looking at these pages, reading the information then making decisions whether to buy the book. 

I was listening to american psychologist Dr. Robert Cialdini speaking about the power of influence. He read an article which said 97% of people buying online will check product reviews before they make a purchase. This statistic should motivate you to get more online reviews for your book.

Every writer has to be aware of the importance of reviews. With over 4,500 new books going into the market every day, any book needs these reviews. Also last week I received two self-published books from a long-time writer friend. One was published last year and the other in 2021. I checked the book page on Amazon and of the two books, one had one review and the other had no reviews.  

Years ago, you used to be able to get your friends and relatives to write reviews for your book. Amazon and other online retailers have created sophisticated algorithms which remove these reviews. If you write a review, it is best not to mention any connection to the author. Instead you approach the review as a reader and tell about the book. 

There are simple steps every author can take to get more reviews and I want to give some ideas in this article. 

1. Ask your readers to write a positive review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads and other websites. For my last several books Ive included a page in the back of each book encouraging readers to review the book and even I provide some short links to specific websites.

2. When you get feedback about your book, encourage them to write a review and include a link to write it. If someone writes or emails you about how much they enjoyed your book, respond with gratitude. In addition, ask them to write a few sentences of positive review and even include the link to your book page. 

3. Get some training. Several years ago, I interviewed Dana Lynn Smith about how to get more book reviews. The free webinar and ebook are free at: YourBookReviewed.com I encourage you to use this resource, hear the recording and take action from what you learn. While the steps sound simple, you would be surprised how people will download the material then never listen to it or not take action from what they hear.

4. Create a web page to encourage others to write reviews. For my Book Proposals That Sell, I created a page with a variety of ways the reader can promote my book including writing a review. If the reader doesn't know how to write a review, Ive provided a free template with these details. I created a similar page for 10 Publishing Myths

A reality of the publishing world, you have to work or take consistent action to gather reviews. As a bonus tip, I would encourage every writer to have a goal regarding the number of book reviews. My first goal would be 25 reviews. Then when you reach that mark, I would revise my goal to 50 reviews. When you reach 50 reviews, I would revise again to reach 100 reviews. Behind the scenes, your online retailer will notice when you reach these different benchmarks and expand their own promotion of your book through their tools. 

Do you have other ideas how you can stir people to write reviews? Let me know in the comments below. 

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