Have you ever made a book buying decision based on a review? I know I have. Many times over.
I’ve purchased books because of great reviews and I’ve held off on buying a book due to poor reviews.
As a consumer, I do pay attention to what other readers say about a book as part of my buying decision. I also pay attention to personal recommendations.
As an author, I know how important reviews are. They are worth their weight in gold. Yet, many authors miss this very important part of book marketing… real reviews.
“Book reviews are so important because most people make their buying decisions (not just on books, but on almost everything these days) based on social feedback. People like to see others give a “thumbs up” before they take action and buy something.” Debbie Drum.
How to get reviews
Getting reviews is sometimes as simple as asking. You can ask family, friends, colleagues or clients. There are plenty of Facebook groups dedicated to those who like to review books. But the challenge is, who you ask may not be a fit for the genre of your book.
The best reviewers are those who have already reviewed books on any major book selling site, like Amazon, in the same genre as yours. One way to find these types of reviewers is to look for reviews for books that are like yours.
For example, if you wrote a book on dieting, check out other books on dieting and compile the names of the reviewers. From there, you can check their Amazon profile, find them on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
This is a very targeted, although time consuming process.
You can also swap reviews. This can be effective, but extremely time consuming. The downside of review swapping is some reviewers write bogus reviews. Sure, you have a review, but it’s not worth much at all in the big scheme of things.
Review swapping is rather controversial and in many cases, Amazon frowns upon it. Why? As previously mentioned, many of the reviews are bogus. Amazon looks for real reviews by real readers.
When Amazon sees bogus swaps, they will remove the reviews.
Don’t. That’s all I have to say about that.
Well, I have a bit more to say. There are some reputable companies that do offer to review for a fee, but for the most part, you want to avoid those who claim they can give you 5 star Amazon reviews without even looking at your book.
Also, avoid going to somewhere like Fiverr.com to get your reviews. It’s just not worth the risk and misguiding your potential readers.
The bottom line is this; it’s up to you to be proactive in how you secure reviews. And… the more “real” reviews you get, the better.