EddieJones.org – Increasingly, readers turn to online reviews written by peers to learn if a book is worth purchasing. Many “professional” reviews are simply rehashes of publisher-generated publicity. Most of the time, professional critics don’t tell readers the one thing they want to know—whether they’ll like the book.
Today, all it takes is a quick skim of customer reviews on Amazon to know if you’ll like a book, and what amateur reviewers lack in highbrow sensibilities, they make up in credibility and relevancy.
What percentage of buyers at brick-and-mortar bookstores made their choice by reading Amazon customer reviews? There’s no way to know, but chances are it’s a substantial and growing number, so seed your book’s success by garnering reviews on Amazon.
Reviews For YOU!
If buyers are making their decisions based on Amazon reviews you can bet bookstore buyers are, too. Amazon is ground zero for your online campaign. It provides free worldwide exposure. Simply having your book properly listed for sale on Amazon can create demand for it everywhere.
How can these reviews help you? Credibility. Amazon doesn’t say it explicitly, but the more reviews your book receives, the higher it will appear in the “relevant” search rankings. This is why you need to begin working to gain reviews for your book before its release. How? With book giveaways on Goodreads, blog tours, promotions and sending galley copies to friends. In return ask those individuals who say nice things about your book to post a review when your book releases. (Depending on the publisher’s arraignment with Amazon, sometimes they can post reviews before its release.)
When it comes to book sales, you have to be popular to become popular. Amazon reviews are a quick indicator of your book’s success. A low number of reviews or a low star rating and the reader may exit your page before scrolling down an inch.
Step One: Fire Up Your Tribe
Encourage anyone who tells you how much he or she enjoyed your book to write a review on Amazon.com. As your positive reviews grow, so may your sales.
It is YOUR job to drive reviewers (friends, family, fans, Tweeters, bloggers, etc) to your Amazon page and fill these reviews. Your book will need 10 to be taken seriously – 100 to be considered a serious book. The bar is high because customers are reluctant to post reviews. Readers know this so when they see a book with 50 reviews they know merits consideration.
Step Two: Combat Negative Reviews
Even a poor review can be good—if the reviewer shares pertinent facts about your book that other readers might find interesting. For example, a comment like: “Too preachy” might turn off some readers and attract inspirational readers. Multiple 1 star reviews can slow sales or kill your book’s momentum, so balance low star reviews by asking readers who contact you with kind words to post a review after negative reviews appear. Here’s how.
When a reader congratulate you on your book ask for their help. Send them an email or contact via Facebook and say:
Thank you for the kind words about my book. If you have a spare moment, it would be a great help if you could post a review on Amazon and let other potential readers know why you liked it. It’s not necessary to write a lengthy, formal review—a summary of the comments you sent me would be fine. Here’s a link to the review form for my book:
(Note: you will need to put your book’s actual ASIN in place of the letters ISBN, like this:
http://www.Amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/write-a-review.html?asin=1938499018 This link should take you to the review page for My Father’s Business: 30 Inspirational Stories for Discerning and Doing Gods Will. You can find your book’s ASIN on the web address at its Amazon page. See the image below.)
Save this canned text and use it anytime you see a negative review appear about your book. Also seek out fans that praised your book but have not post a review. Maybe add that their comments are needed and appreciated.
Step Three: Offer Amazon gift cards as a “thank you”
Offer to give Amazon gift cards as a “thank you” to readers who buy your book and post a review. Readers will need to provide you with the email address attached to their Amazon account.
The reality is a review on Amazon is gold. The next time your author friend has a birthday don’t send an eGreating Card – post a positive review of their book on Amazon. This will mean more to their career than you can imagine.