Archives for December 2016

What Every Author MUST Know About Securing Book Reviews

Book Reviews Sell

It's a fact: book reviews sell.

Yet, most authors never bother to add this into their marketing mix. Like much of their book promotions strategies, they leave getting reviews to chance.

Many authors know if they are serious about positioning their books in the marketplace they need to have them posted on Amazon. That's a given.

What's not a given is how to optimize your opportunities on Amazon. To get the most out of your efforts, reviews play a big part in your overall success.

3 Ways

The top three ways to get reviews are:

  1. Friends and family
  2. Colleagues and thought leaders
  3. Those who have reviewed books similar to yours

Friends and family

This group is likely the easiest to ask, but unfortunately may not be the quickest to respond. If they do, their reviews may not be as detailed as you would hope for. If they are not familiar with how reviews work, friends and family may post a very short review that doesn’t tell the potential reader much at all.

“Sue’s book is great. Get it!” can do more harm than good. After all, when someone reads a review, they want to know something about the book than simply “Get it!”

Colleagues and thought leaders

In most cases, this is a better choice than friends and family. The challenge with colleagues and thought leaders is limited time. The best thing to do is reach out to them to see if they would have time to review your book.

If they say yes, ask they how they would prefer the book be sent to them; electronically or hardcopy. Obviously, if it’s a Kindle book the answer is clear.

However, if it’s a physical book, they may want you to send a copy to them. Don’t skimp on this. If you can get a few great reviews from powerhouse thought leaders, this could make a huge difference in the number of sales you will get.


One of the quickest ways to find people who want to review books is to go to Amazon and check out reviews on books in your genre. There are some people who love reviewing books and welcome the opportunity to receive review copies.

Create a spread sheet with the names of people who have reviewed books. You may likely see a few names come up again and again. These are the people you want to contact with your request.

Prepare for the Ask

Before you inquire with a potential reviewer, it’s best to have all your ducks in a row.

Prepare everything ahead of time in order that you can respond to those who are interested as quickly as possible.

  • PDF of the book
  • Hard copies ready to mail out
  • Proper mailing packaging
  • Media releases about the book
  • Cover letter
  • Author one sheet

What You Do and Don't Have Control Over

You have control over requesting reviews, but you don’t always have control over how many, if any, reviews you receive. However, there are a few simple ways to boost your reviews.

  • Give people plenty of time to review your book
  • Stay on top of the process
  • Set goals as to how many people you will reach out to

As with anything, the more effort you put into the process of getting reviews, the greater the outcome.

Although this does take time to do it right, it’s worth it. Imagine getting dozens of reviews for your book. Think of the credibility this will give you and your book.

To make this a smooth process commit to attempting to obtain at least two book reviews a week. This is enough to make a difference but not so many that it will be overwhelming.

It’s likely once you begin you will find it to be easier than you thought. And the easier it is the more action you will take.

Begin today to get your first, or next, review.

Reviews are just one way to increase book sales. To avoid being among the majority of authors who sell less than $100 a year in books, plan your process for marketing.

Not sure where to begin?

Join me for The Insider Secrets to Get Your Book to #1 Webinar. FREE Click here to register.


After Reading This You’ll Never View List Building the Same

stand-outStanding Out Is Difficult, But Not Impossible

I began my journey into online marketing in the late nineties. At that time, it was a lot easier to get through the noise than it is today. Now there are so many distractions, one can get lost in the never-ending shuffle of BSOS – Bright Shiny Object Syndrome.

Granted, back in the day there were aspects of online marketing that were difficult, but overall, it was a lot easier to get noticed than it is today. This was back when we got pretty excited to hear, “You’ve got mail.”

Fast forward to today and our inboxes are flooded with more mail than is humanly possible to read. It’s incredibly easy to start reading one email and before you know it, you’ve ended up down some deep, dark online rabbit hole. Several hours later it’s as if you “come to” with no idea where the time went.

Frustration and Complaints are on the Rise

There are more complaints from users due to the mere volume of emails we all get. People yell, “Spammer!” even if the user opted in for the very messages they claim are spam.

People mindlessly opt in for so many offers that by day’s end they may not realize how many times they gave up their information in trade for something they wanted at that moment. Yet, within minutes they opt in for something else, then something else, then something else, then… you get the picture.

Whenever I get a complaint from someone who opted into my list, I have to wonder how many other complaints they make simply because they forgot they opted into someone’s list.

Facts are Facts

The fact remains, at the heart of any online business is a responsive subscriber list. Without this, you are on an incredibly tough uphill climb to success.

Yet, getting people to opt in with valid information is harder than in the past. When someone opts in they may be using an email address that is…

  • Fake (all they want is the “thing”)
  • A Gmail address they rarely look at
  • An address where the inbox is so full that emails simply sit there with no action being taken

There's always the option of double opt in, but we will save that for another discussion.

Dealing With the Noise

noise1In years, past, there wasn’t as much “noise” online as there is today. It didn’t take much to get someone to say yes to a free offer. When they opted in they looked forward to whatever else you would send.

With very little competition for someone’s contact information, conversion rates for someone opting in were a lot higher in the mid- to late-nineties than they are today. In addition, open rates for any subsequent emails were opened at a higher rate than today.

Back in the day, one of the best ways to build a subscriber list was with teleseminars. This was long before webinars were popular. At the time, people got excited about dialing into a bridge line to learn from an expert.

It didn’t take much to get 10X registrations compared to today. Not only were opt ins high, so were show rates.

I recall times when over 90% of those who registered would be on the live call. Fast forward to today; you’re lucky if 20 – 30% of the people show up, let alone watch a replay.

So What’s the Solution?

Bottom-line is this; what worked like a charm early on is no longer effective. Today, it takes more than simply having an opt-in offer on your website to build a quality, responsive list.

Actually, there are plenty of people who choose not to have a website. They may have a blog and a strong social media presence. They use their social media channels to drive traffic to an opt in page such as LeadPages. leadpages

Due to all the social networks to choose from, it’s easy to spread your efforts way too thin resulting in completely ineffective methods for marketing.

Although this may sound like a lot of gloom and doom, it’s highly valuable information for anyone who wants to use online means to build your business and make money in the process.

Why People Take Action

To convert visitors to subscribers and subscribers to buyers you need to understand what gets someone to take action.

The primary reason someone opts in for whatever the offer is, is to get an immediate solution to a problem or fulfill a dream, or both. For example, hit#1-amazon.jpgmuch of my market are experts who want to not only write books, but get their books to #1 on Amazon,

One solution I offer is a great FREE resource that immediately answers AND solves a pressing problem. In addition, the content is very high value. These are all elements for building trust and loyalty.

Another reason someone will opt-in for an offer is based on who is making the offer. In other words, what makes the expert unique? What about their personality is different than every other person offering a solution?

Let Your Personality Shine

marathononeMore than ever, personality marketing is a huge factor in overall marketing. For many older entrepreneurs, we were taught early in our careers not to stand out, not to rock the boat and never ever do anything bizarre or what could be considered weird. In other words, blend in.

Today, it’s your ability to stand out, rock the boat and be unconventional that encourages people to want to do business with you. It’s all about personality marketing.

Keep in mind, you don’t need to do business with the entire world to be successful. With a core group of loyal clients and customers you can make a great living and make a huge difference to those people who choose to do business with you.

What Makes Me Unique Isn't What Makes YOU Unique

A huge part of what makes me stand apart from others, is my passion for running. Not that I'm a fast runner, but I just happen to love the sport. I share a lot about this with my community. As a result, this is part of my branding.

I'm also an animal enthusiast. I have several rescue animals and share stories about them with my community. Again, this is an aspect that makes me unique and connected to my particular market.

Both of these are a huge part of my messaging and the very things that prompted me to create my blog Passion for Thriving as well as a Facebook Group by the same name.

Finding You Should Be Easy

Your job is to make sure you are easily found when someone searches for a solution to their  problem.

inst_001This is where a strong social media presence comes in. Strong does not necessarily mean huge. It means focused, targeted and deep within the channels your market hangs out in. For example, I find Facebook and Instagram are two areas I get a lot of traction. LinkedIn, not so much.

It’s not that LinkedIn is not a good choice for some experts, but for my market, I am better off using Facebook and Instagram. I also use Twitter to reach my market.

The more you know where your market is, the greater your results for your efforts. You also need to know what their most pressing problem is that you offer a solution for.

When you have a viable and simple answer to an immediate problem someone has, they will part with their contact information AND their money for the solution.

One of the most important things you can do is to position yourself as the go-to expert. When you are viewed as the go-to expert, you stand apart from the crowd.

Be Clear on “Why You?”

When you clearly define your expertise…

  • You are sought out by clients, customers, the media, bloggers and joint-venture partners.
  • It is easier to communicate “why you” to your market.
  • Consumers pay more for an expert’s knowledge.
  • It easier to promote your skills and knowledge when you know “why you?”
  • There are ample opportunities awaiting you.

A simple process to defining your expertise is to answer the following questions:

  1. What makes you unique?
  2. What do you do that others don’t?
  3. What experience do you have that people would be willing to pay you for?
  4. What results have you achieved that others have not?
  5. Have you authored products and/or books?
  6. What specialized training or certification do you have that sets you apart from your competition?
  7. What beliefs and values do you stand by that set you apart from others?
  8. What solutions are you qualified to provide?

By taking time to dig deep into these questions, it’s likely you will have a much easier time positioning your message. The more you position your message, the easier it is for people to eagerly say yes not only to getting on your subscriber list, but also to look forward to continuing to receive your information.

The more they anticipate your information the more trust you build. The more trust you build the easier it is for them to feel good about exchanging their money for your expertise.

Make it a part of your daily process to do whatever you can to position your expertise and your message. By doing so, you are in a greater position to have the influence and results you desire.

Experts Often Host In-Person Events

Many experts, myself included, go beyond offering solutions solely by way of the Internet. We find live, in-person events to offer a great learning opportunity for our community.

Not only do people have the opportunity to network with like-minded participants, they have the opportunity to deep-dive into a learning experience.

On December 15th, I am hosting Passion for Thriving in Beaverton, Oregon. This is a one day experience for those professionals ready to take your business to the next level and beyond in 2017. admit-image

At the time of this writing, there are only a few spots left. Go to for more information.