Why Most Book Reviews are Bogus and What to Do About It

 

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.

Swapping reviews

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.

Buying 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.

Learn the easy way

Bottom-line is this, the more your reviews come from those who read your book the better.

Not sure how to do this? Join me on Monday, December 18th where my “getting reviews” expert, Debbie Drum is going to show you exactly how to get lots of great reviews fast.

I was blown by Debbie’s process for getting real reviews in record time. As I get ready to promote my memoir in a few months, what I learned from Debbie is going to be a game changer. You can be sure of one thing; I’ll be using Debbie’s process.

Because I know how valuable this information is to authors, I’ve invited Debbie to share How To Build An Army of People Selling Your Book For You Non-Stop, 24/7 and FOREVER!

http://www.powerupforprofits.com/bookreview

It all happens on Monday, December 18th.

 

 

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.

Reviewers

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.

 

5 Proven Ways to Get Book Reviews

Getting a book published is a lot easier, and simpler, than in years past. From idea to publication it can be a matter of weeks, even days and in some cases… hours.

As in the past, publishing is the easy part. Sure, in the eyes of the author, that may seem farfetched. Yet, ask any author who has made money from their books and they will likely say the marketing takes more effort.

You see, once the book is written, it’s done. With marketing, it’s an ongoing process. One that must be attended to on a daily basis, if you want to get the best results possible.

The main thing you have to do is generate interest in your book. There are countless ways to generate interest including media releases, email broadcast messages, blog posts and paid advertising. One of the best, and often overlooked by an author, is reader reviews.

Reviews give readers a sense of what the book is about thus increasing sales. Reviews are also excellent social proof that the book is worth reading. Granted, some authors get bogus reviews, but ethical authors do what they can to get “real” reviews.

reviews

To give your reviews a lot of weight, avoid paying for them. Actually, your book can be banned from some sites if it is found the reviews have been paid for.

Additionally, avoid the, “I’ll review your book if you review my book” temptation. This is a hard road to travel and Amazon frowns upon this practice.

The surest way to get great reviews is write a quality book.

Although you definitely should not pay for reviews, you can be proactive in your approach. The following will get you moving in the right direction.

  1. Your immediate circle of influence including family, friends and business colleagues who would be willing to review your book.
  2. Influencers in your industry whose review would make a difference to a potential buyer.
  3. Connections, friends and followers on your social networks.
  4. Other reviewers. Check out reviews of other books in your genre and contact the reviewers to see if they would be interested in reviewing your book.
  5. Members of book clubs. There are lots of book clubs with members eager to review books.

The key is to be proactive about asking people. Once you have a few reviews, other readers will likely leave reviews. One way to encourage readers to review you Kindle book is to add a page at the end of the book requesting their feedback.

valueSomething like, “I appreciate reader feedback and would appreciate a review left on Amazon.” You can add a live link to make the process of them going back to the book page as simple as possible.

It's not unheard of for a reader to really enjoy the book and fail to leave a review. Yet, when asked, they are more than happy to do so.

It's really about you, the author, being proactive in your approach to promoting your book. And again, reviews are one of the best ways to do so.

Have you been thinking about getting a Kindle book done, but have not yet gotten around to it? Feeling like you don't know where to start?7-26-2016 7-17-21 PM

Join me and my buddy, Jim Edwards on August 18th for a FREE webinar – Create Your Own Unique Kindle Books in 3 Hours Flat. Register at http://3hourkindlebookwizard.com/kathleen-webinar

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How to Secure Lots of Great Book Reviews

Most authors know if they are serious about positioning their books in the marketplace they need to have them posted on Amazon. In order to get the most opportunity from Amazon you need to optimize your page.

Some of the essentials are a detailed book description, ISBN number, page count, cover image, look inside feature and reviews.

You have control over submitting most of the information 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.

  • When a reader tells you they enjoyed your book ask them if they would post a review on Amazon.
  • Ask colleagues, clients and friends to read the book and do a review.
  • Search out books of a similar genre and read the reviews for these books. Contact the reviewers to see if they will review your book.

There’s a good chance that if someone enjoyed other books of the same genre they will enjoy your book.

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.

How do you secure book reviews? You comments are welcome.