One of the key attributes on Amazon, which pulls more readers in, is the number of reviews a book has. It stands to reason that a book which has a lot of reviews looks as though it’s been read more than a book which only has a few. It’s the old market stall trick of gathering a crowd around what you’re selling.
The problem is how to get these reviews. I used to think that it would be easy to get people to stick their review on Amazon once they’d read it but, er, no. Apparently, other people don’t care about launching my writing career as much as I do… who knew? So, I’ve been looking at proactive ways to bolster my reviews number.
Yeah, these exist. “Hi, what do you do?” “Well, I’m a professional reviewer actually.” “Oh… cool.”
I found this link which lists loads of them and the genres that they’re interested in. You send them an ebook and they review it for you. Perfect.
By the way, it seems like quite bad form to ever have to pay for a review. I mean, you’re giving someone a book for free and in return they tell you what they think. It sounds fair enough to me. I found one group who wanted $250 per book… FOR A REVIEW. Come on… what sort of review is that? For $250 I’d want more than a review, I’d want them come around my house for a week and make me cups of tea, put the washing in etc. Shocking, the cheek of it.
Friends and Family
These are the mainstay of the new writer. The people who buy your books out of a sense of duty rather than anything else. Although buying your book is a nice thing to do, you have to impress upon them to post a review as well. If you’re not in the writing game then you don’t understand the importance of reviews but it’s your job to hammer it home. The pissy royalty from one book sale is not going to change your life but how they recommend your book is going to be far more useful to you.
To be honest I really struggle with this group of people who, at the end of the day, are the people who want me to succeed the most. Up until now I’ve been quite laid back about asking for reviews – I ask them once and leave it at that. I’m not begging for Christ’s sake.
But, this isn’t right. I think you have to keep reminding people until you’re slightly irritating. It’s not begging, and generally they really want to do it but they just need to be reminded. Keep plugging away at them.
I’ve just started a Giveaway competition on Goodreads. There’s a chance to win one of 10 signed copies of Plaster Scene and the winners are encouraged by Goodreads to post a review. Hopefully, as well, these people will be active on Goodreads and spread the word to other reading communities.
These are full of keen readers who have an opinion about books. Perfect. Perhaps you could provide free ebooks in return for an online review from all the members.
I’m sure there’s loads of creative ways to get your book reviewed in return for a free copy. One book sale is nothing but the chance of nurturing that word of mouth is huge. At the end of the day, reviews are just a way of generating interest in your book and spreading the word a bit further.
As evidence of the fact that I’m serious about getting reviews here’s an offer you can’t refuse. If you would like a free e-version of Plaster Scene in return for a review on Amazon and Goodreads then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org expressing your interest. I’d really appreciate it.
Until next time…