Thursday teaser: Book Review Secrets for Author Success

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Read on to find out how you can win a free e-copy of this book, this week’s non-fiction teaser

By Barb Drozdowich

In today’s internet savvy world, reviews are ubiquitous. They serve as social proof.

I’m sure you’ve noticed in the last few years, we are encouraged to share our thoughts about retail purchases, vacations or hotel stays, and even doctor or dentist visits. Even if you, like me, feel this level of social sharing to be a bit over the top, this is the world that we live in. Not only that, this is the world that our books are published in.

As such, we need to find success in this world—which means paying attention to not only the importance of reviews, but also how to actively request them.

If we go beyond the idea that reviews serve as social proof for other buyers, other potential readers of our books, what are other reasons for accruing them?

1. They establish credibility.

2. They are a form of publicity.

3. They help to introduce a book to a wider audience.

4. They can play a role in the buying process on retail sites.

5. They are an effective tool in book marketing—sharing quotes, links to reviews, etc.

6. They can be used for blurbs on your book cover.

7. One review begets another.

8. They help a book qualify for other promotional opportunities.

9. They help people learn about your book from people other than you.

10. People are sheep and will follow a crowd—if others rave about a book, readers will take their advice.

Let’s see if I can flesh out some of the reasons listed above.

The first reason listed above is the fact that the presence of reviews gives your book a sense of credibility. These days, a book on Amazon or other online retailer without any reviews seems out of place. There is an expectation of reviews being present. This presence of reviews can be a strong stimulus in the buying process

On Amazon, any reviews are shown in ads that appear on the book’s detail page. Displayed without any words, those stars give readers a summary of other reader’s thoughts. If we move away from retail sites, blogger reviews can be shared with thousands of viewers of their blog—a great way of spreading buzz about a book.

As mentioned above, a review shared on an established book blog is a great way to spread buzz about a book. Perhaps introduce a book to a new audience. Book bloggers create posts that are easily searched and indexed by Google. Anyone searching Google and finding a blog post can be a potential new reader for a book.

It is very common for authors to either use excerpts from blurbs on the front or back cover of their book. Quotes can also be used in social media posts, advertisement copy, and other forms of publicity. 

It is fairly well known that one review begets another. Whether readers agree or disagree with posted reviews, they often feel compelled to share their own thoughts. This is seen in terms of comments on blogs or reviews or comments on retail sites.

Many promotional sites require a minimum number of reviews—and usually this refers to Amazon reviews—in order to qualify for promotional packages. Many promotional companies don’t independently vet submissions; they use Amazon reviews for that purpose. By that I mean, they generally set a minimum number of reviews with a minimum star number as the entry point.

The 10th point from above is about people being sheep. Perhaps there is a kinder way to phrase this, but I’m sure everyone who reads this book has picked up a book to prove it is really THAT bad or really THAT good. Or at least has a friend who’s done it. If we go back to the introduction of this book, I commented on the fact that book “reviews” are not new things. Readers have been sharing their thoughts on a book just finished for many, many years. Readers just love to share their thoughts about a much beloved book. I’m sure you’ve had a fellow reader say to you: “You must read…” with great enthusiasm in their voice!

One last comment about reviews before we move on to learn about the current review etiquette:

**Reviews don’t necessarily equal sales**

Although I strongly believe that reviews have to be present in order to sell a book there isn’t a direct equivalency. In other words, one review doesn’t equal one sale. More reviews don’t equal more sales. Because of this, authors struggle to understand how many reviews they really need. There is a myth circulating that certain high-end book promotion sites require a minimum of 50 reviews to qualify. This isn’t true. Generally speaking authors should aim for 10 to 20 reader reviews on Amazon at a minimum. This will give a book some credibility and a variety of thoughts for potential buyers to read through. This will also provide a base of reviews to qualify for most book promotion sites. Lastly, book reviews—or what type of book reviews an author seeks out—should be part of a bigger picture plan and part of well-thought-out goals.

In future chapters we will talk about various types of reviews. We’ll discuss the pros and cons and the realities and hopefully cut through the myths and provide some clarity.

Before we can talk about the various types of reviews, we need to talk about review etiquette— the current dos and don’ts of the review world.

Book Review Secrets for Author Success

Feel like it’s impossible to get more reviews for your book? Discover a comprehensive guide to every single review gathering method in publishing.

No idea where to start to get reviews for your book? Worried about hiring a professional service or contacting blogs to get those five-star marks? Award-winning author and professional reviewer Barb Drozdowich knows reviews inside and out. As the owner of the world’s largest reviewer database, let her break down the complex and confusing world of author testimonials to help you get the feedback you need to make your book a success.

Book Reviews for Author Success is a step-by-step handbook that describes all possible methods for getting more reviews for your work. From contacting literary and commercial services to bloggers and readers, Drozdowich’s conversational style demystifies the jargon in her laundry list of strategies. Intended to educate authors of all levels, the book leaves no stone unturned in the quest for your first or thousandth review.

In Book Reviews for Author Success, you’ll discover:

  • the rules and guidelines authors must use to earn professional reviews
  • a list of every type of review and how to start getting them
  • the power of social proof and why authors must seek testimonials
  • practical exercises to help you better understand review gathering
  • a full glossary, pages and pages of extensive resources, and much, much more!

Book Review Secrets for Author Success is a packed, professional reference for any author looking to generate reviews. If you like easy-to-follow systems, complex subjects taught in plain English, and expert advice from key players, then you’ll love Barb Drozdowich’s superb manual.

Get Book Reviews for Author Success from your choice of e-tailer.

About the author

Social Media and WordPress Consultant Barb Drozdowich has taught in colleges, universities and in the banking industry. More recently, she brings her 15+ years of teaching experience and a deep love of books to help authors develop the social media platform needed to succeed in today’s fast evolving publishing world. She delights in taking technical subjects and making them understandable by the average person. She owns Bakerview Consulting and manages the popular blog, Sugarbeat’s Books, where she talks about Romance novels.

She is the author of 15 books, over 40 YouTube videos an online Goodreads course and an online WordPress course, all focused on helping authors and bloggers. Barb lives in the mountains of British Columbia with her family.

Find out more about Barb on her BestSelling Reads author page, Amazon author page or her website.

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An authors group for readers

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A quick look at any social media platform will find any number of groups of authors. Groups that purport to promote writers and their books, groups that focus on particular genres or styles. 

In a few minutes, you could subscribe to dozens of services that will email you announcements of new books and links to discounted and free books in almost any genre. 

BestSelling reads stands a little apart for one reason: we’re here for readers like you.

Yes, every member of BestSelling Reads is a bestselling author. All our members have won awards for our books. 

But our purpose here is to help the avid reader find excellent books. Books that you’ll get something out of. Books you’ll enjoy reading. 

A carefully vetted group

Unlike many promotional groups for authors, not just anyone can become a member of BestSelling Reads. Before they join, prospective members are nominated, evaluated and vetted by existing members. We choose only writers who commit to meeting, or exceeding the publishing standards of the leading commercial publishers.

All members ensure our titles are professionally edited, proofread and formatted. We have qualified, professional designers for our covers. We don’t cut corners. 

What this means for you

Writers are also readers, and we hate wasting time and money on a bad book. We don’t enjoy reading a book filled with typographical errors, inconsistencies in continuity or gaping plot holes. 

And we know you don’t enjoy them, either.

Choosing from our members’ titles ensures that you’ll get a title you’ll love, one that meets the standards you expect from a professionally published book, a book that is as easy to read as it is compelling. 

Our authors produce excellent work in a broad range of genres, from action-adventure to romance, from young adult and fantasy. 

Take a look at the genres or at the Author page of any one of our members. 

Make sure you don’t miss out on any news or new release—subscribe to get the BestSelling Reads newsletter in your email with advance notice and specials for members only. You’ll also get a free e-book. This month, it’s The Catalyst by DelSheree Gladden.

And leave a comment or a question for your favorite BestSelling Reads member author. We love to hear from readers!

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