Authors who are trying to get the word out about their book should embrace online reviews. Online reviews are a form of word of mouth marketing and can hold a great deal of value to those who are searching for new books to read. Do not fear negative reviews; instead focus on the positive effects that online reviews can bring along with the possibility of book sales.
Online Reviews Carry as Much Weight as Personal Recommendations
In 2005 a Yale School of Management study revealed that online reviews increase book sales. Now, many years later, more people are online to read and write reviews, so the influence of online reviews has grown along with Internet use. In fact, a 2009 study from Saurage Research shows 84% of US shoppers look to reviews before they decide to buy.
A 2011 survey of online shoppers showed that 69% trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation from someone they know. However, even though they do not know the person who wrote the review, shoppers trust online reviews much more than advertising or marketing that comes from a company. An Econsultancy report reveals that less than 10% of consumers trust what companies say about themselves.
Reviews Do Not Have to be 100% Positive
Do not worry if some reviews are negative. You can’t please all the people all the time, right? Plus, studies have shown that when online reviews are all positive, people mistrust the review process and assume that the reviews might be made up since they understand that not everyone can be happy with everything. Therefore, some negative reviews in the mix lend credibility to the reviews on any particular site, whether it is your book page on Amazon, a book seller's site, your own site, or another review site.
Reviews Can Add Insight as to What Your Readers Like
You should also see reviews as a learning process and a peek into the minds of your readers. This is especially helpful if you have an ongoing story across multiple books or a recurring character. Reviews can serve as research into what your readers want to see happen. This type of input can be very valuable, helping to keep your readers happy and buying future books.
Strategies to Increase Online Reviews for Your Books
- Optimize your review page on each of the book seller and review sites. Fill in all of the information they ask for in the profile sections and claim them as your official page.
- Ask and you shall receive! Reviews from your social media fans and followers and your email list are likely to be positive and a great addition when building up the review sites. Make your request as personal as possible and your readers will probably be happy to oblige.
- Write reviews for books similar to yours. New readers searching through reviews look at similar book reviews. If you leave a review about other books and sign them with your name “Author of Name of Book,” people reading that review may check out your book.
- When you find avid readers in your genre, contact them to see if they would write an online review of your book.
- Seek review bloggers and offer them a review copy. They tend have a large following and a review can get you a lot of buzz and possibly more reviews.
About the author: Richard Larson is author and Brand Manager for GoPromotional’s Umbrellas. He enjoys writing about marketing and business topics.