One of the tried and true ways to increase book sales involves soliciting positive book reviews. Most authors have heard how the reviews offered by The New York Times can affect book sales, but more and more reviews offered at on-line portals, like Amazon.com, are affecting book buyers purchasing decisions.
It’s possible to actually solicit good reviews for your book, thereby increasing the number of on-line sales you make. Book marketing coach Dana Lynn Smith knows all about this. The author of How to Get Your Book Reviewed: Sell More Books with Reviews, Testimonials and Endorsements—a must have for all authors today and a great addition to Dana's Savvy Book Marketer series, today she offers a guest blog post full of a variety of practical tips on how to get reviews posted to online bookstore—tips any writer can put to use, no matter how little marketing or promoting experience they have (or how little effort they want to make promoting their book).
The Secret to Getting Reviews in Online Bookstores
By Dana Lynn Smith
Book reviews and recommendations in online bookstores like Amazon.com can have a powerful influence on book sales. Many shoppers read book reviews before making a purchase, especially for nonfiction books, where they tend to compare several books on a topic before making a decision.
Some customer reviews on Amazon discuss the content of the book, while others are simply recommendations, but both of these forms of customer feedback are valuable in helping shoppers decide if a book is a good fit for them. Even when people visit an online bookstore looking for a specific book, they often read the reviews to validate that they are making a good selection.
In addition to influencing book buyers, reviews can influence how many customers see your book when searching by keyword or title in online bookstores. The number and star ratings of a book's reviews are one factor used in ranking books on the search results page.
Actively Solicit Reviews
So, what's the secret to getting reviews in online bookstores (besides writing a great book)? ASK people to post reviews and make it EASY for them by providing a link to your book page or directly to the review screen.
Here are some ideas for inviting people to post reviews in online bookstores:
- When you send out review copies to colleagues and influencers seeking endorsements, ask them if they will also post the testimonial or a brief review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. If you have sent manuscripts before the book was published, follow up after publication asking if they will post their comments on one of these stores.
- Any time someone writes a positive review of your book elsewhere, ask them to post it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
- Make an occasional post on your social networks, blog or newsletter, asking people to post a review on Amazon or BN.com if they enjoyed your book. Be sure to include a link to your book review page on one or both sites.
- When you receive an email or other correspondence praising your book, reply with a thank you note and a request to post a book review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. If someone has taken the time to write to you about your book, they are obviously a fan and will probably be happy to post a book review for you.
You can create a link directly to the book review form by clicking on the “create your own review” button and then using a URL shortening service to create a short link to the form. To save time, save your review request email in a Word document and copy and paste it as needed.
Reviews in online bookstores can be a powerful sales tool; be sure to be proactive in seeking reviews for your book.
About the Author
Excerpted from How to Get Your Book Reviewed by book marketing coach Dana Lynn Smith. For more book marketing tips, follow @BookMarketer on Twitter and get Dana's free Top Book Marketing Tips ebook at www.TheSavvyBookMarketer.com
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