The Power of the Review April 4, 2016 – Posted in: Blog – Tags: amazon algorithm, amazon reviews, Book Promotion, book publicity, book reviews, building an audience
It’s true that you want your book to be visible. Preferably you want it to be placed on the first 2 or 3 pages on amazon.
But people don’t only buy your book because its placement. Chances are, they will read a review or two before making a purchase.
With competition on the rise, reviews are more important than ever. While they do not play into the algorithm, they do influence the ranking indirectly.
How come? Well, the more positive reviews you have, the more people are likely to purchase your book. And the more purchases, the better the ranking.
That leaves us with the following question:
How do you get more reviews?
Now, before you come up with ideas, review doesn’t equal review. Over the years, amazon, the company that basically invented the review by placing the star rating strategically for everyone to see, has cracked down hard on faked reviews. At the same time, they have made it clear that reviews will weigh in even heavier in the future.
Considering the power of the review, it doesn’t come as a surprise that there’s been a massive industry built around reviews. But the bottom line is simple and easy to explain: unless a book review is CREDIBLE, it won’t work in your favor.
Personally, I give away books to bloggers and ask for reviews. That may be time consuming. But I consider reviews and blogs posts to be critical in the sales process online, so I will continue to seek them out (ethically) for my own books.
Another way to get (usually) well written and highly regarded reviews is to ask the ‘Amazon Top Customer Reviewers’ to take a look at your book.
Of course, you don’t want to blindly solicit top reviewers. You want to take a close look at their interests and past reviews. Some make it easy to contact them. They list an email and their interests. Others you have to dig a little deeper.
Once you have gotten a good idea, ask yourself: Does my book match their interest? Have they done past reviews in the same category? Do I like their style?
Some reviewers may not write about books at all. Maybe they specialize in electronics. Others may not respond when you send them an inquiry. So, no doubt, there will be some dead end roads. Contacting reviewers is time consuming, and, at times, frustrating.
Split the work with your publisher. Most of them offer publicity services for a fee or they can at least refer you to a publicist for hire. The times where books simply fly of the shelves after you put them up on amazon are long gone. You will have to put in the work and promote your book or pay someone to do so.
Will it be worth the time and effort?
According to surveys, authors who submitted to popular reviewers on Amazon received not only about 25% more reviews than average but also earned more revenue.
Of course, the sales can’t 100% be linked to the reviews. But it’s a good sign nevertheless.