Now that your book is published, you want it to start selling, right?
Among the list of things, you need to do to sell your book, book reviews are right at the top. You don’t need a gazillion number of book reviews. But you do need a certain number of reviews to jumpstart your book sales.
How Many Book Reviews Do You Need to Sell a Lot of Books?
Let’s consider the following facts about book reviews.
- Unless you have, say five or ten good reviews, many book promotion sites won’t agree to promote your book.
- It’s a total waste of money to spend a single dollar on book promotion – unless you have a few great reviews of your book on amazon.
- A book with ten reviews does sell more than a book with one or two reviews.
- Having fifty or hundred amazon reviews doesn’t give you much more incremental benefit than having ten great book reviews on your amazon page. After getting, say, ten great reviews, you need to start focusing on overall book marketing efforts such as creating an author platform.
- It is good to try and accumulate at-least ten great reviews. This way, even if you get one or two negative reviews, your overall amazon star rating would still be positive.
- You need to focus on both reviews in blogs as well as on amazon. Both serve two distinct purposes. The book reviews on blogs increase your search ranking through external backlinks – and serve as a book marketing strategy. The reviews on amazon convince a potential book buyer to press the buy button – the amazon reviews serve as a sales strategy.
While your book does not need to cross a minimum review threshold for Amazon to start recommending it, having certain number of positive reviews does help. So, we fixed on the number ten. Ten is a nice round number – ten sounds better than five, and seems more easily achievable than twenty. Once you crack the secret of ten book reviews, you can rinse and repeat the same recipe for more reviews if you like.
Have you got 10 book reviews yet? Let’s get started and see how you can get 10 great reviews on amazon.
Book Reviews & Book Review Myths
I know that for most of us, penning emails, requesting reviews from strangers seems an onerous task. This is especially true when we don’t know whom to ask, and even more so, when we are not sure if all that legwork would actually result in more book sales.
The problem is that we are surrounded by myths perpetuated by the internet.
Let’s look at some of these myths.
There are a lot of myths and uncertainties which prevent authors from acquiring reviews for their books. Here are a few of these myths which sow fear, uncertainty and doubt in our minds, and de-motivate authors from actively soliciting book reviews.
- “Is there any benefit of book reviews?”
- “I already got 5 reviews but my book sales are still languishing.”
- “How many reviews do I need?”
- “Shouldn’t I invest my time promoting on social media, Facebook or free book sites, rather than spending time soliciting book reviews?”
- “Book bloggers are an unpredictable tribe, what if they give me bad reviews?”
- “I don’t have money to spend on premium review sites.”
- “Whom should I contact? I don’t know anyone!”
- “Book bloggers are a surly, unresponsive tribe. I am so afraid to approach them!”
- “I need some snazzy software to find reviewers.”
Let’s unravel these book review myths!
Beyond the Myths, The Real Scoop on Book Reviews
In this section we look at how book reviews really work and also when they don’t work.
Getting your book reviewed on blogs isn’t going to get a lot of book sales. The only people who visit such sites are other writers like yourself you are looking to get their own book reviewed. Even reviews on amazon don’t serve much purpose since people need to first get to your amazon page before they can be persuaded to press the buy button.
So, what’s the point of book reviews? Are they completely useless?
Book reviews are not useless! They serve two very important functions.
Firstly, book reviews on blogs and other news sites can lead to a higher page ranking for your own book page. This in turn makes it easier for readers to find your book. How does this happen?
Let’s consider how a reader finds a book. When readers are looking for a book they typically search for words related to their topic of interest. Since Google is the biggest search engine in the world, if you can make your book surface to the top on Google searches, you are quite likely to get a buzz everywhere else as well. So how can you make your book discoverable on Google? The most important element in Google ranking is the number of high-quality external backlinks pointing back to your book page.
Voila! You got it now, right? If more bloggers review your book and embed links to your book page in their own blog, Google will start seeing many links pointing back to your book page. It will note that your book page is popular and it will surface your blog to the top in search results. Of course, there’s more to it such as selecting the words you want your book to be associated with, and then focusing on those few words (keyword ranking in a nutshell). However, generally speaking, if a large number of fairly decent blogs have links pointing to your book page then you will have a high chance of getting discovered by your readers.
This way, book reviews fulfill the marketing function of helping you find potential readers by ensuring that you, your book and your own sites show up high in search rankings when readers search for books on Google, Amazon or elsewhere.
Now that you got that traffic, you need to get these potential readers to become actual readers! This is where book reviews again come in. When a reader visits your amazon page how is he or she going to decide if the book is a good fit? By looking at your table of contents, book description, book cover and of course book reviews! If the book reviews are positive and seem authentic (as opposed to fake book reviews), your prospective reader will feel confident enough to click the buy button.
This way book reviews fulfill the sales function of getting your prospective customers to buy.
Thus, as we see above, book reviews, when used properly can fulfill both marketing and sales functions for you.
How I got my first 10 Amazon reviews
I hope the lessons learned I have shared in the following post helps you get reviews quickly: How I Got Ten Great Amazon Reviews in One Week
I hope you enjoyed this article and it proves useful in your book. marketing journey!
Here’s another post which contains a long list of the best book review sites which I have found to be very useful.
- People Favor Highly-Reviewed Products, Even When They Shouldn’t
- How To Get Hundreds Of Positive Online Reviews
Marketing Plan on the Back of Napkin for Self-Published Authors