“Wow. That book has 280 reviews with an average of 4.8 stars! Definitely a book to put on our list.”
I am part of a book group. We are a club of ladies that meets weekly. We read and discuss Christian nonfiction books that we, as a group, select. The above comment was in response to a book suggestion. The individual uttering this statement had just checked the book on Amazon on her phone.
This behavior is typical. One research firm (Thornley Fallis) found that 81% of people perform a search online before buying a product. This is exactly what my book group members were doing. They were searching online to find out more about the book that was suggested.
Searching online is not the only typical behavior. Reviews influence our purchase decisions. In fact, research shows:
- 97% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase decision (Conductor).
- 88% of shoppers say they believe reviews as much as personal recommendation from a friend (Search Engine Land).
- 67% of consumers admit that reviews influence their decision to leave or buy a product (Moz.com).
So, the path my book group followed to determine whether we wanted to read a suggested book was typical.
As an author or publisher, this is important information. Don’t underestimate the power of book reviews. If you want to sell books, you need reviews.
I believe that book reviews are your second most important marketing tool (your book’s cover is your number one marketing tool).
If you are struggling to get more reviews for your book, try these two suggestions.
1. Ask, Ask, Ask
I am sure you have heard the phrase, “You have not because you ask not.” It’s true. James says “You do not have because you do not ask God” (James 4:2). First, ask God for his guidance and help. Then, ask people to review your book. Ask in your author or writers’ groups. Ask on your social media sites. Ask when readers contact you. Asking them says that you value their opinion.
2. Host a Giveaway
You can host a book giveaway on one of the online communities for book lovers—Goodreads, LibraryThing, or BookLikes. Interested readers on these sites can enter to win a copy of your book. While these readers are not required to review your book, some will, increasing the number of reviews your book receives.
These two suggestions are just a few of the suggestions for acquiring more book reviews that I present in my seminar “Book Reviews: Tips for Getting More Reviews”. This seminar is free to Members of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA). Join CSPA now for just $90 for the 2019 calendar year and have free access to this and other great resources.
If you are not a Member of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA), you can watch this on-demand seminar for a fee at https://mcbuniversity.selz.com.
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