We are social creatures. As humans, we are influenced by others. The choices others make influence our own decisions.
This powerful force—called Social Proof—is important for authors to be aware of and use. Evidence that other people have purchased and found value in your book is social proof. People are more likely to purchase a book that others are already buying.
Social proof is an influential selling tool. As an author you can use social proof in the following three ways to help you sell more books.
An endorsement by an expert, a celebrity, or a person of influence is social proof that important people find your book worthwhile. Securing endorsements for your book demonstrates to potential readers that your book is worth their money and time.
Often independent authors don’t take the time and effort to secure endorsements. Yet, endorsements help you sell more books. Most best-selling books sport endorsements because publishers know that endorsements are social proof that a book is worthy of readers’ attention.
Positive reviews by readers is another form of social proof. When current users of a product or service praise it, others can feel left out and want to have the same experience these users are having. This is why business reviews on Yelp and Facebook are so popular.
People do consult reviews before they make a purchase decision. In fact, according to a 2017 study by Spiegel Research Center, nearly 95% of shoppers read reviews before making a purchase.
The power of this social proof increases as the number of positive reviews increase. That same study by Spiegel found that having five reviews increased people’s purchase likelihood by a factor of four.
Secure reviews for your book. Ask your friends, members of your writing group, and your followers on social media to write a review of your book. One study by Goodreads found that 84% of authors who asked for reviews saw an increase in the number of reviews they received on their book.
A stamp or seal of approval by an authority in an industry is another form of social proof. Think about the Academy Awards. Any movie that wins an Academy Award receives a seal of approval that raises the movie’s esteem in the eyes of the viewing public. The same is true for book awards.
Winning a book award is a form of social proof. Of course, you can’t win a book award unless you nominate your book for an award. So, take the time and money to enter book award contests. A win will boost the social proof for your book and result in more sales.
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Photo courtesy of carlos pereyra.