The Ribbon Marker’s Guide to Effective Reader Entrapment
How to successfully get me, and many other readers out there, to buy your book.
4. Book Reviews
Book reviews are the last tipping point where authors have an opportunity to convince a new reader that their book is worth its listed price on amazon. Simply knowing why other people enjoyed the book, and getting a little more info on the characters and the plot line can get me to spend money on what I think may be a slightly overpriced book.
Now, you might be thinking, How the hell does the author have control over what kind of reviews they will have? Aren’t they setting themselves to have a list of bad reviews that will make the reader run in the opposite direction? The answer is: not if they are smart about it.
If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I posted about the importance of beta readers. Authors, beta readers are your friends because they basically give you a trial run of how your book will perform and live up to the expectations of readers of your particular genre. Readers of the genre know what other readers in the genre like! The more people who can give you feedback during the developmental stage, the more you can make the book even more enjoyable to people in the target audience, and the better the reviews the book will be.
If you know you have a good book, and the betas liked it, then you can always find reviewers. Goodreads is the reviewer haven, where authors can offer free copies of their books in exchange for honest reviews. The New Adult Book Club group on Goodreads has a moderator enforced Read it Review it Program that ensures that authors actually do get 100+ word reviews within three weeks of sending their book out to the readers. Authors also have the option of contacting blogs and BookTube channels like mine, that are dedicated to reviewing books.
Working with book reviewing blogs can also help ensure that you’re not going to get a long list of terrible reviews. I personally have a policy that if for some inexplicable reason I simply have nothing nice to say about an author’s book, I will not post the review and I will tell the author why I had such major issues with their book. There is nothing wrong with saying that you didn’t enjoy it, all books can’t be every reviewers’ cup of tea, but you definitely don’t leave the author hanging or make them regret ever asking you to write the review in the first place.
At the end of the day, the book review is the last thing that the author has some modicum of control over, that would give a browsing bookworm the necessary nudge to becoming a new reader. Once your book is published, the only thing left to do is promote/market the living daylights out of it, the last topic in The Ribbon Marker’s Guide to Effective Reader Entrapment series.