If You Love Books and Authors, Write Reviews
If you love books and the writers who create them, the most generous and supportive thing you can do for your author friends is to write reviews of their books. Buying books is how we keep authors employed, but writing a reader review pays it forward tenfold. That is because, in the ever-changing landscape of self-publishing and online retail, the way readers choose books (and other forms of entertainment and education) is through online recommendations, aka the reviews WE write!
Think about the last time you were browsing for a movie to watch or a book to read. How much did a one-star review or a five-star review sway your decision to buy or not to buy? If you’re like most people, the answer is, greatly. That is why when you are asked to help an author launch a book, reviews are the primary thing they ask you for.
Your struggle may be that you are unsure of how to complete this favor — it might seem technically challenging, and beyond the computer stuff, it can make us feel self-conscious about what we say and the caliber of our own writing.
The good news is, the simplest reviews are the most powerful! Seriously, no need to write multiple paragraphs; a one-liner is far more effective. Reviews like, “This book changed my life!” or “Everything you need to know about feeling better about yourself!” says it all in just a few words.
Not only do book buyers judge a book by the reviews, advertisers do too. If you’re not in the “book biz,” you may not realize how competitive and prestigious it is to be accepted as an advertiser by BookBub. Out of the thousands of authors who submit their books to be featured, only 10% are allowed to purchase an ad. In BookBub’s own words, the number of reviews a book has is one of the biggest factors in whether they select a book for promotion.
On BookBub’s tips page, it says,
“Reader reviews help our editors get a sense of how readers have responded to your book, and they are a crucial element of the selection process. While there is no specific ‘minimum requirement’ for reviews, our editors are generally more likely to select books with higher numbers of authentic and positive customer reviews. This is why we rarely accept new releases for Featured Deals — books with established platforms and positive reviews tend to perform best with our readers. Note that these must be legitimate reviews and that we do examine reviews for veracity.
We recommend browsing through the books we’re featuring in your category to get a sense of what a competitive number of positive reviews is for that genre. Getting 12 reviews for your book might be a big accomplishment, but it wouldn’t make a book competitive in BookBub’s Contemporary Romance category. If your book wasn’t selected for a Featured Deal, look at the platforms of the books that were and resubmit when you have a comparable number of reviews.”
If you didn’t believe in the importance of reader reviews before, that quote should convince you! Your review is honestly the dividing line between a book’s success and failure. As a launch team member, this is your foremost task.
Here is a video walkthrough of how to add your review on Amazon. This simple task took less than a minute to complete and can profoundly impact the career of an author.
As you will notice, this book was purchased on Amazon. For your review to be verified, you must download or order the book. A FREE Kindle download like the one we will be promoting DOES qualify your review for verification.
Here are some reasons your review may not be verified:
- If your review indicates that you know the author personally—if you refer to them in an informal way or use their first name.
- If the review is posted within minutes after purchase (you haven’t had enough time to read the book, and Amazon knows it!)
- If you are not a regular reader on Amazon, you’ve never bought a book from Amazon, or haven’t spent more than $50 with them in the last year.