When it comes to marketing, the old adage of “People like what other people like” is so true – especially when it comes to holiday sales. When we’re buying Christmas gifts, we want to know we’re getting the right thing – something the recipient will love. So what can you do to help convince a buyer that you’ve got the best possible gift for their recipient? Reviews are a good start!
In the past, if you had twenty reviews on Amazon you were doing great; if you had fifty reviews you were really shaking things up. But now things have changed; in order to tip the scales and gain more traction for your book, you need to get that number close to one hundred or above. We’ll look at how to garner more reviews below.
But first, what if your book is older – is it still salable? I’d say yes, as long as the topics covered are not outdated. There is a new trend, the Netflix effect, which has seen older shows surge again, because newer viewers are taking time to post reviews. This applies to books, too. New reviews on an older book are golden! Why? It means people are still reading it.
So what’s an author to do to capture more reviews? Consider these ideas:
- Have you asked your readers for reviews? Surprisingly, I find that many authors don’t do this and I don’t know why. It’s a quick and easy to get more reviews. If you have a mailing list and/or if you have a blog, simply get the word out there that a review would mean a lot to you – usually your followers are happy to help! In one case, one of our authors offered a tote bag in exchange for a review, good or bad, as a thank you for taking time to review the book. In another instance, the author gave away the book for free to her network in exchange for an honest review.
- Plan some online promotion: If you haven’t done much in the way of a blog tour or review tour, then now is the time. Whether you want to plan this out on your own, or hire someone to pitch you, get out there and start planning your online promotion now. You can even do the tour in December, you need not worry about getting lost in the chaos of the holiday season. We find that December book tours are as successful as any other time of the year, provided they are planned right. For example, posts on December 25th won’t gain a lot of traction, but anything before then could see a lot of bounce with your last minute shoppers. If you do a tour like this, ask the marketing firm you’re working with or the blogger (if you’re doing your own pitching) whether they will cross post their review on Amazon. Tours are fantastic, but if you want to up your book reviews on Amazon, make sure and ask. Stay tuned if you’re planning a December tour: we have some fun ideas coming up in a future post to help you enhance this!
- Goodreads: If you haven’t done a lot on this site, you may want to reconsider. Goodreads has told us that their recommendation newsletter is all review based. So if you’re getting a lot of reviews on Goodreads, you could wind up being blasted out to their thousands of readers. How do you get reviews there? I’d recommend doing a few giveaways. So, for example do one for 5 books, and then a week or so later run another one for 5 books. Ask your existing network to post on Goodreads as well, because again, it never hurts to ask!
Studies have shown that consumers are 68% more likely to buy something, or engage with you based on reviews, so it’s a crucial, if not critical, part to your marketing – especially if you’re going after holiday sales!
Ready to get started pitching bloggers? Check out these two blogger directory sites:
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Read part 1: eBook Promo Scheduling