The Book Review Conundrum
OR – HOW Do You Get Reviews
When You Don’t Have Any?
Whether you want to call this a BIG Catch 22 or a Chicken and Egg problem … the fact is that getting your first few book reviews from Amazon readers is a challenge.
Because unless you already have a loyal audience, you may not be able to sell your book, even at the price of FREE, until you already have at least one or more reviews.
Amazon does not release their review stats publicly. However, some studies have suggested that the percentage of book buyers who leave reviews on Amazon is typically less than 10%, and may be closer to 1-2% for certain types of books. Many experts suggest that you should only “count” on ONE review for every 100 purchases.
What’s important to note is that while the percentage of reviewers may be small, the impact reviews have on a book’s success can be very significant — positive reviews increase a book’s visibility and sales.
You can’t wait around for your first reviews.
You MUST start working at getting reviews even before your book is published.
- Printing “reader review” copies of the pre-pub version of the book.
- Soliciting well-known people to read and endorse, or review them.
- Delivering review copies.
- And FINALLY, printing and distributing the final copy of the book which includes dozens of fabulous endorsements in the first few pages.
This process takes a huge amount of time and money. The money includes printing review copies, postage or courier fees for hundreds of books and up to hundreds of hours of staff time–this is one of the reasons author royalties “seem” so low.
What’s The Skinny On The Different Kinds Of Reviews?
Even if you get a bad review … excerpts can still be used to make it “look good.” Editorial reviews can and should be displayed on your book’s Author Central page so they show up as soon as a potential buyer looks at your book.
HOW TO GET BOOK REVIEWS – STRATEGIES AND HOW-TO
CHECK THIS ARC (Advance Review Copy) SERVICE OUT
One of my favorite ARC services is BookSirens. Why is it a favorite? Because I see some really great and solid reviews coming from this service. Here is an article about the Book Sirens service. Here is a curated list of other ARC services (free and paid).
Review EXCHANGE Service
Pubby will get you some reviews FAST. The reviews you get will be short and probably generic. Use ONLY if you need reviews fast. You MUST be qualified to write reviews. You have to write and post reviews (ahead of time) in exchange for getting reviews for your book. Be sure to read this article first.
The BOTTOM LINE? This is YOUR book, YOUR self-publishing business. It is up to YOU to get reviews. The best time to start is BEFORE your book is published.
If you want to sit and wait for FREE or 99cents to result in reviews, you will be looking at that egg for a long time!
If you have a suggestion for a Review Service that you have personally used, I’d love to hear about your experiences.