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Sunday, 3 January 2016

Readers, your Opinion Means the World to Us: Write a Book Review!

"Beloved reader? You would be shocked how much regular people will pay attention to you." ~ Kristen Lamb

The following post is an excerpt taken from author Kristen's Lamb's blogpost: The Ugly Truth of Publishing & How BEST to Support Writers (December 2015).

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"Reviews", by Kristen Lamb

"I get that a lot of people buy used because they are on a budget. Been there so *fist bump*. You can still support writers in meaningful ways.

Even if you buy new, there is another way you can support writers you love. Write a REVIEW. A GOOD ONE.

As a writer I have a personal policy. If I can’t say something good, I shut up. Mainly because I AM far more picky about story being a writer and an editor but also this business is brutal. If we are not supporting each other? Who will? Because our families don’t get us. Our significant others might. Our kids think we are nuts. So I only leave glowing reviews. But that is me. Writers shouldn’t eat their young.

For READERS. Reviews are more important now than ever before, especially for the indie and self-published author. The reason is that with the change in the publishing paradigm, the slush pile (unfortunately) has been dumped into the reader’s lap. There are a lot of bad books out there. But even then, that really isn’t all that big of a problem.

Want to know the bigger problem?

There are a lot of good books out there.

With the Internet and social media and the explosion of books there is SO MUCH content. This means consumers are overwhelmed with choices. Reviews help writers sell books because if readers see a book with no reviews or five reviews versus a similar title with thirty reviews? Who will they choose? Additionally writers gain access to promotional tools like Bookbub, but can ONLY do this with a minimum number of reviews.

Instead of sending me an e-mail about how much my book changed your life? Put it on Amazon and change MINE! 

Readers are essential to our success beyond just the sale. If you love our books, your promotion means a thousand times more than any ad I could pay for. Ads and marketing don’t sell books. Never did and never will. Only thing that sells books is word of mouth.

Beloved reader? You would be shocked how much regular people will pay attention to you. That review is worth your weight in gold to me for a number of reasons. Humans don’t like being first. So unless a couple of you are brave and review? My book can sit with NO reviews and it is then unlikely to sell.
Think about a shelf with ONE item. It freaks us out. There is only ONE. Is it poison?

Secondly, when you review us, Amazon favors our books in the algorithms meaning more people SEE our book. More people SEE it, odds are I will sell more copies. In the on-line world YOU have the power to get US that awesome front of the store book placement. The more reviews the better the algorithm. Better algorithm, more views. More views, more sales, more sales —> we make a best-seller LIST!

You can also use your social media because it means more than ours.
Tweet a picture of our book. Put it on Facebook. People in your network ARE noticing. Peer review and approval is paramount in the digital age. And don’t support your favorite author on Goodreads as a first choice (AMAZON reviews are better).  ..."

***  Okay, I'm interrupting Kristen's post at this point to explain why placing your review on Amazon first is important, (personally I love Goodreads too!) but by the time readers are looking around Amazon, they pretty much have decided that they are ready to buy a book, it is a shopping site after all.

Even if certain shoppers don't want to support Amazon over their local bookstore, they often go there just for the reviews to see if a book is a good choice to spend their money on

Yes, I love Goodreads, but please, also stick up a review on Amazon!

You, dear reader, have the awesome power and opportunity to make our books a success!

It's up to you for the simple reason marketing doesn't work as Kristen Lamb points out, and also because people don't like us authors jabbering on about our books all the time as it is terribly annoying.  (It's like Aunt Betty pinching your cheeks like you were a baby and taking out all the family photos every time you come for a visit, right?)  Not to mention the fact that people expect authors to say nothing but good things about our own publications.  We soon get tuned out and ignored.

So, if books are only successful through word of mouth, reviews are our lifeblood.

It's readers like you who can give a second opinion and thereby encourage others to give a book a chance. 

Okay, back to Kristen's last words on the subject.... 

"Support us on your regular Facebook page or Instagram or Twitter. Because when you post a great new book you LOVED your regular friends see that."

Yes, and remember Amazon and Goodreads!  Thanks Kristen!

 Yes, we authors really appreciate all our reader's reviews.  Thank you for taking the time to write them.

Read Kristen Lamb's full blog post about the ugly, nitty gritty of the traditional publishing industry: click here.


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