How Book Reviews Help Readers Decide on a Purchase

Book reviews often help a reader decide on a book purchase. Book marketing depends a great deal on what others have to say about your writing. The only way that the public knows if a book is good is if it has been read by others and is recommended, unless they read it themselves. There are very few authors who can just sell their work without getting book reviews. For the most part, book reviewers influence the popularity of any novel or book especially those written by newcomers.

If you have a self published book and are looking for a way to promote it, you need to consider the services of a book review company. A book review service will often specialize in self published book reviews as a way to help others form an interest in these works. Those who have self published their writing and are seeking self published book marketing cannot afford to ignore the power of these type of notices.

Book reviewers work for magazines and newspapers. Most of the time, they are an independent writer who reviews books for a living. These reviews are featured in magazines like the New Yorker or The New York Times book section and are written by professional writers. Book reviewers are often inundated with requests to read and write about books. Unless you know a book reviewer who regularly freelances for well read publications, chances are that you are not going to get your work reviewed by a well known person. These writers have relationships with those who work for the major publishing houses. Those publishers spend a lot of money getting books published for authors and in cultivating relationships with those in the book review industry.

So how does a self published author take advantage of book reviews for their own book? They have to use a book review service. These services can help a self published author get the marketing that they need to get their work noticed. The more popular the book appears and the more it is reviewed, the more chances it has to be picked up by the public. Book reviews are a form of viral marketing, which is very effective in the publishing world. But you do not have to wait until this sort of marketing comes to you – you can seek out these notices by looking for a service that specializes in creating self published book reviews. The more often the work is reviewed, the more it generates a buzz with the public and the more likely they are to purchase the book. Book reviews have a tremendous impact on the sale of new books, no matter who writes them or where they are published.

10 Tips to Writing a Book Review

Writing a book review sounds like a relatively easy task. Surely all you need to do is read the book in question, and then write a paragraph or two on what the book was about and whether or not you thought the book was any good. Humm, if only life were that simply! In reality it is really quite difficult to write a successful book review. Yes of course you can simply précis the book and add a final comment about whether you found it to be an enjoyable read or not, but this is unlikely to leave you with a book review that readers are keen to read… and so in turn unfortunately the book you are reviewing is unlikely to gain all that much interest off of the back of your review either. No, if you want to write a successful book review then you need to keep a few top tips in mind at all times.

1. Choose the book you are going to review carefully. For a book review to appeal, the book that you are reviewing needs to lend itself to the creation of a book review that is informative, entertaining and readable. The book itself also needs to appeal to a wide audience.

2. Ensure that you have read one or two books or pieces of writing by the author of the book that you have chosen to review. You need to understand where the author has come from, a little of their writing history, before you can comment on a new release.

3. Comparison is important in book reviews. Read other, similar books by contemporaries so that you can offer some form of comparison in your own analysis of the book’s worth in today’s literary field.

4. Consider how far the author has succeeded in avoiding the pitfalls of the genre that they have written in. Are there clichés? Have they introduced a new form of language or use of language when dealing with a specific genre? Is the plot line all too obvious?

5. Look at the recognised successes of the author in light of this particular book that you are reviewing. Has the author won any awards? Have they been nominated for any? Have they received published praise anywhere?

6. If you are reviewing a non-fiction book, be sure to check that any facts or figures quoted within the book are accurate. Whilst an author’s reputation will be damaged by the inclusion of inaccurate information, so too with the reputation of a reviewer who fails to spot these mistakes.

7. Be sure to cover the main elements of the plot line in your review of fictional pieces, but don’t give away the ending – the reader of your review needs a reason to go on and read the book after all!

8. Find a way to extract the theme or message from the storyline, and inform your readers of this theme. It is important that reviewers look at both the obvious story and the underlying message when reviewing fictional works.

9. Think about the style of the book – is there anything unusual or revolutionary about the way the book has been written? If so, this needs to be highlighted in your review.

10. Finally, as with all types of writing, don’t forget how important it is to check through your book review. Ensure that it flows well, that it is logical, clear and concise in message, and that it is squeaky clean in terms of spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Book Promotion and Book Marketing With Online Book Reviews

Book promotion used to be all about book tours and book reviews in print media. These days the reviews that count are not all in the print media. They’re mostly on online bookstores, especially the Amazon bookstore community.

Amazon has become so powerful that authors will invest scarce resources to get reviewed there. Many authors have false beliefs about what it takes to get an online book review. It’s actually quite simple and straightforward.

As a prolific reviewer and a published author, I have experienced the process and have some tips to share with authors who want to make online reviews a key part of their book promotion.

First, I am horrified to learn that authors pay freelancers and agencies to write reviews for them. This is a huge waste of money. Instead, use your budget to send review copies to the most prolific reviewers in your genre. Read the reviewer’s past reviews to discover his or her tastes. For example, if you have a book on parenting newborn babies, look at other books on this topic. Notice which reviewers seem genuinely interested. They’ll probably be happy to review your book, too.

Anyway, one or two great reviews will not save your book. Even if one or two reviewers think your book ranks up there with War and Peace and the top-selling Stephen King novel, they can’t save your book. It’s the cumulative ratings that create viral marketing for your book.

Do not ask reviewers to write a review based on one chapter or a pdf version of the book. Send a hard copy of the whole book.

Once a reviewer agrees to consider reviewing your book, move on to your next marketing step. Do not hound the reviewer. Most prolific reviewers have backlog of books in the “To Review” pile. Some reviewers will choose not to review a book (especially one from a self-published author or small press) if they don’t like the book. They reason that it’s going nowhere,so why add to the author’s pain?

And you cannot complain about your review. Believe it or not, the most convincing reviews are balanced. The puffy reviews are not taken seriously. Online readers are smart and their authenticity radar is finely-tuned.

Do not spend a lot of money on packaging. Skip the gold wrapping paper, ribbons and glossy flyers. I can’t imagine how they would influence a reviewer.

In fact, the best way to get a handful of 4-star and 5-star reviews is to (drum roll, please!) write a good book. Nothing will compensate for a bad book, even if you somehow convince your friends and family to write glowing reviews. The online book community will pick up vibes from those reviews and you may be worse off. Readers actually complain, “The first 20 reviews look like they came from the author’s mother.”