Are you an author who is getting ready to sell your book? You’ve spent months, perhaps even years, writing your book. Now it’s time to learn the tough lessons of book marketing.
Authors often are surprised to discover that publishers rarely provide extensive funds for marketing a book. A few authors with a huge following will get book tours and advertising. However, one author with a six figure advance told me, “I was surprised to find the publisher didn’t follow up with support for marketing. You would think they would want to protect their investment.”
Actually, some publishers expect you will spend your advance to promote your book. Additionally, traditional book tours can be frustrating with a low return on your investment of time, energy and money.
One way authors and publishers replace bookstore readings is by investing in online book reviews. These days, readers often turn to online bookstores, especially Amazon, to find out what ordinary readers think about a book. Even top publishers invest in review copies for online non-professional reviewers.
Therefore, authors realize they need to get reviews for their books. But where do you start? Most authors make these three mistakes.
(1) Asking family and friends to review your book.
If your family and friends have written online reviews for other books and products, they will probably write helpful reviews. Too often, however, they see their role as supporting you by writing puffy, glowing reviews. These reviews backfire. A reader who sees a half dozen or more glowing reviews from first-time reviewers will become suspicious.
Alternatively, these well-meaning folks will have trouble saying “no” to you. They write a short review that readers will ignore.
(2) Asking forum members to help you with a “glowing” review.
Every so often, you will see posts on authors’ forums: “Just wrote a book and hope you will help me out with a glowing review.” These posts backfire for two reasons.
First, readers are discriminating. They don’t expect a book to get only glowing reviews. They look for thoughtful, insightful, balanced reviews.
Second, readers will feel cheated when they read a book that was promoted by falsely glowing reviews. They will not only write reviews to criticize the book, but they will also write negative (even nasty) comments on the review itself.
(3) Paying for book reviews.
You will find services that offer to write positive book reviews for your book in the online book stores. Typically they charge $15-$50 for writing just one review.
However, just a few reviews won’t make a big difference to your book’s sales. If you can pay for many reviews, you would do better to invest the funds in publicity, copywriting and other types of marketing support.
These reviews tend to be shallow and poorly written. Often they are labeled with the name of the company, so readers know you paid for the review.
If you have written a good book that meets the demands of your target market, you will have no trouble getting reviews. You can approach experienced reviewers with a well-written query and you will get quality reviews at no charge.