by Shelley Hitz
Getting reviews for your book is an essential part of the publishing and marketing process. However, there are many misconceptions authors have regarding book reviews. In this post I address the 5 common myths about getting reviews for your book.
Myth #1: Customers Don’t Read Reviews
Reviews are important and research has actually shown they do impact buying decisions. A research study conducted by Dimensional Research showed that 90% of customers reported reading positive reviews online impacted their buying decisions. In the same way, 86% of customers said reading negative reviews online impacted their buying decisions as well.
Tip: Make sure you don’t ignore this important step of getting honest reviews for your book. They have more impact than you may realize.
Myth #2: Anyone Can Post Reviews on Amazon
As an author, it is important understand each retailer’s terms of service regarding reviews. For example, Amazon prohibits authors from reviewing a competitor’s book that would be seen as a “directly competing product.”
Tip: Even though “directly competing” authors are unable to post reviews for you, you can ask them for endorsements. You can then put these endorsements in the beginning of your book as well as in the “Editorial Reviews” section on your sales page.
Myth #3: You’re Going To Spend an Arm and a Leg on Review Copies
You may think that you have to spend a fortune to give out review copies of your book. First, you have to pay for the print book copies and then you have to pay to have it shipped to your reviewer. If the reviewer is international, the shipping will be even more expensive.
Tip: However, you can significantly cut your costs by sending out eBook copies to reviewers. You can send out PDF, mobi, and/or epub copies of your books to most reviewers. You may still want to send print copies to certain high profile book review bloggers and/or potential endorsers for your book, but most reviewers will agree to review a digital copy of your book.
Myth #4: No Reviews Are Better Than Bad Reviews
When writing, publishing, and marketing your book it is good to know upfront that you will get both positive and negative reviews. After pouring your time and talent into your book (and some of your hard earned money), it is natural to want to see all 4 and 5 star reviews.
However, the reality is that you will NOT please every reader who buys your book. Even the very best authors still get 1, 2, and 3 star reviews on their books.
Sometimes negative reviews can actually be helpful. You may think that no reviews are better than bad reviews. But if your book has all 5 star reviews, people may think all your reviews are from supporters: your family and friends.
Tip: We encourage you to not be afraid of getting negative reviews. Expect that they will come and then move on. If you have written a good book, good reviews will continue to come in faster than the bad reviews and your overall rating will still remain high.
Myth #5: Everyone Who Agrees to Review Your Book Will Follow Through
Understand that not all readers who agree to review your book will actually follow through. Don’t take it personally as your reviewers are volunteers and have busy lives, but make sure to send at least one follow up e-mail message.
Tip: We have found that sending a follow-up message to reviewers who have not posted a review can double the response rate. Reviewers will sometimes forget, or lose the links, to post the review. They are busy just like us. Sending a simple reminder can make a huge difference.
I have just shared 5 myths about getting reviews for your book. What advice do you have for authors on getting reviews for a book? Share your tips in the comments below.
This article was originally published on The Future of Ink and is reprinted here in its entirety for our Magnolia Media Network readers.