Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Reviews, Reviewerss, Reviewing - Part 1

Reviews, Reviewers, and Reviewing – Part 1

This series of posts is a combination of commentary, instructional advice, and just plain begging. And, doesn't the title remind you a bit of your 9th-grade English class doing a grammar exercise?

What is a book review?
At it’s simplest, a review is an opinion piece written by a reader of a book.
  • A review might be brief: Loved it! Hated it!
  • A review might be one sentence: The cover caught my eye but the writing on the inside is what kept my attention and captured my heart. (This is an actual review of Traveler’s HOT L. It’s one of my favorites.)
  • A review might be several sentences to several paragraphs.

Regardless of length, a review gives a prospective reader a glimpse into the mind of another reader. It informs the searcher of another’s experience allowing the new reader to make a more informed decision.

What’s a book review cost?

  1. A free copy from the author. If you want to do this, make your ebook free for a day and have the reviewer download it.
  2. A gift card to purchase the book from Amazon.
  3. These are very good options, particularly if you provide the book by free download. Amazon rates reviews higher a when they are from a reviewer who got the book as a “verified purchase.”
There are some free opportunities for reviews from well-known sources. Publisher’s Weekly will screen your book for free. If it passes muster, they publish their review. The division of PW that does this is called BookLife.

Take heart. I promise to suggest something about cost in Part 2.

What’s a book review worth?
Ultimately, book reviews are the driving force in selling your book. More reviews mean more exposure by Amazon. Until your book has 50 reviews, you don’t get much publicity from Amazon. 50 is the current number, it’s changed at least twice in the part two years as more books have hit the market. At 50 reviews, Amazon begins to take notice. They include your books in emails to readers. You know the one’s that start, “Based on your recent visit, we thought you might be interested in these items,” or something like that.

Amazon does have some criteria for accepting reviews in their counting to 50. More on that next time, along with the fulfillment of my promise above.

Next blog: Reviews, Reviewers, and Reviewing – Part 2

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