The Proactive Author: A Closer Look at How to Get More Book Reviews
Part 1: The Power of the Ask
As we discussed in a previous blog post, generating online reviews for your book can be tricky. It’s also very important, as it communicates to consumers the public dialogue your book incites – and any dialogue stirred up by your book is better than no dialogue at all.
Obviously, a page full of negative responses will most likely deter readers, but a few negative reviews mixed in with a larger number of positives (in addition to a few neutrals) is not the end of the world, and in some ways helps to keep the conversation going. In order to understand the importance of reviews as social proof for consumers, as well as the best ways to generate them, we’re going to dive deeper into our previous post, section by section, beginning with one of the easiest techniques – ask, ask, ask! And when that’s all said and done, ask a little bit more.
The Best Ways to Ask for Reviews
- Start with Personal Connections
Off-the-grid authors are constantly in the business of gaining traction and momentum around their brand. Since different authors having various-sized fan bases, a good general place to start is with personal connections. Try sending out emails to your loved ones and friends that include a short message requesting feedback. Don’t forget to provide them with a link to where you would like their review to appear.
Pro-tip 1: Don’t beat around the bush when asking for favors. People tend to appreciate it when you just get straight to the point, as it’s seen as being more sincere.
- Ask Right Away
There’s no benefit in waiting. Use the momentum of a newly released book to your advantage. As people are giving you their initial feedback, make sure to squeeze in a review request. It should almost become second nature to ask in every situation, but do your best to fit it into conversations naturally. A majority of readers already know the importance of reviews to an author’s success, so you don’t have to worry about this technique being “out-of-the-ordinary” or “inappropriate.”
- Engage Casual Compliments
When a compliment about your book is thrown your way while you are in conversation, it’s definitely ok to thank the person and ask if they wouldn’t mind posting the compliment to your review page. Make them feel like a big part of your book’s success – because it’s true! Capturing these positive reviews makes a huge difference and can really shape your review page.
- Be Transparent
As touched on above, readers know how important it is to you to have reviews for your book. So you can simply be straightforward when asking for them. No need for tricks or misdirection here. A simple, “I am trying to generate an online presence for my book and really need to get reviews collected online. I would really appreciate your feedback!” is perfectly fine. One thing to remember, though – never try to influence the reader into giving you a positive response. This is considered bad practice and monitored by most review sites.
Pro-tip 2: A good way to filter the positive reviews onto your review page without directly asking for one is to frame the request with something like: “Did you enjoy this read?” or “Have a favorite chapter?” Followed by: “Let us know about it here.” Then, direct them to your review page.
Make sure to stay tuned for the next steps in generating reviews for your book where we will discuss getting the most reviews as possible from your fan base!
— Marquina (@Marquina) October 12, 2016