Reviews, Wherefor art thou?
How would Shakespeare fare if he had to solicit online book reviews?
Everything revolves around reviews. Consider any industry, and I defy you to find one that does not require a customer review. This isn’t a recent phenomenon. Word of mouth is a form of oral review. Now, though, reviews affect a business’s revenue.As a physician, I hated patient online reviews because they rarely concerned my work. Patients usually discussed wait times, copays, and parking. Their reviews didn’t address my medical expertise.
Authors thrive–survive—on book reviews. Those comments relate to my writing abilities. Of course, they are user dependent. Recently, I received a poor review from a reader new to the genre. Their comments, while valid, didn’t bother me as they admitted inexperience with urban fantasy. But I valued their opinion to grow as an author. Consider reader comments, but don’t allow them to derail your work. Reviews are valid, but as authors, we write what we like—or at least I do.
Over the past two months, I published two books, a mystery and an urban fantasy. Different genres, same author with similar results. Besides asking—repeatedly— and offering free books or gift cards, I remain flabbergasted. How can authors increase their online book reviews?
During a recent relocation, I hired movers, cleaners, different service people to assist me. Each tradesperson requested an online review. The carpet cleaner even mailed a reminder letter. Two weeks prior to each book release, I sent several emails requesting reviews. The tactic definitely helped sales. Dark Blood Awakens sold over a hundred books in one month. But it yielded only one Amazon review and two on Goodreads. Will keep you informed about how Murder In Gemini performs.
So, what is the magic formula to generate online book reviews? Don’t know. The search continues. I’m open to suggestions.