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Imperative Piece: Reviews!

by:  Staci Stallings

While we’re talking about landing pages and specifically Amazon landing pages, there is something I need to point out.  Reviews are IMPERATIVE!

Prior to getting reviews, you need to make sure your copy is as error-free as you can make it.  Once you’ve done that, you need to start getting reviews.

The truth about reviews is they do not just happen, at least at first, and to garner sales, you need around 10 really good reviews.  5-10 is a good start.  In the 20 range, your sales will begin to ramp up.  So don’t neglect getting as many great reviews as possible.

But how do you do that?

Every author has a different strategy and philosophy about reviews.  Some have a collection of reviewers that they have built up over the years.  They send ARC’s (Advanced Reader Copies) to these reviewers so that when the book is launched, they have built in reviews.  Others wait until it comes out and announce the book is available for review.  You will probably have to provide a review copy no matter how you choose to do this, so budget accordingly.  If you are on Smashwords, I believe there is a way to offer coupons that let readers get the book free or discounted.  If you can format for the devise (.mobi, etc.) you can do it that way.  Or you can prepare and send pdfs or Word docs.  It’s up to you and the reviewer to decide what works the best.

I generally give my reviewers about 3 weeks to a month to complete the review before I go back and email them to make sure they have remembered.  It takes about 15 reviewers to get 10 reviews (I don’t know why.  It just does.)

For me, I generally put a call-out for reviewers to my email writer loops, my FB page, and sometimes on Twitter though that has never given very reliable results.

Collecting reviewers and sending the ARC’s usually takes about 2 days to get everyone squared away.

Another way you can get reviews is through sites like Book Rooster.  On those, you pay a set-up fee of around $60, and they put your book up for review on their site.  People who review for their site will see it and if interested, request a copy.  This is really hit or miss.  I’ve had good luck with some of these and bad luck with others.  Good luck one time and bad luck the next.  There is really no rhyme or reason, so don’t put all your eggs in this basket, thinking it is the answer.  It is part of the answer but not the whole one.

Here are other sites you can check into.  I have not visited all of them.  Some post reviews, others do reviews.

http://hampton-networks.com

http://www.epublishabook.com/2012/01/24/40-book-promoting-sites-part-1/?utm_source=BlogGlue_network&utm_medium=BlogGlue_Plugin#axzz1o4rQVOxN (This is a list of 40 promotion sites, some do reviews)

www.anobii.com
bookeventcenter.spruz.com
www.blognut.net
bookblogs.ning.com
thebookmarketingnetwork.com
reviewabook.ning.com
buzz.spruz.com
book place on facebook
bookprofessionals.ning.com
booktown.ning.com
www.bookjetty.com
coldcoffee.ning.com
clarkisaacs.ning.com
www.connectviabooks.com
facebook
reviewers roundup – facebook
www.goodreads.com
www.ijustfinished.com
ifogovillage.ning.com
latenightreading.wordpress.com
www:librarything.com
www.listal.com
www.livelaughlovetoshop.com
mmnetworks.ning.com
mythicaweb.com
publishedauthors.spruz.com
roundtable.spruz.com
www.shelfari.com
www.startupspace.com
thenetsurfcafe.ning.com
Twitter
www.twitbook.tw
weread.com
yvonnemason.wordpress.com
elygantthings.ning.com
promotionalandadvertizingclub.ning.com
minds-eye.ning.com
mythica.socialgo.com
nolan-ruizbooks.ning.com
www.authornation.com
www.entertainee.com
writersworld.spruz.com

I have not been to all of these.  Some may not even be working anymore.  But they give you a place to start garnering those imperative reviews!  (Special thanks to Diana Brandmeyer for the list!)

Finally, a note as to why reviews are so important.  If you’ve ever hit an Amazon book page with few or no reviews, how likely are you to purchase that book?  How about if you get to one that has say 25 GREAT reviews.  Makes it much easier to buy, doesn’t it?

That’s what you want for your book!  But it won’t just happen.  You’re going to have to put some effort into this one.

Good luck and God bless!

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