By Nicole Loughan
Author of the best-selling Saints Mystery Series
I often hear authors say it’s demeaning to ask for reviews, it’s beneath them or just downright embarrassing. I beg to differ.
Reviews are almost the single most important thing you can do for your books behind writing a great book. Reviews help give you an air of legitimacy and more than anything they help with sales.
Selling a book without reviews is like trying to push a really heavy boulder up a hill. For each review you receive the steep grade of that hill gets a little lower. And once you have more than 100 reviews that hill barely exists and the boulder just needs a nudge.
With my own books, I started with about four reviews, and those took a lot of groveling. I gave away my book in exchange for an honest review to bloggers and acquaintances who liked my genre. I even gave a copy to my mother-in-law, who is actually a pretty nice mother-in-law.
I ran giveaways on targeted websites and before long I had nearly 12 glowing reviews and a one star review that trashed me for daring to sell my books for money. That one star didn’t hurt, my average was over a 4.0 and that meant I could take those 12 reviews and turn them into cash.
How does one do that, well with 12 reviews you are able to advertise at some of the best companies on the web, such as Free Kindle Books and Tips or Fussy Librarian. The bigger sites, like BookBub want to see far more.
I did not run a deal with Bookbub until I had more than 26 positive reviews and today that number is even higher, sone up to 100. There is good reason for this. These companies are sought out by readers and authors as authorities on books that are actually good and they don’t want to back a stinker.
Think about how you personally buy anything. My husband won’t so much as look at a toaster unless a few people have talked about how many crumbs it leaves on the counter and if he can fit a bagel in the slot.
Consumers rely on other people to know what’s popular and to be sure they are not wasting their money. It’s much easier to have confidence in a purchase when you know 100 other people liked it.
If you wrote a book and you know it’s good, give a few copies away to the cause, then bite the bullet and ask for reviews. Reviews, good, bad or indifferent are as good as gold.