This week's focus:
Rob Eagar's Monday Morning Marketing Tip
is written to help authors, publishers, and organizations
spread their message like wildfire.
Sometimes, I get caught up in the effect that Amazon reviews can have on a particular book. For example, if someone recommends a title to me, my habit is to go find that book on Amazon.com and read through most of the reviews. Based on those comments, I'll generally form an opinion as to whether or not I want to purchase the book.
The power of the collective voice on Amazon has become one of the biggest factors over people's buying decisions. And, Amazon's system is more robust and influential than any other retailer. So, as an author, you cannot afford to ignore the persuasive force that's in play. That's why I recommend regularly monitoring your Amazon book reviews and staying on top of the public's feedback. If you disregard what people say, you could needlessly lose a lot of book sales.
Having said that, it's okay to encourage your community of fans to support you by posting positive reviews on Amazon (as well as other sites, such as B&N.com, GoodReads, LibraryThing, FaceBook, Twitter, etc.) If you find that your book is struggling to get reviews, here are some active steps you can take to address the issue.
- Send out a newsletter or an email blast to your fans asking them to submit a review. It's okay to ask for help. Some of my clients who are New York Times bestsellers do this regularly.
- When someone sends you a letter or an email thanking you for your book, respond quickly and ask that person to return the favor by posting a favorable review.
- Ask people who have already given you a formal endorsement to post their glowing comments on Amazon.
Use Amazon to your benefit by trying to garner as many reviews as possible. You can achieve this goal primarily by writing a great book. High quality work will ultimately stimulate great feedback. That's why the level of your writing still matters to your book's success. If you churn out a boring, uninspired manuscript that lacks solid research and editing, you may pay a price in the court of public opinion.