Book reviews

The importance of book reviews

Reader reviews

Authors often pay too much attention to reviews, at the expense of what really matters: sales. Reviews are an instrument that help encourage sales, but they should never be viewed as an end goal per se.

Reviews alone don’t sell books. Even if you got the most glowing customer review on Amazon, that review in and of itself would not bring more readers to your book page. It would only increase the likelihood that new readers you send to your book page end up purchasing it.

In marketing jargon, customer reviews affect your conversion, but don’t drive traffic.

That’s not to downplay the importance of reviews. But don’t think that a good review will make your book magically start to sell.

Editorial reviews

So far, I’ve been referring mostly to consumer reviews — i.e. reviews from random readers who buy your book.

But a customer review isn’t the only kind of review out there. There are also what we call “editorial reviews,” which are authored by professional or semi-professional reviewers. These are posted on blogs or websites other than Goodreads, Amazon, or other e-retailers.

The most popular examples of editorial reviews are the ones you’ll find in newspapers or online magazines like The Guardian, The New York Review of Books, Times Literary supplement etc. See the latest review on Nation.Cymru for The Cave of Shadows by Cambria author Martyn Rhys Vaughan. Cambria authors have also often been reviewed or interviewed in most of the local and national newspapers (Western Mail) in Wales such as they are.

This kind of an editorial review is the dream of many an author — but its actual value is doubtful, and certainly not worth alot of effort or expense. So are all editorial reviews worthless? Definitely not.

Firstly, there are countless book bloggers who have strong and engaged audiences in niche genres — and many of them are open to reviewing books. Of course, it’ll require a bit of work on your part to get your book reviewed: you need to research each book blog in-depth, pitch your book elegantly (and well in advance), follow up, etc.

Whether that’s worth your time is up for you to decide, but it’s certainly an avenue worth considering, especially if you don’t have an established readership already. But here’s what’s even more important: even if an editorial review doesn’t yield you direct sales, it’s a fantastic tool to use for your other marketing efforts.

Editorial reviews tend to be written much better than your average random customer review, making them a lot more “quotable.” You can re-use such quotes in your book description, back cover copy, or advertising copy .

A quote from a recognised source in your genre will carry a lot more weight in the eyes of readers than one from “Anonymous Amazon Customer.”

Use a Kindle to read eBooks? Read them all for free!

Goodreads: Promoting your book

As part of our series on helping authors market their books, this article is about GoodReads.

The Goodreads Author Program

Become a Goodreads Author

The Goodreads Author Program allows published authors to claim their profile page to promote their book and engage with readers. Once verified, an author profile will include the official Goodreads Author badge, which can be used to tell fans to follow on Goodreads.

Benefits of Claiming a Profile Page

Manage Your Profile

Update your profile picture, write your bio, and fix your book listings—by joining the Goodreads Author Program you’re able to keep the information about yourself up-to-date.

Promote Your Books

Run a giveaway, connect your blog, advertise your books—the Goodreads Author Program gives you access to the marketing tools you need to build buzz around your books.

Interact with Readers

Take questions from readers using Ask The Author, write reviews, and show off your taste in literature. Readers love to learn what books their favorite authors are reading!

Claiming Your Profile

To apply for the Author Program, you can follow these steps when visiting the desktop version of Goodreads:

  1. Sign in or create an account, and then search for your most popular book via ISBN, ASIN, or title.
  2. On the book, click on your author name. Scroll to the bottom of your author profile page.
  3. Click “Is this you? Let us know!” to complete and submit the application.

Already a Goodreads Author? Learn how to use the Author Program effectively on Authors & Advertisers Blog.

Buying our books from Amazon

We are often asked if our books can be bought from Amazon. The answer is YES of course. We know that most people buy from Amazon and have always considered them as our major sales outlet particularly for eBooks of which they have over 80% of the market.

It sometimes takes a few days after the publication date before the print book is listed but almost immediately for the eBook version. It also takes a few sales before Amazon will stock the book for quick delivery – so although it will be listed, the delivery time may be a longer wait than normal or even be ‘out of stock’. However, in our experience, this delay is usually fixed and reduced pretty quickly.

Reviews

Getting good reviews on Amazon is a vital part of marketing books and this can take time. It is also important to note that reviews can only be posted by people who have purchased a book from Amazon (ie. a confirmed purchase) Reviews cannot be posted by non-amazon customers or by us the publisher.

Our books can always be ordered from Amazon. See the sample below.

BookBub: Promoting your book.

As part of our series on helping authors market their books, this article is about BookBub. Get in touch if you want us to run a marketing campaign using this service. We have found it can be very effective for certain types of books and for reaching new audiences especially when the book is first published. The costs (from £50) are, for our service running the campaigns for you, plus the cost of the ‘pay per clicks’ system used by BookBub. This is controlable by region, reader type, genre and budget limited.

What is BookBub?

For Authors & Publishers: BookBub lets authors and publishers connect with millions of power readers to find new fans and sell more books. The marketing tools can help increase a book’s revenue, boost a book up a bestseller list, hook readers into a series, build new release buzz, grow an author’s following, and more!

How does BookBub work?

Readers join for free by providing their email address and choosing their favorite genres, authors, and retailers at BookBub.com. Once signed up, BookBub alerts them to the limited-time discounts, new releases, and preorders on books matching their preferences. Readers can also browse BookBub.com for customized recommendations from people they trust, like authors, editors, and friends. When they see a book they like, they click through to their book retailer of choice and purchase the book from there.

What kinds of books are selected for BookBub’s Featured Deals?

BookBub features a wide range of books across more than four dozen genres. From mysteries to biographies, romance to cookbooks, children’s books to science fiction, BookBub’s selections represent the best of each category. How does BookBub choose which books to select for Featured Deals? Publishers and authors submit hundreds of book deals every day for consideration. BookBub’s editorial team reviews each of these submissions in detail to determine the best ones, taking into account a number of factors, including the book’s critical acclaim, price point, reader reviews, author background, and cover design. The editorial team evaluates the subject matter of a book based on historical reader reaction for that genre.

How does BookBub make money?

Publishers and authors pay BookBub to use their marketing tools. Fees vary based on the product, the book, and a number of other factors.

Does BookBub sell books?

No. BookBub simply alerts its members to the books that its editorial team selects as the best. Readers purchase and download books from their retailer of choice. BookBub works with all major ebook retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, and Kobo.


If this of interest to you get in touch! and we can discuss a campaign and suitable budget.


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