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Why are Reviews So Important for Authors

by Kim Vermaak

Reviews are a tangible way of showing that you have written a quality book that readers love. In the social media age reviews provide what we call social proof. Which is basically evidence that you are a talented writer and that readers can safely spend their hard earned cash on your book.

Reviews are part of a series of elements that you need to sell more books. At this point, we assume that you have a professional cover; you have written a decent book and had it professionally edited. Plus, of course, that blurb that entices the reader to want to see what is inside your book.

If you are planning on promoting your book on some of the reputable promotional sites, many of them have a minimum number of reviews that they require in order to consider including your book. The higher the number of reviews, the easier it is for you to get onto certain sights. Your initial target should be five to ten reviews. Even though you may pay for the promotions, all these promotional sites still want to present books that readers will thank them for. Reputable promo sites that are accessible to new authors may ask for a minimum of ten four star reviews.

Finding reviews may seem hard at first but there are websites that assist you with finding reviews. At this point, it is important to note that you must use reputable review sites. Amazon has terms and conditions that govern reviews and if you violate any of these terms and conditions, you can have your account closed. As with any business, keep a standard of only using moral, legal and ethical means to achieve your goals.There are “paid for” and “free book” review sites. With many of the free sites, your book may only appear on their blog, but it certainly adds to your visibility.

With so many choices out there on where to find reviews and promotions, you need to work at staying focused. If you are serious about your author career, Amazon should be your primary focus. The reason for that is that primary book promotion sites like BookBub, look at Amazon to assess the quality of your book. BookBub also looks at Goodreads, but Amazon is where they go first. It’s also going to be the place where you will sell most of your ebooks. Amazon is going to have the biggest effect on your book’s visibility, especially if you are a new author.

While all reviews are welcome, it is worth noting that only reviews left on Amazon.com will be visible in all of Amazon’s territories. This means if someone leaves a review on Amaon.uk it will only be visible in that market and not in the US market. That means double to work. So start concentrating your efforts on US based reviews.It is important to note that you may not reward people to give you a review. Reviews that Amazon feels are incentivised will cause the review being removed as they reserve the right to close your account. So what is an incentivised review?

If you offer a review for another author in exchange for one for your book, Amazon sees this as for an incentive for them to leave a review. You cannot offer a gift for a review and you can not offer to refund the cost of a book for a review. You can give the book for free to them as an ARC. But you can’t cover their costs. You can also not offer a gift card for them to buy the book. Watch out for “too good to be true claims.” When someone says “I guarantee 40+ reviews” run for the hills. If you are paying for reviews, this is another form of incentivised reviews. 

If this all seems like a headache, there are sufficient reputable paid for reviews facilitating websites you can use. Now you may say, “but you just said we can not pay for a review.” A company that facilitates authors finding reviews is not charging you for the review. They are offering a sort of matchmaking service and it is up to the individual reviewers themselves to choose whether they are going to leave a review. 

These sites take the pain out of finding genre specific reviewers and leave you with more time to write.

Here are some paid platforms to check out.https://storyoriginapp.comhttps://bookfunnel.com

To get reviews, you would need to add the three preferred formats of the book. These are MOBI, EPUB, and PDF. You will also need a good quality Jpeg of the book cover image. If your book is already on Amazon or one of the other online retailers, please leave 

There is no question why are reviews so important for authors. But what you have to question is do you have a vision for your author career to do what needs to be done to get those reviews.

You need to be focused, diligent and patient when working to get reviews, but it is well worth the effort.

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