Reviews Are The New “Gold” in Publishing Currency.
by AFN Clarke
You’re an Indie author, you just finished a new book and you know the only way to sell it is to promote it. But you’re also told by successful authors that without 10 – 15 reviews promotion is a waste of time and money, as most readers won’t buy a book with few reviews. But how can you get 15 reviews, without promotion and sales? It’s a circular and exasperating predicament.
Here are a few tips to building those prized reviews quickly (what I suggest for Amazon can be replicated on most other ebook retail sites):
1. Give your book away for free to boost readership and reviews.
Offer a free pre-publication edition of your book to family and friends in return for a review. Make the offer 1-2 months before publication – the moment it appears, your readers can post reviews.
Alternatively, whatever your book’s final price, launch it at something like 99 cents. Offer to gift your book for 1 week to those in your social networks in return for a review (Email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ etc). The Gift A Copy button is under the Click To Buy button on Amazon. Yes, you pay for each book you gift, but that sale registers in Amazon’s algorithms, increasing your book’s ranking and visibility. The resultant reviews aren’t Verified Purchase Reviews, but better than nothing. Never demand a review, request one politely AND ask for an honest review – the whole purpose is to increase the number of genuine reviews for your book.
Giveaways are another way to get your book out there to readers quickly for free in the hope they will post a review. Ask any reputable author/reader website to work with you on a giveaway or contact sites like Freebooksy, BookGoodies, Free Book Dude, The Frugal eReader.
2. Request reviews through the author community.
Established author/reader websites are great places to request a review including: Author Marketing Club; World Literary Café; Book Tweeting Service; BookGoodies; GoodReads; Zwoodle Books; The Kindle Book Review; Facebook; Kindleboards.
3. Create a virtual blog tour.
Well-known bloggers reach thousands of readers that you could never reach alone. Reputable websites like Orangeberry Book Tours (OB) offer an amazing selection of virtual book tours through their extensive blogger network. The cost is very reasonable and the service excellent. For me, OB is a busy author’s dream-come-true. Just the 7-day tour for my politically provocative thriller An Unquiet American yielded great results. I’m now in the middle of a longer tour for my latest book The Orange Moon Affair – the first in a new thriller series – and while it’s already doing well with 4.9 Stars on Amazon, my guess is that once the 30 day blog tour is over I will have at least 25 more reviews and thousands more readers who will have heard of my book, and many who’ve hopefully bought it.
The key is to keep working with people/service providers who can help you go viral – to leverage what you do, expand your promotion efforts exponentially and get you out to tens of thousands of readers.
4. Ready to promote?
Once you have a decent number of reviews I recommend you read the Author Resources section of The Kindle Book Review and follow Jeff Bennington’s tips for effective marketing. Also read Jim F. Kukral’s The Ultimate Digital Promotion Handbook at the Author Marketing Club. Start promoting using their recommendations and slowly build your own expertise.
5. Track your results
Before you do any of the above, enroll your book(s) in Kindle Nation Daily’s eBookTracker and track your Amazon pricing data and sales ranking. Note when your sales ranking rises - in response to reviews? Advertising? Specific promotions? Price changes? It’s a great way to determine what works and what doesn’t.
May you win the “gold” and have the greatest of success!
AFN CLARKE is the son of a British MI6 operative, pilot, sailor, screenwriter, father of four who’s lived all over the world, served in the British Army and recovered from the physical/emotional traumas of war. His bestselling memoir CONTACT was serialized in a British newspaper and made into an award winning BBCTV film. He’s insatiably curious, loves heated discussions and has a rascally sense of humor. He now writes fiction of various genres – thrillers (The Orange Moon Affair and An Unquiet American); human drama (Dry Tortugas), humor/satire (Dreams from the Death Age; Armageddon), horror (Collisions) with more coming soon. For more information visit http://www.afnclarke.com, connect on Facebook or Twitter (@AFN Clarke).
The Orange Moon Affair - by the bestselling author of CONTACT - is the first book of a compelling new thriller series, an action-packed conspiracy with a hero and heroine you hold your breath for. If you enjoy the action of Robert Ludlum, the intensity of Brad Thor and the international intrigue of Daniel Silva, then this book’s for you!
Ex-British Special Forces soldier Thomas Gunn is drawn back into his old life of international intrigue and danger following the murder of his billionaire father. The deeper he digs the more complicated the puzzle becomes until he finds himself working for MI5 uncovering a global conspiracy that puts the freedom of the western world at grave risk. His girlfriend Julie becomes his accomplice surprising him with her loyalty, strength of character and physical prowess.
While traversing the globe being shot at, shot down and losing loved ones – a haunting question tears at his soul – was his father really at the heart of this evil conspiracy? Or was he a pawn in a larger more insidious game that even he could not control?
Seeking the final answer could cost Thomas dearly, ripping from him all that he most loves and cherishes and leaving him questioning his past, his future and what kind of person he is or wants to become. The final outcome depends on him. Or does it?
As a former Captain of Britain’s elite Parachute Regiment and son of an MI6 operative the author brings his own unique and eye-opening experiences to the character and exploits of Thomas Gunn, as well as an unsettling blurring of the lines between fiction and reality when exploring the ruthless abuse of power and position for personal gain.
“… The Orange Moon Affair is timely, eye-opening, fast-paced … you will find you want to turn the next page, and the next page, and the next … the first of the Thomas Gunn series … you don’t want to miss them!” 5 Stars, Remy Benoit.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG13
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