How do Reviews Sell Books???

Okay – so I said I was not going to post a new blog entry tonight – but here it is anyway.I was just over at Kindleboards and somebody asked the following question.

I’m just curious. I just published my first e-book last Saturday and I really have no idea how the whole review thing works. I keep seeing on various sites how I should be encouraging people who have bought the book to write reviews.

How do reviews affect sales?


(PS: I removed the smiley – because this is a VERY serious blog – with no puns or wisecracks or smiley icons – and only the occasional fart-joke)

AND – because I was posting on Kindleboards I referred primarily to Amazon – but this holds true for e-books on Kobo, Nook and any other kind of e-book distributor – OR FOR THAT MATTER – for traditionally published books, as well.

So – how do reviews affect sales?

Reviews help in an AWFUL lot of ways.

I can think of FOUR good reasons – right off of the top of my brain pan.

Here goes –

1 – A good review is a natural encouragement. Say somebody stumbles onto your book over at Amazon and is thinking about buying it. Having a few SOLID reviews on there help encourage that “stumbling reader” to actually reach for that “BUY NOW” button.

2 – I am also told that a certain number of good reviews can help with your author ranking – depending on the vagaries of the Amazon buzz-machine.

3 – Certain promotional websites – such as Pixels of Ink – DEMAND a certain amount of reviews before they will consider publicizing your e-book on their website.

4 – A good review on an independent blog/website/magazine is – basically – an unpaid for advertisement. I’ve bought quite a few books in the past just because I read a good review in my favorite magazine. Every good review published anywhere else other than Amazon represents another chance for your book to be discovered by a hungry reader.

Word-of-mouth is one of the single greatest factors towards creating more sales.

The best way to think about it is that every single review is basically one more person – other than yourself – standing up in the middle of the internet telling the world to go buy your book!

If you want to read the WHOLE thread over at Kindleboards just click right here!

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

3 responses to “How do Reviews Sell Books???

  1. I occasionally wrote reviews for books I really enjoyed, but with the new shift Amazon has made to scrutinize reviews by authors (sock puppeting, etc.) I might end up just writing them on my blog when i feel the spirit move me to recommend something. Kind of sad for the Amazon readers in some ways.


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