Aside from steady sales, getting positive reader reviews up on the board ASAP is one of the most important things indie authors look for to help build vital launch momentum for their books. Positive customer reviews deliver powerful social proof that encourages book browsers to click the buy button.
Without those crucial customer ratings that give an indication of your book’s quality and value, it’s hard to stand out among other books on Amazon’s Kindle book storefront.
Simply put: You need reviews for your Kindle books. You need positive (honest) reviews. And you need them as early on in your book’s launch cycle as possible.
Waiting for those first reviews to pop-up is often a slow and agonizing process, especially considering only a very small percent of readers, on-average, will take the time to leave Amazon reviews for your books. The good news is there are some simple ways you can improve on that, but first let’s look at three big reasons why you’re not getting any reader reviews in the first place.
1.You didn’t ask.
A lot of indie authors seem to be overly squeamish about asking their readers to leave a review. I get it. It can feel icky or uncomfortable to some. But it’s something you need to overcome if you want to boost your review numbers and quality.
At the very least, you should always include a call to action at the end of your book that thanks readers for checking out your work and encourages them to leave a review if they’ve enjoyed the book.
This is one of the least intrusive, and perhaps most effective, ways of encouraging readers to leave a review. It works. When a reader finishes your book, you want to thank them for their time and let them know how important it is to you that they leave an Amazon review. Inspire them to share their thought and feelings.
Remember: if you don’t ask, readers won’t know that it’s important to you, and they’ll be less inclined to take the time to follow-through.
2.You didn’t make it easy.
Even when a reader is inspired to leave a review, their enthusiasm sometimes fizzles in the brief time it takes to figure out how to actually leave a review.
The process of searching for your book again on Amazon’s storefront and navigating through several pages to figure out where to click to get the “leave a review” form is daunting for less tech-savvy folks. For others, it’s just too many hoops to jump through. Most people can figure it out, but it’s sort of a pain.
Anything you can do to speed up and simplify the process it takes to leave a review for your readers will increase their chances of following through. You could create a URL shortened link directly to your book — or even your book’s review form — and include that as a clickable link in your Kindle book. I do this with all of my books.
Alternately, you could also write up a short blog that explains the process or direct-links to the form, and promote that on social media or other avenues outside of your books. Make it simple, straightforward, and easy to understand.
3.Your book didn’t move the emotional needle.
Emotion drives response. It’s important to make your readers feel something. Empowered. Thrilled. Scared. Excited. Informed. Inspired. Happy. Sad. Angry. Hopeful. These are emotions that drive readers to take action. If your book leaves a reader feeling ambivalent or uninspired by the end, they’re not going to care enough to leave a review.
Always strive to write the best book you can. Make it engaging, exciting, useful, valuable, etc. Leave your readers feeling blown away by the information or storytelling you delivered, and they’ll be far more likely to leave a review.
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- Deploy long-term strategies to help boost your ongoing book reviews
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- Deal with negative reviews and use criticism to improve your books and get better reviews
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