Don't waste your money advertising on Amazon until you have reader reviews on your book's sales page. Readers need that evidence that it's a good book.
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When you’re shopping online at a retail site that lets users review products, do you check those reviews before making a purchase decision?
If you’re like most, you do.
According to the Spiegel Research Center, nearly 95 percent of online shoppers read user reviews before making a purchase.
After making a purchasing mistake that would have been prevented if I had paid attention to the user comments, I’m now doing this religiously.
If only I had read the reviews . . . .
When I couldn’t find the type of coat I wanted at local stores last winter, I had to shop online. The site with the super-warm coat I was looking for offered user reviews, but I ignored them. After all, I knew what I wanted. Reviews wouldn’t influence that.
Had I read the user reviews, I would have discovered that the garment runs small. Customers recommended buying a larger size.
Because I didn’t see that feedback (because I didn’t look for it), I bought my usual size…it was too small…and I had to return and exchange it. I could have been facing the bitter wind and snow in a perfect-fitting coat much sooner if only I had read the reviews.
Lesson learned – for clothing. I was already checking reader reviews for books before buying.
I scan for phrases that tell me the book has attributes that I won’t like, but I’m also looking for information that reassures me that it’s my kind of read.
When advertising on Amazon doesn’t make sense
What does this mean for you?
People rely on reviews when making online purchasing decisions, so don’t run Amazon ads until you have several good reviews.
When readers who discover your book through an ad click through and see that there are no reader reviews, they hit the “back” arrow.
Nobody – nobody – wants to be the first to buy your book.
People need that “social proof” that the book has been reader-tested. And maybe it has been. But, if there’s no proof of that on your sales page when your ad runs, the proof doesn’t exist as far as your reader is concerned.
In addition, early reviews might offer reader feedback to improve your book’s description. Anything you can do to fine-tune and “optimize” your sales page will help you get the most from your advertising budget.
Start with at least 10 reviews
There’s no magic number of reviews you must have before advertising. There are no extra, secret Amazon perks linked to a specific number of reviews on an advertised product.
Some authors recommend a minimum of three reviews. I agree with that as a minimum, but as a reader who looks at reviews, I’d encourage you to get more than that before advertising on Amazon. Derek Doepker, creator of my favorite Amazon ads training program, recommends having at least 10.Why get reviews before advertising on Amazon? People need that “social proof” that the book has been reader-tested.Click to tweet
2 must-dos for reader reviews
How do you get those valuable reader reviews?
You do two things:
- Give books to people in your target audience and ask them to write honest reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, or anywhere else. (Download your free copy of “9 places to look for
readers who write reviews” here.)
- Make it easy for readers to write those reviews.
You can find your target readers in your email list or your blog’s followers, in Facebook groups dedicated to your genre, and on the social networks you use regularly.
You can also pay services that match advance review copies with readers who know they are expected to review the book they receive at no charge.
Help your readers write those honest reviews quickly and easily with the Build Book Buzz Reader Book Review Form. It’s the only tool that makes it easy for readers to write honest reviews in just minutes.
Readers answer a series of questions about the book in a fill-in-the-blanks form, then combine their answers into a review that they copy and paste into the Amazon review template. Get the details and hear from readers who have used it at http://www.readerbookreviewform.com
Reviews first, advertising on Amazon second
Please don’t throw your money away on ads until your book has been reader-tested and has the honest, favorable reviews to prove it.Don’t throw your money away on ads until your book has been reader-tested and has the honest, favorable reviews to prove it.Click to tweet
You’ll be happier with the outcome, and so will your checking account.
What’s your best tip for getting reader reviews? What works for you?
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