Most readers don’t realize that authors have to do most–sometimes all–of the marketing for their books. Many–perhaps most–authors would prefer to spend their time writing the next book and feel very intimidated about marketing the current one.
I’m one of many authors who have read so much about marketing that it all runs together. Regardless of what anyone says, there’s no guaranteed way to make a success out of any book.
Word of mouth is supposed to be the best marketing tool. Too often, however, readers fail to share their opinions about a book with people who might benefit from reading what they think.
And by that I mean writing a review on Amazon and/or Good Reads.
Some readers feel intimidated when they look at other people’s reviews. They read a scholarly-looking review and think they can never match it. I’ve read a number of reviews that would make me feel that way!
The truth is, readers don’t need to write something like that. An honest sentence or two actually helps to balance out the lengthier, more professional-sounding reviews.
Here’s a simple four-star review for The Devil and Pastor Gus:
“Interesting to see how the devil gets into hearts and lives and humans try to play both sides. Pastor Gus was a fun character.”
Who wouldn’t be comfortable writing something like that?
A simple review can even mix the good and the bad: Here’s a three-star review for Pastor Gus:
“I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. It made me think about how Satan is the real enemy, more so than people. Unfortunately, I think Satan smarter than this character portrayal.”
Many of my friends have read Rosa No-Name and raved about it to my wife or me, but only nine people have written Amazon reviews.
Five thousand copies of the original edition of Found in Translation were sold, but only twenty-seven people left reviews. The original edition of Lost in Dreams (we’ve renamed the new edition A Season of Pebbles) sold twenty-five hundred copies. Only seventeen reviews.
Can you imagine how much better those books might have done if their readers had been willing to share their opinions in a review?
Even bad reviews can help. Not every book is for every reader, and it’s good to point out what someone else might not like in a particular book.
Found in Translation and A Season of Pebbles are now available from Winged Publications, along with Overshadowed, the previously unpublished third book in the Altered Hearts series. I’m currently editing and revising The Flowers of His Field, which is not only the final book in the series but a sequel to Rosa No-Name.
The success of those books will depend largely on honest reviews. I’m not talking about financial success. My only concern is the lives my books will have a chance to touch.
If you’ve read one of my books and haven’t reviewed it on Amazon, would you take a couple of minutes to do it? Yes, I know it’s a nuisance. But just think of the hundreds of hours it took me to write and edit each of those books.
And if you haven’t read any of my books, I hope you will.
Not because I’ve suggested it, but because you look at the reviews and think, “Why haven’t I read this book before?”
Please keep what I’ve said in mind about your favorite authors, even if I’m not one of them.
Your comments are welcome.
Links you might be interested in:
- Roger’s other blog, As I Come Singing
- Roger’s website, RogerBruner.com
- Roger’s free Christian lead sheets
- Roger’s books on Amazon
I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.