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Author Topic: OK You Have Good Reviews -- Now What?  (Read 1744 times)

Offline Davidjb

OK You Have Good Reviews -- Now What?
« on: November 04, 2015, 05:21:33 PM »
Getting a good review is excellent news for any author, but it doesn't always lead to a sales spike. So my question is - what tips do folks have for translating reviews into sales? As we all know, reviews are hard to come by especially from book blog sites.

Bright ideas and thoughts welcomed except novelty loo roll, I've already thought of that and may patent it. That's loo roll with your reviews on. Hours of endless fun
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 05:07:48 PM by Davidjb »
Author of Drachar's Demons, Legacy of the Eldric, Dragon Rider and Shadow of the Demon
The Prophecy of the Kings Saga
http://davidburrows.org.uk/

Offline Nora

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Re: OK You Have Good Reviews -- Now What?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2015, 08:02:09 PM »
You should go to the self publishing section. If it has been covered it'll be there. If not, that's where the topic will be best covered.
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: OK You Have Good Reviews -- Now What?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2015, 10:24:15 PM »
In my experience, a positive review doesn't necessarily translate to sales. It depends on who the review is from, and how many active readers that reviewer has.

To give you some (soft) numbers, my first book received a positive review from Kirkus Reviews, The Self-Publishing Review and Reader's Favorite. None of these reviews generated sales, probably because there are so many reviews posted on these sites that nobody really noticed.

A positive review from a "bulk review" site like Kirkus is nice, but I don't think it actually translates to sales for an unknown/new author. Instead, it serves as a resource for someone who might be curious about your book from another source, and wants the thoughts of a professional reviewer.

Recently, I submitted my first book to a book blogger, and in addition to agreeing to read it, she also suggested it to another book blogger who was a good friend. Both of them enjoyed the book and, after posting their reviews, I saw an immediate spike in sales when each review hit (for the $0.99 e-book, as intended).

Based on my experience, I would say reviews from small independent bloggers are the most likely reviews to generate sales ... *if* that reviewer likes your book. Amazon reviews don't generate any sales (though the more you have, the more often you show up in Recommended links), and GoodReads reviews MAY generate sales, generally to friends of the reviewer. Reviews from the big sites won't generate any sales at all, but may influence people to take a chance on your work if they come across it from another source.

Finally, the price has to be right. Most people won't hesitate to take a chance on a $0.99 cent e-book if a reviewer they trust has said it doesn't suck. As you jack up your price (especially for e-books) the risk the reader is taking on an unknown author grows. I couldn't say what the ideal price is, but I do know $0.99 seems to be working for my first book.

Ultimately, having self-published after first being published through small press (where the initial price was higher and I saw very few sales), I think it's vital I allow people to judge my work without minimal investment, regardless of publication method. If it's not traditional press, people are loathe to take the risk.

If and when they actually trust me as a writer (hopefully, if they enjoy my first book) then they might be willing to pay a reasonable amount for my next book. I plan to price my book's sequel (e-book) at $2.99, which kicks in a higher royalty rate from Amazon, with the hope that people have enjoyed my first book enough they'll be willing to kick in half the price of a Starbucks latte to read the second.

I suppose we'll see in December!
« Last Edit: November 04, 2015, 10:25:58 PM by tebakutis »

Offline Davidjb

Re: OK You Have Good Reviews -- Now What?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2015, 08:56:45 AM »

Based on my experience, I would say reviews from small independent bloggers are the most likely reviews to generate sales ... *if* that reviewer likes your book. Amazon reviews don't generate any sales (though the more you have, the more often you show up in Recommended links), and GoodReads reviews MAY generate sales, generally to friends of the reviewer. Reviews from the big sites won't generate any sales at all, but may influence people to take a chance on your work if they come across it from another source.



Good luck for December.

I agree that small independent bloggers are excellent to get reviews from and I have a handful. It's good that one reviewer passed the books to another one.
Author of Drachar's Demons, Legacy of the Eldric, Dragon Rider and Shadow of the Demon
The Prophecy of the Kings Saga
http://davidburrows.org.uk/

Offline jefGoelz

Re: OK You Have Good Reviews -- Now What?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2015, 12:44:38 AM »
In my experience, a positive review doesn't necessarily translate to sales. It depends on who the review is from, Finally, the price has to be right. Most people won't hesitate to take a chance on a $0.99 cent e-book if a reviewer they trust has said it doesn't suck. As you jack up your price (especially for e-books) the risk the reader is taking on an unknown author grows. I couldn't say what the ideal price is, but I do know $0.99 seems to be working for my first book.


From what I've seen, $2.99 is the magic price, if you're talking about Amazon sales. It might be as high as $4.99.

Offline Matamelcan

Re: OK You Have Good Reviews -- Now What?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2015, 03:18:27 PM »
Go around in public in a pink and dark blue outfit and scream you got a good review on your book.
I am certain this will boost your sales to astronomical levels.  ;D
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Offline ClintACK

Re: OK You Have Good Reviews -- Now What?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2015, 04:19:45 PM »


My advice (overpriced at a nickel): Keep writing.  Keep getting better.  Write more books.  Get good reviews on those too.  Keep getting them in front of agents and publishers and reviewers and the reading public.

There are lots of funny nonlinearities about writing more books, from the economic ones (when you do make a fan, you get multiple sales) to the psychological ones.

Check out Jim Butcher's story (Dresden Files) of how he sold his first book -- after two years of rejections (http://www.jim-butcher.com/jim).  Key passage:
Quote
Reportedly, the esteemed Ms. Heddle was wavering until she heard that I had three books already finished, and then she was a lot more interested.
With a book that started a best-selling series, submitting everywhere, even putting in all the legwork of schmoozing all the right people, it was still the writing of those additional books that put him over the top.

There's a similar effect with readers.  (Though there's also the counter-effect of an unfinished series.  I think same-world stand-alones should be the sweet spot.  :)  Or maybe episodic series, like mystery novels.)

And purely for your own sanity -- writing more books and working on your craft is all in your control. 

Lastly... remember that having Good Reviews is a Good Thing (TM).  No, it probably doesn't mean you can quit your day job yet.  But there are a heck of a lot of writers out there who don't even have good reviews.  Don't let a good thing become a source of frustration and disappointment.  Take it for the good thing it is.


Offline Davidjb

Re: OK You Have Good Reviews -- Now What?
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2015, 05:02:22 PM »
Go around in public in a pink and dark blue outfit and scream you got a good review on your book.
I am certain this will boost your sales to astronomical levels.  ;D

Not a bad idea, but may get arrested!! :)
Author of Drachar's Demons, Legacy of the Eldric, Dragon Rider and Shadow of the Demon
The Prophecy of the Kings Saga
http://davidburrows.org.uk/

Offline Davidjb

Re: OK You Have Good Reviews -- Now What?
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2015, 05:05:47 PM »

Lastly... remember that having Good Reviews is a Good Thing (TM).  No, it probably doesn't mean you can quit your day job yet.  But there are a heck of a lot of writers out there who don't even have good reviews.  Don't let a good thing become a source of frustration and disappointment.  Take it for the good thing it is.

Good comment
Author of Drachar's Demons, Legacy of the Eldric, Dragon Rider and Shadow of the Demon
The Prophecy of the Kings Saga
http://davidburrows.org.uk/