Q: (David Gerstel) How do I generate reviews that I can post on Amazon in the editorial reviews section. I’ve done four podcasts. Each time the host does an introduction. I was thinking I could take those kind words and submit them as editorial reviews.
Ruth Schwartz: What David is talking about is that you can go into Author Central on Amazon and post three to five editorial reviews. You can pull out the key things the hosts say, get them to sign off, and then add them to the editorial review part of your author page.
Judy Baker: I’d also suggest that when you go on the podcast, you encourage people to tell you what they love best about the book. What helped them the most.
Did you request reviews inside your book? For future copies, you can send out a request. Ask for them.
Nita Winter: Our book is finally out. We did a kickstarter and we’ve been asking people to send us our feedback. We’re asking them to take photo with the book, which we will post where appropriate.
Gordon Burgett: If you can get them to say, I learned something from this book, that gets a lot of yardage.
David Gerstel: I am dubious about the practice of soliciting reviews. I don’t think, in my world, books about running construction companies, depend on reviews. Especially when what you mostly see are “sweetheart reviews.” I saw a book that just came out that includes lots of sweetheart reviews, which made me suspicious.
My book has almost no reviews, but it’s selling. One hundred copies a month, without reviews.
John Byrne Barry: I don’t know that reviews necessarily drive sales, but they do provide social proof. ‘Oh, this is a real thing.’ I devoted a lot of energy to rustling reviews for my first book, Bones in the Wash, and I have 69 reviews. So it looks like I’m selling more books than I actually am.
Mike Mirabella: A lot of you know I was in the music business, if a song of mine got played on the air, and one person out of thousands who heard the song called in and said he or she likes it, that made a big difference. I got an endorsement from someone in Ireland and that opened up a whole new world.
A lot of this is spitting in the wind, but if you don’t spit in the wind, you never know.
I’ve tried a different tactic — to win awards. You just need to put in your budget. My book, The Luck of an Irish Soldier, won the Moonbeam Gold Medal Award out of 1200 books. Whether people buy books because of medals is another story.
Tamara Shiloh: I have a children’s bookstore in Richmond, and I would say that parents look for reviews and awards.
Lee Foster: Regarding getting awards and investing in them An important way to leverage that is to get PR for the award. The flip side is to look at the math on that. If I invest a thousand dollars in submitting my books for awards, am I going to sell a thousand dollars worth of books.