How important are reviews, exactly?
Some folks will say very. Some will say not at all. And many books will sell without them, and you'll probably find advice all over the internet and in marketing books that says get reviews! (here's some interesting info about common Amazon myths featuring reviews).
And while reviews are in no way the be all and end all, in the end I agree to an extent that they're important for two reasons:
1. Some readers do like to see that a book has a few reviews and some will read those reviews. Not all readers, but some. Having some reviews on your book will cover that group.
2. Many promotional sites (more on these in a later post) require that the book you list with them has a certain amount of reviews before they list it.
Over the next few months I'm going to start sharing a bit about my adventures in book promotion - doubtless of more interest to fellow writers than readers perhaps, but information that I hope is helpful at the least :)
Now, my purpose with these posts won't be to claim that I'm an expert or that these approaches will always work for each and every genre or book, but more to share methods and opinions on the stuff I've tried over the last two years.
Introduction (taken from an article written for Writers' Bloc)
Few aspects of the writing world are quite as mercurial and challenging as marketing.
What works now may not work next year – or even next month. And with digital publishing, shifts in audience tolerance and interest happen more quickly than ever. However, it must be done – people need to hear about your books if you want to be read.
In these posts, I'll be outlining and commenting on some of the marketing approaches and techniques that indie, small press and big publishers are currently using. Hopefully this will help build your readership and generate some income, too. I’m not an expert and I’ve only been employing these techniques for a maximum of two years, but many have worked for me and my genres.
For a long time now, advertisers have been talking about ‘clutter’ and how to break through it. People are exposed to so many commercial impressions in a single day that it all becomes clutter. It’s all noise, it’s all spam – and obviously there’s no use spending time, money and effort sending promotional material for a thriller to a person who doesn’t read thrillers – or worse, to a person who doesn’t read at all.
And so, several questions follow:
Stay tuned for posts exploring those questions - check out some of the topics on the Marketing Tips page - the first of which should be up over the weekend.
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Ashley Capes is an Australian writer of fiction, poetry and very occasional non-fiction.
Imperial Towers (Never Book 5) - draft 1
Moss Dragon - draft 1
Reed Lavender (working title) - draft 1
Unnamed Spec Fic - draft 1
Whisper of Leaves (sequel) - Outline