How can we encourage more readers to leave reviews for our books?

I am very keen to make reviews a prominent feature of the book promotions and encourage readers to review the books that they buy and enjoy, or not as the case may be.

Word of mouth is still the most powerful marketing tool that anyone who is selling a product benefits from. Authors are no different, and our books tend to be judged by the number and quality that they have received.

Part of the problem is that those who are not writers of books or blogs are uncomfortable in offering reviews and feel that what they have to say is not important. Many who do review a book, leave just one line after their star rating, simply saying that the reader enjoyed or disliked a book, but they do not elaborate.

That is obviously very welcome. But whilst a potential reader does not want to read three pages filled with spoilers in a review, they do usually want a little more about what they are going to find before paying good money for a book.

In future any books that I publish are going to include a page immediately following the end.

And it is going to be a request for a review – good or bad, and I will lay out some basic questions that might help develop a review that is constructive.

Thank you for reading my book and it would mean a great deal to me if you could give me your opinion. Not only will this let me know what you feel about my writing in general, but potential readers will also value your feedback.

If you have bought this book from Amazon you will already have an account that will enable you to review books that you have bought, or have been given as a gift. If you have not bought the book yourself please mention that at the front end of the review so that it will be published. https://www.amazon.com

Goodreads is an excellent site for readers and you can sign in with facebook or sign up with an email address. This gives you access to thousands of books, enables you to connect with readers of the genres you enjoy and leave reviews on any books that you have read and feel you would like to offer constructive comments. https://www.goodreads.com/

Finally I would be delighted to hear from you by email sally.cronin@moyhill.com about the book.

What will really help me in my future writing is to know some of the following in your review.

  1. What did you like or dislike about the style of writing?
  2. What did you enjoy about the plots of the stories or of the novel?
  3. How did you feel about the main characters and were they believable?
  4. Was there a particular story in a collection or episode in the novel that you specifically enjoyed.
  5. What were your feelings when you finished the book? Were you satisfied, wanted more or unsatisfied?
  6. Is there anything else that you feel it is important to mention for the benefit of other readers
  7. Did you like the cover and how the book was laid out inside? Was it easy to read?
  8. Would you recommend the book to others?

N.B. I appreciate that you may not feel comfortable in leaving your own name on a review, especially if you need to offer constructive criticism. I suggest that if you read a lot of books that you create your own pen name for your reviews. It can be as simple as Avid Reader or a fictional name. That way your identity is private.

Thank you very much for taking the time to let me know your opinion. Best wishes Sally Cronin

I believe that all authors should put some version of the above at the end of their books. It gives the reader permission to offer their opinion and also shows them how to do so constructively.

I am sure that there will be some reviews that we have encouraged that may not be all positive, but I want to become a better writer and I can only do that if I have honest reviews.

I do hope that if a reader is very disappointed they will email me to let me know first but I also think that it might just encourage hesitant readers to come forward and help us sell more books.

In the meantime I am going to add a note to my author’s page on Amazon requesting reviews for my current books and adding a link to this post.. Who knows!

Your views of course are equally important and look forward to hearing them.  thanks Sally

 

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173 thoughts on “How can we encourage more readers to leave reviews for our books?

  1. Like the others, I think that asking for a review is worth trying. As an Amazon Vine reviewer I tend to leave positive reviews on the things I have enjoyed, rather than negative ones about what I didn’t like. However, many reviewers on Amazon seem to enjoy attacking things, and I often wonder if that is the reviewer’s primary motivation. Three or four good reviews are definitely better that fifty indifferent ones.
    I suppose it comes under the old heading, “Be careful what you wish for”.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I feel that if people have not enjoyed the first half of the book they are unlikely to get to the end and see the page! Hopefully if they have made it that far there might be some redeeming features. I was brought up that if you had nothing good to say to say nothing.. and certainly in a work environment you at least have to be constructive if you are to make a change.. I have read some books that are dreadful.. but rarely does a book that has got as far as being published have no goodish points. thanks Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Excellent suggestion.
    Readers online seem to fall into categories: the “bold troll know it alls” and the “timid no one cares what I think” are just 2 of them.
    With less composition and writing based on analysis of literature in schools, many don’t have a clue how to start. Questions get them started. Encouraging them to explore why specifically they liked a character (what they said, thought, or did perhaps), setting, or writing style is beneficial to reader and writer.
    Literary/art critics have to be nurtured. Once every newspaper had someone who reviewed music, movies, or books. Of course the big city papers/Sunday papers had real experts young readers and writers could learn from and aspire to equal someday. Social media and the internet has turned everyone into an expert – or so they think.
    Have to start somewhere. Good idea

    Liked by 2 people

  3. On the books I publish, over which I have control, I’ve always thanked readers and suggested they leave a short review. It’s never seemed to do any good. But, while I’ve always suspected that many readers are shy about exposing themselves and their writing, it never occurred to me to explain a little about what a review might contain. Thanks for the suggestion! One thing I don’t think you’ve mentioned here (perhaps someone commenting has — I haven’t read them all) is that Amazon, Goodreads, B&N, etc. will post reviews anonymously if the writer doesn’t want to give his/her name. Some potential reviewers might feel better about writing something if they knew this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on sherriemiranda1 and commented:
    I have always asked for just a 2-3 sentence review. If readers feel like writing more, great. But I want to take the pressure off. I would write a lot more reviews if I could keep them short! 😉 ❤
    Peace, love & book reviews,
    Sherrie
    Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador:
    http://tinyurl.com/klxbt4y
    Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too. You can go to the Home page of her blog to watch it:
    https://sherriemiranda1.wordpress.com
    Or you can see it on YouTube:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P11Ch5chkAc 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have very mixed feelings about asking readers to review – this is to some extent because the star system is such a blunt instrument that it makes me feel ill. I would welcome a platform where reviews were free of this ranking, or one like Lorna’s 4 Ps (https://lornamcinnes.com/the-4-ps/), which has several dimensions to it. There is another problem, every eBook I read asks me at the end to go on Amazon to review and this somehow turns that often lovely moment as you close the book into work, a guilt trip if you don’t do it. I can really only review honestly if I have been blown away by a book. I see most others have a different view, which is great and maybe creating a pen-name is the answer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I also agree Hilary that at the moment there is not a fair reviewing system which is why I suggested Goodreads as well as Amazon and also sending an email to the author. Of course it is down to the choice of the individual author and I would not presume to suggest that everyone adopt this approach. I have seen the comments and reactions of people reading reviews here on my site for authors books and also on the book review specific sites, and it would seem that it is still one of the measurement of a book’s readability. Virtually every other product on the market from eletronics to hotels are dependent on reviews.. good and the bad and whilst sometimes not fair, it is still one of the ways customers make their buying choices. I doubt that everyone will put a page at the end of their book but I am going to be interested to see if it makes a difference, even if I learn something that is negative. Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this! What a great idea to help readers write a review. Reviews are challenging to write so I created a rubric to help. I prefer to give positive, constructive reviews; for that reason, I try to avoid reading books that have certain features I know I will not like. As Kurt Vonnegut said, “I admire anybody who finishes a work of art, no matter how awful it may be.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great idea, Sally. I do ask readers to kindly leave a review at the back of my books. Hopefully people read to the end and see it. I will share this. It can only help! Thanks, Sally! Hugs ❤️😘Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: How to write and incorporate book reviews

  9. I think you HAVE to ask for a review at the end of the story. “If you don’t ask, you won’t get.”

    Also, provide the link in an eBook – to make it as easy as possible for the reader.

    I like this:
    “Thank you for reading my book and it would mean a great deal to me if you could give me your opinion. Not only will this let me know what you feel about my writing in general, but potential readers will also value your feedback.”

    It doesn’t beat around the bush. Readers might appreciate benig instructed on how and why it’s important. They aren’t aware; they think we have PR machines.

    The other stuff is definitely worth trying! Great tips!

    In any eBooks (and probably most other formats) you can go back into existing files and put that request at the end of your books right now. It’ll be there for all future purchasers.

    Finally, it seems like a long request, that whole thing you have there, but think about this: they just finished reading 60,000 or 80,000 or 100,000 words of your story. They like you and your writing style, so they will like this request from you if it’s in your own words, so go for it!

    I’m totally reblogging this post! How long has it been since I’ve asked you to do a guest blog post??? I definitely want you to come over and say hi or do a “10 Questions With” or something. Think about it, okay?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Dan and it is definitely worth asking.. and they need not be embarrassed about saying no since we cannot see them..They are however our customers and these days all customers from holidays to the latest iPhone rely heavily on the views of other customers.. if not the official paid reviewers. I would love to take you up on your invitation for 10 questions with… my email is sally.cronin@moyhill.com although you may have from before.. And also you are in the bookstore and I am just putting together the next phase of interviewees for the Cafe and Bookstore Book Reading.. if you are interested.. thanks again for sharing. Sally

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Smorgasbord Book Marketing and Promotion – What comes after The End! | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  11. The request for a review at the end of a book is a great idea, especially when providing some guidelines. The snippet you provided would encourage me to use five minutes of my time and leave a review. 🙂 By putting this at the end of the book, you also show you care about your readers’ thoughts and suggestions – you open a dialogue and provide a chance of interaction and involvement.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on Dan Alatorre – AUTHOR and commented:
    What ways do YOU ask for reviews? This request seemed lengthy to me at first – but if it works, I’ll be doing it! (What I do is shorter but who says that’s better???)

    And also, think about this: a lengthier request goes unmissed and emphasizes the importance of a review from your reader. Definitely worth considering.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I much appreciate your piece. As the author of a just-pub novel FAR STONES, I like the gracious way you invite readers to venture a review. It emphasizes an important goal of tapping other potential readers and letting them in on our work. Your list of suggested items a reader might consider including is likewise very helpful. Thanks!

    Like

    • Thank you Loren. I am pleased that you found interesting.. If you would like to promote Far Stones as part of my Cafe and Bookstore I would be delighted to do so. Also your previous book The Passion of Maryam as part of that..you can email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com. I have your website address and most of what I need from there and Amazon but just need any other social media links you might have. best wishes Sally

      Like

  14. Pingback: Smorgasbord Media Training For Authors – Advertising – Gather around the right Waterholes. | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

I would be delighted to receive your feedback. Thanks Sally

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