The importance of asking for reviews

A week or so ago I wrote a post about the importance of adding an About the Author page to your books, especially if they are ebooks. They should contain lots of lovely links to anything else you have written plus your own websites. It seems that the CEO of Goodreads, Otis Chandler agrees with me. Which is always very nice 🙂

Apparently a recent survey has shown that when readers were asked what they wanted to do when they got to the end of a book 83% of the respondents said they wanted to find out what else the author had written.

Now, what’s interesting for me is that in the same survey, 35% of readers also wanted to read other people’s reviews. Given the increasing numbers of people who are now reading because of the ebook revolution, we are probably not talking insignificant numbers here. For every 100 people reading a book, that’s 35 who want to read the reviews.

The takeaway from this is that it’s vitally important to encourage readers to add reviews to your site. But how can you do it. Perhaps the easiest way is to just ask them. After publishing the 2nd edition of LinkedIn Made Easy, whenever someone got in touch through the network telling me that they had read the book (surprisingly few connections admit to this though!), I asked them politely if they might consider adding a review to Amazon for me. A number of them did and after they had done so, took the time to let me know that this is what they had done too. By this time we had already connected and were starting to build an online relationship.

When it came to writing the third edition, I followed a similar process, but this time I had some reviews to add to the section of the book devoted to ‘praise for …’. I contacted all the original people who I knew had left a review, and I asked them if I could add it to the book, offering them a link back to their site at the same time. Once again, a few of them agreed.

I’ve now added a different tactic into my arsenal. I wrote a post called ‘Desperately seeking LinkedIn guinea pigs’, in which I asked for volunteers to road test the book. I’m hoping that some of them will have found it helpful and useful. Next month I’ll be contacting those who offered to take part to find out how they got on, and those that tell me that they enjoyed it will be asked to provide me with a review on Amazon.

Sometimes, getting reviews really is that easy and the worst anyone can do is say ‘no’.

And if you’d like to see the results from that survey by Goodreads, you’ll find the Slideshare presentation below:

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  1. I agree, Linda, all you can do is ask! Some readers aren’t aware that they can even leave a review, and are often thrilled to be able to help in this way. Others may feel intimidated about leaving their words on display, so will choose not to. But it’s always worth asking! 🙂