Book Reviews: Do Self-Published Authors Really Need Them?

There are long and short answers to this question, but the general gist of both is yes. Yes, self-published authors most definitely should make book reviews a part of their larger marketing strategies, and yes, this is a need, an absolute necessity. And an entire industry has sprung up around meeting this need! When readers are polled to find out where they most often discover the books which they’re buying, an overwhelming majority point to reviews hosted on websites like Amazon and Goodreads, as well as on private blogs or professional websites.

Readers searching online for new books often credit these reviews—and their average star rating—with playing a decisive role in whether or not they actually click the “buy now!” button. Even brick and mortar bookstores have been known to get in on the trend, both at Amazon’s pilot physical bookstores and in local independent shops, where handwritten tags often point readers to well-reviewed books. These reviews help everyone—whether a reader or a bookstore owner—narrow down the available options to those which are more likely to strike the right note.

Book reviews are the most effective publicity a book could receive, since they are easily shared both online and offline, using social media and word of mouth to spread into new markets. Reviews are easily transferred between people, and their content is easily accessible to readers of all shapes and sizes! Reviews are a badge of credibility, and the building blocks of your reputation as authors of self-published works. Even poor reviews are good publicity, so it’s a win-win situation. They are also a major time-saver, since the burden of the work is shifted onto the shoulders of the reviewer instead of the author in this particular circumstance, freeing up more of your time to do what you love most—writing your next book!

At Outskirts Press, we recognize the value of reviews and want to make them accessible to you! We offer a guaranteed book review service for Kirkus as well as for Blue Ink Reviews. And since it’s always a good idea to keep spare copies of your book on hand to ship off to potential reviewers, we recommend taking advantage of our discounts and other services in order to do so!

Our guaranteed book review services are just two of many options that we offer to help our authors market their books! For more information about our book marketing services, log into your Publishing Center and select Marketing Solutions from the menu.

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