SPQ 030: Dozens of Ebooks, Low Review Numbers. What Can I Do?
Dennis has about a dozen books on Kindle and CreateSpace. It’s like pulling teeth to get people to review them, even on books that have been downloaded for free on KDP several thousand times. He wants to know Steve’s secret for generating reviews.
In episode 2, Steve talked extensively about generating reviews. It’s not a secret; just talk to people and build an audience. He feels it’s all about getting organic reviews and telling people why reviews are so important. Make sure you tell people exactly what they need to do to leave a review.
One thing you can do is create a template response to use when people reach out to you. If a reader writes in about a particular book, Steve answers questions and provides additional value, but he also asks for a review and provides a direct link to the Amazon review form for that book.
Jordan Harbinger from the Art of Charm was a guest on Pat Flynn’s podcast. Steve reached out to him to ask him a question. When Jordan responded, his email included this script:
“If you use iTunes or Stitcher, it’d be really nice if you could WRITE up a review of the podcast (even one sentence helps!). That stuff helps us get featured in iTunes/ Stitcher and spread the good word! Basically, it’s easy as heck and would be super helpful. You click http://www.theartofcharm.com/itunes, then click “rate and review” and write something nice (hopefully). For Stitcher, you can navigate to the show there and write the review (super easy). It’s simple, but it helps a TON with rankings, etc., which helps other people find us amongst all the riffraff and other garbage out there! Thanks!”
This is a very clever and specific set of instructions. His podcast page has thousands and thousands of reviews.
Steve took a look at Dennis’s author page and has some suggestions for generating reviews.
- Tighten up your funnel.
Dennis talks about a lot of different topics. Because you need to speak to each audience in a very specific way, Steve recommends creating three different author profiles on Amazon. To do this, go to Amazon’s Author Central.
- Build an email list and autoresponder for each audience.
Dennis probably does this, but it’s something all authors should do if they are marketing to more than one audience.
- Tell stories.
Be transparent and genuine with your audience. Don’t be afraid to show who you are.
- Involve people in the creative process.
Steve polls his list before writing a book. He asks what people need help with related to a particular topic. The more you talk to people, the easier it is to generate reviews
- Encourage people to reach out to you.
At the end of each book, ask readers to contact you. Write something like, “How are you going to implement this? Email me here.” Don’t hit them over the head with review requests. After you exchange an email or two, ask for a review.
You generate reviews one at a time. It’s a combination of having a good system in place, plus quality content, plus a street team. You also need to engage people on a one-on-one basis. I talked about this in detail in episode 2.
Resources and Links
SPQ 002: Steve discusses techniques for generating reviews
Weekly Web Chat: Steve and Dennis discuss all things self-publishing