Book reviews can contribute credibility and raise awareness. But getting reviews can be challenging for new authors and self-publishers, especially those who have small networks.
Customer reviews provide a signal that other readers think your book is worth paying attention to—or even buying. This is especially true for books sold online. Done appropriately, it’s useful to ask people you know (not usually friends or family) to review your book. Just offer them a free advance copy.
These are reviews written by professionals in the book business, such as book retailers and librarians. However, there may be a catch. If the review comes from an “expert” without name recognition, it may be a turnoff to potential readers. So, the reviewer needs to be someone who will be recognized at some level by your audience.
Reviews are marketing
Effective reviews provide validation. One of the indirect results of an effective review can be that someone with a specific need sees the review and contacts you with an offer of some kind of work (e.g., speaking) or additional publicity. Based on the number of reviews and the ratings, you might be approached for promotional opportunities that might not otherwise be available.
A decent number of positive reviews can help your book sell more copies, be seen favorably by people in the business, and create opportunities for some potentially lucrative promotional opportunities.
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