Why are book reviews important for self-publishing authors?

Customers searching online for books will often glance at book reviews when deciding whether or not to purchase a book.  They may compare the review information for one book with a similar book to decide between the two which they want to purchase.  Doing a quick search on Amazon for “book marketing,” for example, brings up 201,642 results.  A customer has to narrow it down somehow, so they may glance through some of the books and look at things like the cover, publish date and reviews among other things.  Comparing the two following books from this category, which would you be more likely to purchase?

#1 – A total of 3 reviews (in 5 years) with an average rating of about 3.5 stars.

#2 – A total of 187 reviews with an average rating of about 5 stars.

There may be other factors involved for a customer comparing these two.  For instance, #1 is priced much lower.  Sure, pricing is important, and the lower the better to encourage sales, but is a lower price more important than really great feedback from other readers?  Customers probably won’t think so.

I wrote a few weeks ago about paying for book reviews.  If it isn’t in your marketing budget to pay for reviews or you simply want to pursue free review services, here are a few places to start:

http://www.bookpleasures.com
http://www.bookreviewsrus.com
http://www.midwestbookreview.com/
http://readersfavorite.com/
http://readerviews.com

* To read my review of Plug Your Book! by Steve Weber, visit: http://goo.gl/EkTYv 

DISCUSSION: Do you know of other great FREE book review services our readers should know about?  Post them in the comments below.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT:
Kelly Schuknecht works as the Director of Author Support for Outskirts Press.  In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

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