"No amount of advertising, tweeting, or direct mail can impact customers the way a customer review can. That’s because in the era of social media and online reviews, it’s not what you say about your business that matters; it’s what others say about your brand" (Nellie Akalp, CEO of CorpNet).
Reviews are important. We all know that. In today's culture, social proof has become the rule of law. When unsure whether to commit to a particular purchase, consumers rely on the opinions of others. It's wired into our nature to assume that those who post reviews know more about a certain book than we do. If they have good things to say, we feel more confident about making a purchase. (Unless the reviews are all written by the author's relatives.)
"According to a recent study, 63% of consumers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews" (Garrett Pierson, Search Engine Journal). That's good news for those of us selling our fiction via Amazon and other online distributors; they're all about ratings and reviews.
But how do we get those reviews? Make a book free and hope trolls with terrible grammar don't sink it with 1-star ratings? Beg our friends and family to post an honest review? Barter review-for-review with our writer pals? Or should we forget about money flowing to the author and shell out cash for a blog tour with reviews included?
For Future City Blues, we're going with Option #1. It's free wherever you usually buy your eBooks. It has 4 reviews so far, which are much-appreciated, but we'd like to get another 6 so we can start promoting it via a plethora of free eBook sites.
So allow me to segue into Option #2: Will you kindly read and review it for us? If you can't, no hard feelings. But if you can, know this: you've seriously made our day.