Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The “Rapture” and Book Reviews

By: Kathleen Pickering


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I had a book deadline for yesterday, and given most of the hype leading up to Saturday’s expected “Rapture”, I kept looking out the window and wondering . . . so, if I’m gonna disintegrate at 6 p.m., do I really need to finish this final edit for Monday?

Now, stay with me here, you’ll see my point.

Since I knew the “Rapture” prediction was hype, and that the hype was unreal (Why would I have a deadline for Monday if it was real? My editor surely would have known!), it started me thinking about the power of opinions.

Which led me to the power of book reviews. (My point, entirely, which Clare Langley-Hawthorne tapped into with her blog from yesterday. I wonder if she was thinking Rapture, as well?) So, to continue Clare’s conversation, I ask: Will Internet reviews be as powerful as the tried and true print and media reviews?

I say, hell yes.

From all the Internet marketing classes and webinars I’ve attended, the magic words are “buzz’” and “viral”. While TV interviews are the ultimate for books sales, I believe (hallelujah!) that Internet book reviews are another rapid means to get word out about a hot, new novel. Believe me, brothers and sisters. I am taking full advantage of online reviews. (Feeding the bees to make a buzz, you might say.)

I just received a 5-Star review on my self-pubbed, urban fantasy, MYTHOLOGICAL SAM, and enjoyed a surge in my Amazon sales from this post. (Thank you, Melissa Cabrera!) So, I am taking Internet book reviews very seriously. Here’s the book. Feel free to check out the gratifying book review:

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http://werevampsromance.blogspot.com/2011/05/kathleen-pickering-book-review-author.html?m=0#more

Now, granted, this is only one review, but I have posted this opinion on Facebook, Twitter, my email signature, other writer’s groups, and now here on this fabulous blog page. FOR FREE. That suddenly gives this review multiple opportunities for exposure.

Do I care if my reviewer is educated? Respected? Influential? Hell, no. Although I’m sure she is, what truly matters, is that she liked the book enough to give it 5-Stars and rave about it to everyone she knows. She’s starting a buzz for me, and that’s priceless. Word of mouth on the Internet is how ‘viral’ gets born.

So, while still courting radio, TV and print media for reviews, I’m putting my money (which isn’t requiring much, I might add) on Internet marketing, which includes free book review blog sites and interviews. Internet marketing is something I can actively target and control (until it happily and wishfully goes viral, of course). I will do the same with my book being released next year through my publisher, as well. I’ll keep you posted on whether or not my efforts prove profitable. It’ll make an interesting study.

Has anyone else seen a rise in sales from Internet book reviews? And if you are a reader, do you buy from the Internet reviews you read?

4 comments:

  1. I do agree with this, Kathleen. I launched Watch Your Back in mid-February, had coverage with an influential e-zine in March and saw a huge bump in sales. Saw another one last week via mention in Kindle Nation.

    Print reviews are for print. In the e-world, a review is more like an invitation to a conversation, which is what word of mouth is.

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  2. I wasn't too worried about the rapture - hasn't he revised the date now and it is Ocober? Like a deadline that keeps getting extended... I do find the whole Internet review thing unnerving as it seems so hard to get a handle on...that's the way of the works now I guess!

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  3. Bottom line is that authors have been forced to become more active in their own marketing which has turned into a marketable skill when it comes to self publishing.

    Nice post, Kathleen.

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  4. The Internet changes the publishing industry daily. It's daunting and exciting, but I like that. I enjoyed the coincidence that Clare and I were on the same wavelength about blogging on reviews. :)

    As for the Rapture, I was just poking fun, but talk about creating a buzz!

    Thanks for your responses. Great to hear from you!

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