We write. We rant. We wrestle the magic.
Ever buy something online without a positive review or two attached to it? Me neither. If no one is saying anything nice about what I’m looking at — nose hair trimmer, inflatable couch, life-size replica Tardis — well then I just won’t be extending my credit card information to make the purchase. Reviews and peer recommendations are the most powerful form of advertising out there for any business, any author, anyone selling anything. People want some reassurance that the thing they’re about to spend money on isn’t a piece of crap, and online reviews (on Google, Goodreads, Yahoo! or otherwise) provide that rudimentary safety net. So, how does a product go about getting those coveted nice reviews and glowing five-star ratings?
People don’t usually have much to say about boring products that do very little to affect their lives. Does anyone care about making sure to buy a toothpaste with at least four stars on Amazon? So much is true with things, like works of fiction, that have some aim to entertain the audience they attract. If you can’t tell a good story with interesting characters that sucks readers into the narrative, the positive reviews might be hard to come by. If you make a bold statement by building a product of superior quality, believe me the Internet will notice. Consumers, be they readers or viewers, love telling other people about the books and shows they’re addicted to — I know I do. So write something great already!
In some cases, it doesn’t even occur to consumers to post reviews of the things they buy online, or they don’t know where to write them. Drop a link on your Twitter account that takes them to a review page, or open one up on your blog. Don’t be shy. The people who enjoy your work and want it to be successful won’t mind extending kind words on your behalf. Don’t be pushy about soliciting reviews — no one likes that. Just point out places where they can drop a line or two about your product. That should be plenty sufficient.
For those of you following my blog tour for the release of Crossroads: a Demos City Novel, the next stops will continue to update throughout the week. You all have been immensely kind in your encouraging words, text messages and the like. It’s a ridiculous honor to be able to accept them.