View Full Version : Ways to encourage reviewing?

07-15-2011, 01:05 AM
Just started using Smashwords, and since then, I've "sold" 50 books. This is my first time on Smashwords, so I'm still a bit confused on how it all works.

(you might have seen my other questions post. I didn't know if it would be worth it to combine it, but Mods, if you think that is necessary, please do so)

Anyways, no reviews. Does Smashwords have a way to encourage reviews? I find it a little strange that I cannot communicate in real time with the people who buy my book. Any other Smashword authors have any suggestions for this?

07-15-2011, 01:11 AM
Buyers have privacy rights, they buy the book. It is the book's job to inspire a review. Or maybe your website if they areinterested enough to google you. You might want to start by getting a link in you sig line and offering review copies.

07-15-2011, 01:12 AM
I didn't necessarily mean hunting them down. I meant more like, idk, a journal page ON Smashwords. I'm not sure, I didn't have a solution. I guess I was moreso wondering what other people on Smashwords thought about it/did about it.

Or perhaps, another question. How many books were bought before you all scored your first review?

07-15-2011, 01:22 AM
In the back of my books, where I have an About the Author section, I tell readers that I'm an indie and don't have the resources that traditionally published authors have for getting the word out about my book, so I ask them to tell a friend and write a review if they're so inclined. It works pretty well. :)

07-15-2011, 02:00 AM
One possibility might be to ask for reviews. Some places review Indie books. If you give them a free book, they might sooner or later review. (And then post the review on their site + other sites.) No guarantees, but it's a possibility. (And those reviews would carry more weight, too, than ones from casual readers who wrote stuff like, "OMG, this is brilliant!!!!!!!!")

07-15-2011, 03:20 AM
I think a lot of readers would like to review, but are shy about it.

A couple of self-publishers mentioned that they had great success from putting a note in the back of the book asking for a review.

I keep meaning to update my books inserting a similar note. I added one to a lot of my promo - usually something like "reviews are essential for new authors, please consider leaving a review at X, even if it's only a line or two".

I did a monster giveaway at LibraryThing - around 300 e-books. I got a lot of reviews from that. However, I think you need to put in a bit of time there before you can get that kind of response.

Also, LibraryThing reviews tend to be a little harsher - on their site a 3 star is a reasonable score, whereas on Amazon that's seen negatively. Also, as with most giveaways like this, you are going to be hitting a lot of readers outside your target audience who will be attracted by a free book.

As such, I recommend having quite a few reviews on Amazon/Smashwords first (maybe 5 or 10 or so) to soften any lowering of your average.

07-15-2011, 03:21 AM
You should also consider submitting to book bloggers. They will often cross-post the review on Smashwords if you give them a coupon (unlike Amazon, Smashwords only allows reviews from those who have purchased the book on their site).

07-15-2011, 05:04 AM
As a note, though, even a negative review is better than none.

In fact, readers are likely to be a bit suspicious if all they see are reviews that state things like, "OMG, this is the best book ever!"

James D. Macdonald
07-15-2011, 05:38 AM
Anyone wants to review any of my stuff, feel free.

07-15-2011, 09:20 AM
Anyone wants to review any of my stuff, feel free.

I just bought your book. I seen it is listed as YA.

I bought it so either my daughter or one of my teenage nieces or nephews can read it and give an honest review for you on smashwords.

Who ever reads it, if they like it, I'm sure they will tell one of the many, many teenagers that are always hanging around my house.

Word of mouth is the key. I hope this helps to get it started in my small circle. :)

07-15-2011, 09:45 AM
Just started using Smashwords, and since then, I've "sold" 50 books. This is my first time on Smashwords, so I'm still a bit confused on how it all works.

Can you share your initial success on Smashwords? :)

07-15-2011, 11:50 AM
Bobby---Share what exactly?

I've only sold 50 books (with coupons!!) so far. No reviews, as I said, but I can keep you updated on that, if that's what you mean.

07-18-2011, 12:08 PM
what not to do......


edit: i guess it could help, but asking people to give 5 stars and fake reviews probably isn't a good idea.