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Arpeggio
12-16-2016, 02:51 PM
I am considering putting a request on the last page of a book for customers to review.

Has anyone else done this themselves? or have any links to information about experiences with doing this?

Old Hack
12-16-2016, 03:23 PM
I've seen it done lots of times. How effective it is, I don't know. Sorry. I hope someone with direct experience of this will come along soon.

aruna
12-16-2016, 03:40 PM
My publisher adds a Letter from the Author routinely at the end of our books; we write it ourselves, and basically it says "if you enjoyed his book I'd be so grateful if you'd write a review". I'm not convinced it does all that good, and anyway, I think word of mouth is far more important than reviews. if someone I know and trust recommends a book enthusiastically to me, I'm far more likely to buy it than if the same book has thousands of five star reviews. I hardly ever read reviews myself, and I'm sceptical of all those Facebook memes which insist that it's reviews that boost sales. for me personally it's the book's description above all that urges me to purchase.

that said, my publisher's books do get lots of reviews and good sales so maybe I'm wrong.

Marissa D
12-16-2016, 04:48 PM
Put it this way--it can't hurt, right? Having that reminder right there at the end of a book (with maybe a link to sign up for your mailing list as well) is striking while the iron is hot--if the reader really liked the book, they just might go right away and leave a review and sign up for your newsletter. And yes, reviews are helpful in that a larger number of reviews can boost your visibility on Amazon (more likely to be included in the "other readers also enjoyed" recommendations, etc.)

aruna
12-16-2016, 07:15 PM
And yes, reviews are helpful in that a larger number of reviews can boost your visibility on Amazon (more likely to be included in the "other readers also enjoyed" recommendations, etc.)

That's the message going out in those FB memes and I don't think it is true! imo reviews don't really boost visibility. That thing about "after 50 reviews you get on an also bought list"? not true. It really is what it says on the tin: people "also bought" that other book. According to people who have researched these things, reviews don't add much, if anything, to the Amazon algorithms. There was one guy who actually tested it. And I see it with my own books: I have one self published book which is on page one of the "also boughts" of my other books -- but it only has two reviews, and a very low ranking. But because people who bought my mainstream books bought that as well, there it is!
The fact is that readers only see your reviews when they go to the actual book's page, and for them to go to that page they need a direct recommendation, or to see the book on an Also Bought or Top 20 etc list. Reviews don't get you on those lists -- though obviously it helps when a reader does go to the page, to see that it has a lot of 5 vs 1 star reviews.

Marissa D
12-16-2016, 08:39 PM
I dunno--I've heard different research/results elsewhere. :Shrug:I guess with Amazon we'll never know.

veinglory
12-16-2016, 09:03 PM
Well, it's pretty obviously not a requirement given how many "also bought" listings don't have that many reviews. So I would tend to err on the side of not believing things for which there is not reliable evidence.

WriterBN
12-16-2016, 09:55 PM
I am considering putting a request on the last page of a book for customers to review.

Has anyone else done this themselves? or have any links to information about experiences with doing this?

If you're talking about an e-book, it doesn't hurt to add a reminder. For Kindle, at least, keep in mind that the software automatically adds a popup after the last "page" of the body (before back matter) with a review/rating option.

veinglory
12-16-2016, 10:13 PM
Just as a reader, when the plea really specifies that you should review (only) if you liked the book, I find that a bit grating. I prefer a book to just end, rather than bombard me with samples from other books, review requests and other calls to action.

chompers
12-16-2016, 10:18 PM
I've heard it's helped authors who add in the request. However, to me it screams self-published. Also, it's just tacky. (Not the letters. Those seem more warm.) I think in this day and age, everyone knows they can do a review if they feel inclined. You don't need to beat them over the head with it. Anyways, I doubt it makes them change their mind and go write a review if they didn't want to to begin with.

Fuchsia Groan
12-17-2016, 02:02 AM
Just as a reader, when the plea really specifies that you should review (only) if you liked the book, I find that a bit grating.

Oh, that would annoy me. If I were self-publishing, I might add something to the effect of "Hey, if you read this book and had opinions on it, please consider writing a review!" I've seen trade-published authors tweet similar things.

I, as a reader/pro reviewer, seldom leave reviews on retail sites and only realized how much authors care about them when I became an author. I've seen some pretty convincing take-downs of the "Magic 50 Amazon Reviews" notion, but so many people seem convinced it's a thing that I just don't know. All I do know is that Amazon likes to send me emails advertising my own book because I click on that page a lot, but I have a feeling I'm the only one getting advertised to. :)

Arpeggio
12-17-2016, 02:44 AM
Thanks for the replies so far, food for thought. I found this:

http://www.magnoliamedianetwork.com/reviews-on-amazon/

If you press ctrl+f then paste"include a letter in the back of her book asking for reviews" into the search box then press Return you'll go straight to the relevant part.

Ravioli
12-17-2016, 06:49 PM
I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, as a reader, I may feel enthusiastic about reviewing a book when asked for it simply because I like giving my opinion. So if I really enjoyed something and the maker is asking me for feedback, I may feel motivated. As a writer, I also crave feedback (equal parts ego/attention and desire to improve) and would be excited to get notifications of new reviews with a decent number of stars. But here comes the catch: if I didn't enjoy it, and you don't know I will, I might have an allergic reaction to this request if the request specifically implies POSITIVE feedback is wanted.

Ebay sellers tick me off on a regular basis in their item description, writing more about the positive feedback they want - in loving detail actually - than they do about the item itself. When I checked out of a newly opened hotel, and the manager, grinning and thumbs up, asked me to give a 5 star review on the booking site and added a cheery "Pleez!", I was tempted to trash them. I ended up leaving an honest, balanced review. I might have given a lazy 5 star rating just to get the notification out of my face had he not done that, but since he did, I decided to write him a review, just not the way he would have liked me to.
But generally, when I paid money for something, I consider my share done, and if that something now proceeds to asking me for praise - "IF you enjoyed it" - as well as money, my middle finger sometimes rampages against gravity. You did something for me by providing the product. I did something in return by buying it. If you ask for more (2 things from me, while only 1 from you), you're on very thin ice with me and your best bet is to leave out any implications that you want the feedback to be positive. I really don't like being asked for praise. Ask for feedback, yeah, but keep it neutral.

cvolante
12-17-2016, 10:50 PM
If I enjoy something, I'm more than happy to tell others about it and help promote it. If I don't, I won't.

veinglory
12-18-2016, 03:39 AM
That assumes book reviews are a form of volunteer promotion. For me and many other readers they aren't.

aruna
12-18-2016, 01:51 PM
Same for me. I don't think readers owe me a review, and though I am always thankful when reader tells she loved my book, I don't expect her to post a review and don't blame her if she doesn't (my readers are mostly female but obviously that goes for men too!) Right this moment I am waiting for the first reviews of my latest book and I am quite convinced everyone will say they hate it so you can imagine how nice it will be to hear otherwise! I truly loathe those FB memes that try to guilt readers into writing good reviews so as to "support authors". Readers don't owe us support. It's up to us to write great books and if that is the case word will spread and we'll be able to make a living from writing -- fantastic. But our readers don't owe us a living.
I also roll my eyes when a book gets bad reviews and all the author's friends gather round to console her and stroke her ego by saying "they were just jealous, your book is fantastic". As if readers owe you a good review.

Helix
12-18-2016, 02:11 PM
Thanks for the replies so far, food for thought. I found this:

http://www.magnoliamedianetwork.com/reviews-on-amazon/

If you press ctrl+f then paste"include a letter in the back of her book asking for reviews" into the search box then press Return you'll go straight to the relevant part.

Tbh, if I read a letter that needy at the end of a book, I'd be disinclined to pick up any of the author's other works.

aruna
12-18-2016, 02:30 PM
My "Letter to the reader" is never needy, and I am not needy. It's just a suggestion. I'm sorry if readers interpret it as needy; I'll mention this to the publisher next time and word it more subtly.

aruna
12-18-2016, 02:34 PM
Just read the link you posted. This is the nonsense I keep seeing on Facebook:

The other reason to love reviews is that the more reviews on Amazon the more visible your book becomes. This is largely due to the Amazon algorithm which is based on a few things, one of which is the number of reviews you get to your page.

It's not so simple. Reviews do not necessarily boost visibility and are not a huge part of the Amazon algorithm -- uif at all. You won't find a book automatically just because it has hundred of reviews. You have to see it on some list while you are looking at another book -- an Also Bought list, or a Top 100 list of a book's genre. And these lists are generated by sales, not reviews. Granted, you will most likely click on a book that has, say, 50 5* reviews than a book that has only 5 -- but those reviews are not the reason it's on the list.

An example: books on pre-order do not hacve reviews. And yet it is possible for books on pre-order to hit the top 100, even top 10 overall ranks. If reviews were so very important for sales rank this would not be the case-

Arpeggio
12-19-2016, 02:03 AM
I agree customers don't owe reviews. They don't owe the author their opinion at all, what ever it is good or bad.

The people that customers do owe a review to is each other though, by virtue of how much they value and rely on them. If a customer doesn't post reviews yet relies on them, then for their sake, enough other customers better have bothered in enough numbers to water out the millions of fakes e.g. on a place that doesn't lift a finger (and legally doesn't have to under law CDA 230) until there is enough media / external scrutiny. The following research was mentioned in the main stream media a few times before Amazon removed these review and changed its policy...

https://www.webmasterworld.com/community_building/4826787.htm

http://bestreviews.com/how-reliable-are-amazon-ratings

I know many don't rely on customer reviews that much, neither do I.

chompers
12-19-2016, 02:12 AM
Same for me. I don't think readers owe me a review, and though I am always thankful when reader tells she loved my book, I don't expect her to post a review and don't blame her if she doesn't (my readers are mostly female but obviously that goes for men too!) Right this moment I am waiting for the first reviews of my latest book and I am quite convinced everyone will say they hate it so you can imagine how nice it will be to hear otherwise! I truly loathe those FB memes that try to guilt readers into writing good reviews so as to "support authors". Readers don't owe us support. It's up to us to write great books and if that is the case word will spread and we'll be able to make a living from writing -- fantastic. But our readers don't owe us a living.
I also roll my eyes when a book gets bad reviews and all the author's friends gather round to console her and stroke her ego by saying "they were just jealous, your book is fantastic". As if readers owe you a good review.
What's worse is when all the author's friends go and attack the reviewer on the review site, as well as thumbing down the review. Not because they didn't find it helpful, but solely because it made the author feel bad.

Helix
12-19-2016, 04:34 AM
My "Letter to the reader" is never needy, and I am not needy. It's just a suggestion. I'm sorry if readers interpret it as needy; I'll mention this to the publisher next time and word it more subtly.

I was talking about the letter in the link.

Brightdreamer
12-19-2016, 04:52 AM
Just as a reader, when the plea really specifies that you should review (only) if you liked the book, I find that a bit grating. I prefer a book to just end, rather than bombard me with samples from other books, review requests and other calls to action.

Agreed. It always puts me on guard when an author only wants good reviews - why can't they accept an honest assessment of my reaction? Why do they have to live in Happy Bubble Land? You're sharing your book with the public, not with just your select circle of friends. If you can't handle public reaction, maybe you shouldn't be mass-distributing your work...

As for the extra matter, I've read several eBooks that take it way too far... and it can affect the rating if too much of what I paid for is just advertising and clutter to pad the page count, so it looks like I'm paying for a full-length novel when I'm not. (Though the personal "worst" I read was a paid-for, not-in-any-way-discounted eBook that hit me in the face halfway through with an ad for the "enhanced edition," which included a soundtrack. The heck? So you're telling me I paid full price for a stripped-down ad vehicle, or you think I'm so in love with the tale that I'll pay for the same story twice just for a little reading music? Wasn't my only problem with the book, but definitely a sizeable fly in the soup.)

On the overall thread issue of authors asking for reviews, I don't have a problem if it's a simple, polite request and not a needy or selective ("Only good reviews!") one. Though I don't often write reviews on Amazon anymore - I don't like how they've changed the review form, so I only bother when I have something to say that I don't feel other reviews have mentioned... if then.

Ravioli
12-19-2016, 04:11 PM
Tbh, if I read a letter that needy at the end of a book, I'd be disinclined to pick up any of the author's other works.
It's the same with those ultra-pathetic Facebook posts by pages, of memes begging "Please like and share to enable us to continue to deliver quality content" - I didn't know likes and shares "enabled" the page to post anything. Oh wait, the time and money, if any, that goes into maintaining a page, is the same whether people like your content or not....


Agreed. It always puts me on guard when an author only wants good reviews - why can't they accept an honest assessment of my reaction? Why do they have to live in Happy Bubble Land? You're sharing your book with the public, not with just your select circle of friends. If you can't handle public reaction, maybe you shouldn't be mass-distributing your work...

As for the extra matter, I've read several eBooks that take it way too far... and it can affect the rating if too much of what I paid for is just advertising and clutter to pad the page count, so it looks like I'm paying for a full-length novel when I'm not. (Though the personal "worst" I read was a paid-for, not-in-any-way-discounted eBook that hit me in the face halfway through with an ad for the "enhanced edition," which included a soundtrack. The heck? So you're telling me I paid full price for a stripped-down ad vehicle, or you think I'm so in love with the tale that I'll pay for the same story twice just for a little reading music? Wasn't my only problem with the book, but definitely a sizeable fly in the soup.)

On the overall thread issue of authors asking for reviews, I don't have a problem if it's a simple, polite request and not a needy or selective ("Only good reviews!") one. Though I don't often write reviews on Amazon anymore - I don't like how they've changed the review form, so I only bother when I have something to say that I don't feel other reviews have mentioned... if then.
I trashed an eBook once for something similar. It was a handful pages of writing advice, then a crapload of pages of the author promoting her other works in which her advice given in this book, is elaborated on. Turns out I bought a book that was little more than a trailer for other books, even its actual content nothing but teasers. That is not ethical.

James W
01-09-2017, 05:34 AM
I definitely think it's a good idea to have a link to leave a review, make it as easy as possible. But don't stop there. It's also a great idea to try and capture their email address for your author mailing list.

veinglory
01-09-2017, 06:02 AM
I definitely think it's a good idea to have a link to leave a review, make it as easy as possible. But don't stop there. It's also a great idea to try and capture their email address for your author mailing list.

If by "capture" you mean ask them to provide it and get their permission to receive mass mailings, sure.

shootseven
03-09-2017, 11:44 PM
Personally I find it in a bit of bad taste and amateurish, however, I've heard people say it works.

Arpeggio
03-12-2017, 10:21 PM
Personally I find it in a bit of bad taste and amateurish, however, I've heard people say it works.

You mean asking for review inside book? (sorry just making sure you aren't referring to James W's extra suggestions also). I understand what you are saying and have seen it done in an unprofessional looking way. Glad you've heard people say it works. If you've got any links / references to experiences with this tactic I'd be interested.

Arpeggio
04-05-2017, 11:50 PM
Since putting a request at back of a print version of one of my books on the 23rd March I've had one review posted from one of 33 sales.

I chose to do this with my best selling one to see what results occur fastest. Too early to see average rate yet. One review per month would be pretty hunky dory. One review per 50 sales would be hunky dory and 1 review per 100 sales would still be way above average.

Slaven
04-05-2017, 11:57 PM
I think that a good book will get it's review. Personally I'm not a big fan of commercials, links and add-ons. The End is the best way to finish a book ☺️

Catherine
04-09-2017, 06:45 PM
It seems redundant to ask for a review at the end of your e-book. In the books I read using the Kindle app, there is always a link to Amazon to review the book. I also see the "next in series", "also bought" and "recommended for you". In cases where I haven't left a review, I've gotten emails from Amazon asking for a review. As a reader, that is enough for me to leave a review if I'm going to.

If I don't leave a review, it's usually because I didn't like the book. Knowing how much reviews mean to an author, I don't leave a bad review unless the person is scamming people.

CathleenT
04-11-2017, 09:13 PM
Well, whether or not we like the back matter personally, it seems to lead to increased sales of other books, reviews, and social media follows: https://insights.bookbub.com/using-back-matter-sell-books/. For me, what's important is what works. :)

Arpeggio
05-05-2017, 11:51 PM
Update: 98 sales of print version since adding review request at back of book. Of those 98 sales 2 reviews have accrued now, both 5 stars. So I could say 1 in 50 success rate although not enough sample size so far really. Perhaps I could do with some negative reviews, but my editorial reviews from professionals with BA, PhD etc. are also positive (qualified reviews from experts in the field and know what they are talking about are meaningless to Amazon customers, much to my annoyance). 5 stars is irrelevant, the more the merrier I kind of look forward to a negative 3 star> review or two. If your book is good you should do this.

They are short 1 liners synonymous with how customers rarely review (if they rarely review they aren't going to write long ones when they do). I'm talking about average customers not followers and people who like to review (which are also good).

What I'm looking for is a long term drip reviews. Legitimate promotions on book marketing sites to encourage reviews (like BookBub) are good but may tend to result in more reviews in a shorter space of time which might not look as good on its own, not that those shouldn't be used also. So far so good, may roll out to all my books.

LeeMountford
05-13-2017, 02:18 PM
I've just put out my first novel (released 5th May) and I'll admit that I have done this. In that week I've only had 3 reviews, so I can't really say too much as yet, but I'll see how it goes and post and update.

Arpeggio
05-13-2017, 10:35 PM
I've just put out my first novel (released 5th May) and I'll admit that I have done this. In that week I've only had 3 reviews, so I can't really say too much as yet, but I'll see how it goes and post and update.

3 reviews in a week is very good. I just got another since my last post making it 3 reviews from 117 sales (over 7 weeks). Later on with more accrued I may look at review rate to sales for before I put the request in.

Bradley Shiner
06-07-2017, 12:20 AM
Hello,

I do believe that reviews might contribute to boosting sales( most readers would perceive a page wit lots of good reviews as rather encouraging to purchase a product. However I would abstain from nagging the reader to post it since that would be some kind of desperation. :P :) That's only my humble point of view however :)

Best

Arpeggio
10-27-2017, 01:24 AM
Before review request at back of print book 589 sales and 8 reviews posted = 1.35%
After review request at back of print book 725 sales and 8 reviews posted = 1.1%

I think perhaps when customers see that others already posted reviews they are less likely to want to bother, hence why it went down to 1.1%. That's my theory. At least 1%< is OK to work with for Promos with lots of downloads I guess. Some other books of mine get the initial "sympathy review" where a customer realizes it's a good book and thinks "this book hasn't got any reviews at all let's do one". Once that one is posted that's pretty much it for years.

Shame there are millions of fakes reviews on Amazon and most customers rely on them.

rihannsu
10-27-2017, 10:58 AM
I did that at the end of each of my three novellas. I've gotten very few reviews, but at least the ones I've gotten have been good. I don't have enough on Amazon to qualify for a lot of the promotion sites, but I've had excellent results with Freebooksy.

Although I'm pretty anemic when it comes to reviews, I have noticed that my sales continue to climb every month, so for the moment I'm not that worried about not getting many.

Arpeggio
10-28-2017, 12:39 AM
I did that at the end of each of my three novellas. I've gotten very few reviews, but at least the ones I've gotten have been good. I don't have enough on Amazon to qualify for a lot of the promotion sites, but I've had excellent results with Freebooksy.

Although I'm pretty anemic when it comes to reviews, I have noticed that my sales continue to climb every month, so for the moment I'm not that worried about not getting many.

I'll have to try Freebooksy. I gather a couple of your reviews were attributable to that promo? I think the discount / free thing seems to be the way to go for reviews.

Amazon ranking is based largely on sales history, conversion rates (when customer buys) and click through (when someone clicks onto your product page). Reviews don't have as larger part of the equation as they used to (although they do affect conversion rate). If you direct traffic to Amazon and get sales as a result then this will contribute to ranking higher on Amazon in front of people who search on Amazon and haven't seen your website.

I think your book's covers are good, the detail draws you in out of curiosity and it suits the over the top fashion of details and frills the royals of the time had. You look nice in your photos too.

JinxKing
11-08-2017, 07:07 PM
I do that in a few of my books. I think it's best to frame it as a reminder or an option as opposed to a direct request or demand. I tend to treat it as a friendly reminder 'Feel free to leave a review, your honest opinion can help other readers decide if it's for them or not!' I don't think most readers find it intrusive, and many readers who did enjoy your book but wouldn't otherwise review it might take the cue.

I can't say if it's gotten me reviews or not because if it has, those people haven't specified in their reviews (nor would I really expect them to lmao) but I don't think it hurts at all. I've seen other authors use them and it never puts me off a book, especially if it's just a footnote in the backmatter.

Elenitsa
06-04-2018, 04:24 PM
What's more important, the reviews from buyers or the reviews from literary critics? In my country I think the accent is put more on the reviews from literary critics. It matters less if a book is sold or not, it matters if it is well received by the literary critics and if they write about it.

veinglory
06-04-2018, 06:20 PM
As a reader I want my thought on the last page to be "wow, what a good book", not "this author seems to think I don't already know I could review this if I wanted to".

Arpeggio
06-04-2018, 11:53 PM
As a reader I want my thought on the last page to be "wow, what a good book", not "this author seems to think I don't already know I could review this if I wanted to".

I'm sure most customers would like that too but it's less likely to happen unless they live up to their own expectations and bother to post the reviews they so readily rely on. Quality control has been outsourced to customers to do for free, via customer reviews. Anything that attempts to get genuine reviews brings a grain of credibility to something that is utterly corrupt.

A retailer taking on the cost and time of policing customer reviews is like giving free money / service to any competitors that sell the same products. It makes no sense. Shame most people can't see all this for what it is. I never relied on customer reviews myself but have to dance this stupid tune so there it is. None of what I say is directed at you. :)

veinglory
06-05-2018, 01:12 AM
Your seem to think readers are one tribe and authors are the other and they have an implicit contract of reviews in return for not being badgered for reviews. I don't think I agree with any part of that.

Hbooks
06-05-2018, 01:58 AM
Some books I read have a little "If you enjoyed this book and want to help it succeed, tell a friend or leave a review," type thing. Shrug. I never feel offended by those, but I review everything I read anyway. The one that made me roll my eyes was the one where the author went into a long spiel about how they were trying SO HARD to write full time, outlined all the steps it had taken to get there, how tough it had been for book to get where it was, how it had barely missed trade publishing by this step and that, how they REALLY NEEDED me to leave a review, etc. And yeah, I did, because I review everything, but that one came across as clingy. If you're going to do it, short and sweet.

Arpeggio
06-09-2018, 01:57 AM
Your seem to think readers are one tribe and authors are the other and they have an implicit contract of reviews in return for not being badgered for reviews. I don't think I agree with any part of that.

I have thought for a long time that the implicit contract is between the customers. On one hand customers relying on customer reviews, the other customers posting customer reviews. Regardless of whatever the author does or feels obliged to.