Reviews & Advertising – It’s a Jungle Out There

write-a-reviewAs an author and someone who can’t stop writing 24/7, I often find it interesting how shy readers can be about writing reviews. Reviews not only help other readers, but they also help authors.  Even a bad review can push interest in a book.

With the Amazon market filled with millions of books (think 1.3 million and thousands daily are added), visibility is becoming a huge challenge for many authors.  The only way to become visible is to pay for advertising.

However, there are qualifications even to advertise, and the most challenging qualification is the minimum number of reviews a book must have in order to be considered.  Requirements can be anywhere from five to ten reviews on a book with an average rating of 4.0 or higher before they will consider your ad. Unfortunately, I struggle with a few of my novellas that haven’t garnished enough reviews to advertise, though I have decent sales, as well as my two new releases under Vicki Hopkins.  It’s a bit of a pickle, to say the least.

Amazon doesn’t require a thesis from readers when it comes to reviewing.  I’ve had lengthy reviews that were comprehensive and very short ones with three words.  My most humorous review, I think, is “Save your money,” but the book was free.

What about advertising?  Well, it can literally cost an arm and a leg.  The most expensive place to advertise is BookBub and the most challenging place to get accepted.  I’ve been on there once with The Phantom of Valletta.  As you can see, that book has received 81 reviews but it’s because of the exposure. It can be attributed to the massive downloads from my BookBub advertisement run years ago.

So how much does a day cost on BookBub?  If I were to advertise The Phantom of Valletta again for one day, dropping the price to 99 cents, it would cost me $770.  You read that right – $770 for one day.  That means I’d have to sell 2,200 books just to recoup my one-day investment.  It’s a gamble, of course, to sell enough to pay for the advertisement, which merely goes out on a subscriber mailing list.  However, it’s not always money that is the reward authors seek with advertising – it’s visibility and getting your name in front of new readers.  If you’d like to follow me on BookBub, you can CLICK HERE on my profile.

Of course, BookBub isn’t the only game in town.  Other places that I routinely advertise are Books Butterfly, eReader News Today, and BKnights, to name a few.

If you feel so inclined, don’t be shy about reviews.  You help authors everywhere by leaving a few words and sprinkling stars behind.