Book reviews are of paramount importance especially for new releases and self-published books. Reviews give another perspective of the book; a reader’s perspective, which helps other readers understand whether they would like to read the book. This perspective helps the author as well in improving his work. Reviews act as recommendations, thereby making book reviewers the real influencers of the book industry.
We asked the opinion of our community and here’s what they had to say.
Book reviews are more important than ever before.
With the rise in the number of independent publishing houses and self publishing platforms, publishing a book has never been so easy. At the same time, the onus of marketing lies on the shoulders of the author.
Maheswaran Jothi says that a book review is more valuable to the indie author than a pro author. Writing a review for a pro author helps get attention for the reviewer than the other way around. Kiranmayi feels that like any product, feedback always helps consumers make a sensible choice. And with books, reviews are a great way of passing feedback to the authors, for them to understand their audience reaction.
Key Takeaway: Reviews help in getting the word out. It helps writer understand if his work has been received well.
Digital media means faster and wide range of distribution
Ebook formats and Kindle have changed the way we read. Even though many readers swear by their paperbacks, not wanting to let go of the pleasure of holding a book, turning its pages or smelling the special aroma of a book’s pages, people are increasingly acceptable of ebooks.
Brindha feels happy that her entire library is with her wherever she goes. Ritu likes the idea of adjustable font size and the ease of annotating the text. Nazish insists that the content is always more important than the format.
Key Takeaway: Ebooks are steadily gaining a large part of the market share. The best part is that reviewers are committed as before to honest and unbiased opinions so the format not impact the reviewing at all.
ARCs help spread the word and how
Publishers and authors are increasingly relying on review copies that are sent out much before the book is published.
With faster distribution channels and increased networking within the book industry, these review copies help generate reviews when the book hits the market, thereby creating a buzz. In fact, it creates curiosity and gets people talking even before the book is out.
V Ganeshan says that early reviews give much needed traction to a talented author. ARCs also can be a platform for a genuine reviewer to broaden his/her horizons. It can be a symbiotic process. Arun Iyer says that since the marketing budgets and reach is limited, ARCs definitely help in ensuring visibility for your book to a wider target audience. They also give immense happiness to the receiver that an author is seeking their opinion before others says Kiranmayi.
Key Takeaways: ARCs are now part of a well thought out marketing plan not only by traditional publishers but also by self published authors because they help get books visibility.
Book reviews are recommendations
Genuine reviews help, credible reviewers do influence the buying decisions of the people who follow their reviews.
MeenalSonal feel that book reviews create a platform which helps authors with book sales. Ravish feels that book reviews are like promotional material keeping in mind the needs of both potential readers & the author. Not Guilty says that the impact and importance of the book reviews can be gauged by the fact that the reviews are put in the initial pages of the book and on the back cover.
Key Takeaway: Stay honest, write unbiased reviews and you will soon gain s loyal following which looks up to you for book recommendations.
Book reviewers – the real influencers?
Book reviewers help in spreading word about the books, they analyse books critically thereby presenting an honest picture of the book and they act as a crucial link between other readers and the book.
It seems to be in the hands of book reviewers to influence the readers to a large extent, but this process is build with time, cemented with the authenticity and honesty of the reviewer says Rashmi. Just one look at sites such as NetGalley, BookSirens would provide monumental testimony to the reliance that publishing houses place on book reviews says V Ganeshan.
Key Takeaway: Reviews inform, educate and present a perspective that a reader cannot access otherwise. Potential readers, publishers, authors look up to the reviewers for being the link that joins and benefits every part in the book industry.
How can the book industry benefit
The reach of book reviews has grown tremendously due to the digital medium. Where we had people only writing reviews on their websites or on platforms like Goodreads, the rise of social media has made it possible for every reviewer to jack up the engagement on his review posts.
The digital era ensures that people can research a product or a book easily before they decide to buy hence the importance of book reviews.
Instead of just using book reviews as a medium to promote books, let’s focus on the bigger picture and also recognise and reward the voice of credibility and loyalty says Rashmi. By incentivising honest and quality reviewers, The book industry can also arrange author-reviewer meets on a periodic basis for reciprocal transmittal of ideas and a fostering of innovation. Reviewer symposiums also may pave the way for enhancing reviewer quality says V Ganeshan.
Key Takeaway: Book bloggers, Bookstagrammers, Booktubers/Book Vloggers are all part of the book industry, helping the authors and the readers as well as gaining popularity through their unbiased content.
While publishing is quicker and more accessible to authors today, book reviews are a crucial part of the book marketing strategy. The book industry is leveraging the tribe of book reviewers to promote, influence buying decisions and spread word about a book organically. Book reviewers are the new influencers of the book industry.