Surfing the internet has become an art form for dedicated online shoppers. Most have their routine down pat and can max out a credit card in a matter of minutes. They are usually able to add more items than on a 5 year-olds Christmas list to their carts in the same time it takes some to enter a URL. For normal folks, however, it’s more of a finicky process.

More often than not, your average online buyer does their research before ordering anything. Typically, once a consumer comes across an item that grabs their attention, they’ll often peruse through the specs of a product.  If the shopper is up in the air about an item, they will delve even deeper and seek the judgments of others who have used the product. User-generated online reviews have become a central element for consumers making a purchase decision. Their influence can have momentous impact on the quantity as well as the price of transactions.

Reviews of a book effectively cause consumers to function in the same way. Books are products too. The type of reviews a particular one receives, good or bad, or the amount of them can be the difference of a title being sold or not. Book reviews characteristically assess a recently written form of literature. At its most basic level, a book review:

  • Imparts the reader with a succinct summary of the text.
  • Deals an acute assessment of the book’s strong points/flaws.
  • Suggests whether or not the audience would enjoy it.

So why is it so important for authors to get their books reviewed?

With the growth of self-publishing, both through services and applications, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for an author to rise above the competition and make his/her name to stand out from the crowd. Reviews are a measure of the visibility of an author’s work. Added reviews mean added exposure that can lead to, you guessed it, added profit. Now, more people have noticed it, read it, and reacted to it which will assist a potential reader in deciding whether or not they’d like to take a gamble on your title.

Conversely, reviews also prevent the wrong prospects from picking up a book. Several reviews can really help paint the picture regarding the concept of a book as well as the perception of its readers. Without them, a reader may be more apt to leave a bad review after reading the text because they didn’t realize the piece of work would be of little interest to them.

Authors crave any occasion to get the word out about their books. Competition grows on a daily basis forcing the bravest of scribes to turn to the web for their chance to hit it big. But some of the more notable online avenues have certain stipulations (number of reviews, amount of likes) one must meet before even reaching for their wallet. The same can be said of certain book review sites with high traction and influence within the publishing community.

As mentioned before, prominence is important in a marketplace flooded with books. A larger number of reviews, especially positive ones, help books get seen on sites. Websites of larger companies (Amazon, Google) are more difficult to penetrate due to algorithms determining which books pop up. Having a plethora of reviews intensifies the chance of your published book being seen because it’s an aspect that is weighted more heavily than others.

Remember 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight? All the uproar and talk of Team Edward & Team Jacob stemmed from word of mouth. This is the simplest form of marketing and sometimes even the most rewarding.  When someone sees a positive review of a book and decides to give it a try, he/she might believe it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread and eventually tell their friends about it.

Be prepared. As a first-time author, you may have limited experience dealing with a public that is so entrenched with social media. Social networking sites make up the world’s suggestion box. Because of this, you’ll see a barrage of complaints from people that “know everything”. Take the positive comments and run with them, but also utilize the negative criticism as a learning experience to help grow further as an author.

Assets Authors can use

As noted above, it is imperative for authors to obtain book reviews for their titles. Not only will these evaluations provide added credibility to you as a writer, but they will also aid in constructing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) value and shape your online presence even further. The following are a list of websites that self-publishers will find beneficial for procuring readers’ opinions of their books:

–          Indie Reader (

–          Self-Publishing Review (

–          The Indie View (

–          Good Books Today (

–          Author Marketing Club (

–          BookPlex (

–          Manic Readers (

–          goodreads (

–          Digital Book Today (

–          indieBRAG (

Free Resources for Authors

Various expenses are associated with being a self-published author. You may have to pay for a cover design or an online ad and be left without the funds to acquire the much needed assessments of your work. Below are several websites authors can utilize to obtain book reviews at no additional cost:

–          Readers’ Favorite (

–          Book Tweeting (

–          Free Book Reviews (

There are also thousands of book bloggers that are willing to read and review your books. Using sources like Book Blogs ( will allow contributors of the site to see your work. Even if people aren’t willing to review your book, you’re still providing another channel for viewership.