Keli Gwyn
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The 3 Most Effective Book Review Locations

What are the most effective places to post book reviews?

That’s the question I set out to answer in my recent post, “Book Reviews: Helpful or Not?

In order to get my answer, I created three polls.

In the first, I asked,” Do you rely on book reviews when choosing which books to buy?” Twenty-five visitors responded before I closed the polls last night. Here are the results:

Yes  24%  (6 votes)

No  8%  (2 votes)

Sometimes  60%  (15 votes)

Other  8%  (2 votes)

In the second poll, I asked, “Where do you read book reviews?” Fifty visitors responded. Here are the results:

Amazon  42%  (21 votes)

Barnes & Noble  6%  (3 votes)

Books-A-Million  0%  (0 votes)

Christianbook  4%  (2 votes)

Goodreads  20%  (10 votes)

Shelfari  0%  (0 votes)

On blogs  22%  (11 votes)

Other  6%  (3 votes)

In the third poll, I asked, “Where do you post book reviews?” Sixty-seven visitors responded. Here are the results:

Amazon  31.34%  (21 votes)

Barnes & Noble  5.97%  (4 votes)

Books-A-Million  1.49%  (1 votes)

Christianbook  10.45%  (7 votes)

Goodreads  20.9%  (14 votes)

Shelfari  2.99%  (2 votes)

On your blog  19.4%  (13 votes)

Other  7.46%  (5 votes)

After studying the results, I determined that book reviews are helpful. Eighty-four percent of those who responded to the first poll indicated they use book reviews to make their book-buying choices some or all of the time.

As a debut novelist with a book coming out soon, the findings show me that locating a group of readers willing to serve as influencers and post reviews is a good use of my time and limited number of author copies.

And where are the most effective places to post reviews? I wasn’t surprised to find out that Amazon, Goodreads, and personal blogs are the three places the majority of those who responded go when they want to read reviews.

Based on this information, I would suggest that authors responding to those who have agreed to serve as influencers ask them to consider doing three things:

1. Post a review on Amazon

2. Post a review on Goodreads–if they are members of that site

3. Post a review on their blogs–if that’s something they like to do

• • •

Did the findings of the polls surprise you, or were they what you expected?

If you’re a person who serves as an influencer at times, do you think the list of possible ways to help promote a book is realistic and do-able? Why or why not?

image from iStockphoto
Keli Gwyn

18 Comments

  • ausjenny says:

    Interesting info, I actually post at the top 3 starting with my blog them goodreads and Amazon, I do put reviews on christianbook and sometimes barnes and nobels but not as often at Amazon.

  • Sherrinda says:

    Thanks for sharing the results of the poll. Interesting stuff. I post reviews on those sites, except for Goodnreads. I tend to forget that one, even though I am a member! 🙂

  • I’ll be serving as an influencer for the first time this year for a few of my friends, and the list of ways to help doesn’t seem overly overwhelming to me. In all truth, I’m excited to help my friends promote their books and want to do all I can. Books reviews are just one of those ways.

    And nope, the results didn’t surprise me. They were right in line with how I voted! 🙂

  • Very helpful, Keli! Especially since i will be sending out my early influencer copies and a letter in a month or so!

  • No surprises, but awesome that you took the time to poll. Results like this shed light for authors.
    ~ Wendy

  • duhpaynes says:

    I post to as many sites as I can, no matter if I’m reviewing or influencing.

  • Keli, glad to see this follow up. I was not one bit surprised about the results. I read an article about B&N yesterday and tried to reason why the only major bookseller left is struggling against the tidal wave of amazon. I think its two reasons and they both affect the results of your poll. Amazon is what we call “user friendly.” It also has simple white pages that pop book covers, it provides the mid section of “if you liked this book … then look at these.” It’s young and happening and fosters reader participation.

    Yes, yes … I love leaving reviews on books I buy from amazon. I do not review a book I did not enjoy because I don’t want to damage a writer’s visibility. Those stars are important in placement on the amazon site and I can’t imagine damaging anyone’s chances of gettting another reader who might feel differently than I do. Reviews on amazon also serve as the number one way to sell books … Reader recommendations and word of mouth.

  • This bears out what I had thought regarding reviews and where folks read them. Thanks for running the polls. 🙂

  • Loree Huebner says:

    Thanks for posting the results. Interesting.

  • Hmm, I did expect Amazon to lead on the reviews. It’s really establishing itself as a hub for writers. Soon, it will be a publisher to contend with for the Big 6.

  • Interesting results, Keli! I fell in the majority for both questions. 🙂

  • Very interesting, Keli! I’m not surprised by the results, but it’s good to know!

  • Thanks for taking the time to do this poll, Keli. The results are interesting! 🙂

  • bethkvogt says:

    I appreciate the info, Keli.
    I post at Amazon and B&N — and am now starting at Goodreads — a newcomer there. (Why do I always feel behind the power curve?)
    Truthfully, word of mouth still motivates me the most when selecting a book — and that’s the way I try to help other writers: by recommending their books to friends.

  • JoAnn Durgin says:

    Hi Keli, and congrats on your upcoming debut release! As a reader, if I’m influencing, I’ll post reviews wherever the author requests (usually Amazon and Goodreads). If I’m not influencing, usually Amazon and sometimes Goodreads. As an author, I’ve found the reviews on Amazon to be the most influential; I’ve had readers tell me that’s where they “discovered” me (on the top-rated category lists, which I’m happy to say I’m on, although Amazon doesn’t do a thorough job of filtering the “Christian” books on those lists – it would be too overwhelming, I imagine). On Mother’s Day last year (of all days), B&N had a horrible computer glitch which messed up the ratings of a number of authors, me included, and I watched in horror as my five-star rating plummeted to 1 star by the end of the day. Over a period of months, they managed to change the system a bit and rectify the situation, but it’s been difficult and I honestly don’t pay much attention to it anymore. Amazon IS much more “user friendly,” and posts the reviews immedately, which is also nice.

    I’m with Beth V. (above) about word-of-mouth being very effective and motivating. I’ll read most anything newly released in my genre to “keep up” with the most current books and authors. But I’ll also confess to being an avid review reader. Sorry to go on so long (hazard of the trade!). Blessings.

  • this is what i figured it would turn out like. i think this is good info to have.

    i have trouble remembering to go to the other sites besides my blog to leave copies of my review. i recently had a sweet author who took the time to send me all the links in an email so that i didn’t have to spend the time to click around and find where to post my review. i was MORE than willing to copy/paste my review given this gentle, user-friendly reminder nudge. authors should do this! it wouldn’t take long….just a minute or two to get the links together. then just send this email to every influencer…..i think they’d appreciate it. i know i did!

  • I absolutely read the book reviews on Amazon before making a purchase. In fact, I don’t just do it with books – I do it with most of the merchandise in general that I buy on Amazon. The reviews have saved me lots of money and returns because they are usually spot-on.

    Many thanks, too, for your kind words at my blog earlier today. What a pleasure to see you!

  • Carla Gade says:

    Thanks a bunch for posting this helpful info, Keli!

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