Welcome to the new year everyone.
Classes at Minnesota State University Moorhead resumed on Monday, accompanied so far by persistent overnight sprinklings of snow that have succeeded in turning the already slick streets into even squishier slip-traps. The NRP crew has braved the slushy roads and returned to work for the semester. We are looking forward to a fun, productive year.
It was during the summer that NRP revamped its website, not only changing the aesthetics and layout of the site but switching to a new website host altogether. The process of working on the site has been slow, but has finally come a fairly stable state of “completeness.”
The purpose of our website is primarily to inform people of opportunities to publish with us and to announce our newly released books but another big part of the site is our store. We have been striving to make this store as user friendly as possible, but one vital aspect of a good online store has thus far been missing from our site. Reviews.
Reviews are essential to online stores of any kind, because not only does it give readers power and a voice, allowing them to vouch for the quality of a work rather than letting the seller inform them of it, it also helps out other readers by giving them a better idea of whether or not they would like a book, and ensuring that they spend their money on something they will enjoy.
Book Reviews are Beneficial for the Author.
Especially in the case of authors who don’t have one of the Big Four book publishers and their fleets of marketing execs behind them (as in the case of small presses or self-published works) reviews are one of the best ways to help that author achieve success.
Some authors choose to go to popular reviews sites like Amazon or Goodreads in order to see what readers thought of their book and gague the way they might improve their next book.
Some online sellers like Amazon give books with lots of reviews special perks if many people leave reviews (no matter the quality of the reivew.) For example, on Amazon, after a book receives between 20 and 25 reviews, it is automatically included in listings such as “People who bought this item also bought…” and “You might also like…” This is a great way for a book to gain extra visibility and increase sales.
Once a book receives between 50 and 70 reviews, the book has the opportunity to be shown as a highlighted book in newsletters that go out to thousands of people.
If any of you are Goodreads users, another fantastic way to help authors gain visibility is to enroll their books in the Listopia section of the Goodreads site. Listopia is a way to help readers find books of a certain theme, genre, or subject and will be a great way to help readers find just the book their looking for.
Please leave reviews on newriverspress.com
As was said, one of our goals for the shop on newriverspress.com is to offer a very user friendly experience that will help match people with books they will enjoy. One of the best ways to do this is by featuring reviews of our works written by readers.
In order streamline the process, here is a guide on how to leave a review on our site.
Here is a typical shop listing:
You will need to scroll down the page in order to find the review box.
To leave a review, you will give the book a rating of one to five stars, the more stars the better the book. You can leave a text review detailing your thoughts on the book, what some of your favorite aspects of the book were or parts you thought could have been stronger. You will leave a name that will be displayed next to your review, though you do not have to put your full name, even just initials or a screenname are fine. Finally you will leave an email address. This address will not be displayed publicly. Once you hit submit, your review will not appear immediately. NRP staff in charge of the website will receive a notification and must look over the review before it is made public.
What Makes a Great/Helpful Review?
Please be courteous when leaving reviews, no vulgar language or bashing the books in a needlessly nonconstructive way. This is not to say that we frown upon reviews that are not glowing and filled with praise. On the contrary. A low-scoring but well thought out and constructive review can be just as helpful, to readers, authors and even us at NRP, as a review with high praise. A review does not necessarily need to include a summary of the story and should certainly not include any spoilers. Somethings you may wish to talk about are:
- What your initial impressions of the book were
- What your favorite aspect of the book was.
- What aspect of the book you wish was stronger.
- Your thoughts after finishing the book
- What kind of people would enjoy reading the book.
If you would like a more in depth look at the writing of book reviews, check out this article from The Writing Center at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Thank you to all our wonderful readers and writers. Our business would not be possible without you. Let’s look forward to another happy, productive year.