I'm a published novelist and freelance writer, editor, and audio tech. Check out my journal for creative writing tips, short stories, and news. To learn more about my books or my services, navigate using the links above. 

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Entries in marketing (2)

Wednesday
Mar162016

The EASIEST Ways to Leave Amazon Reviews

If you're friends with any writers, or follow any of your favorite authors on social media, you've probably heard about how important Amazon reviews are to us. And it's not just writers--musicians, filmmakers, and anyone who distributes their work on Amazon depends on reviews for visibility.

Not only do reviews make our works look more appealing to potential audience members, they also enhance our search ranking and visibility on Amazon, making it easier for new people to discover us! Reviews don't have to be long or detailed in order to help--just a star rating and a quick sentence about how much you liked the work is a huge help. For a lot of us, your support directly enables us to continue creating the content you love.

But let's be real: sometimes, leaving a review can be a pain in the butt. It doesn't sound like much, but how many of us ever think to do that when we're just hopping on Amazon quickly to buy something else?

I totally get it. So I thought I'd make things easier for creators and potential reviewers alike by sharing a few shortcuts that allow you to leave reviews quickly and efficiently--and have fun in the process!

1) Jump to your recent purchses by using your Shopping History right on the navigation bar.

If you hover your mouse over "Shopping History," which appears in your navigation bar, you'll see a list of all the products you've viewed recently. Use this if you just purchased a book within the last day or two; with one click, you can be right back on that book's page, leaving a review! No need to hunt down the book page via a search.

 

2) Batch review your recent purchases.

Click "My Account" and scroll to the"Personalization" section at the bottom; then click "Your Reviews."

You'll be presented with a list of all your recent purchases. You can click the stars to leave a rating, and you'll be presented with a text box if you want to leave a review as well...all on one page! In five minutes, without ever having to search for a product or navigate away from that single page, you can batch review all your recent purchases.

 

Sometimes, it'll even prompt you with helpful questions about the book--all you have to do is click your answer!

3) Creators, give as well as you get!

This one is specifically for creators. Sometimes, we can get so obsessed with asking readers to review our work, that we forget to review our friends' work. We've all been there; self-promo is an exhausting grind and it's easy to lose track of whether you gave a few stars to your pal's recent release when you're busy promoting your own. But, by growing a community, we can lift each other up, and help everyone reach more readers. Here's a simple trick that I'm trying out, to help me remember to pay it forward: every time I post a request for reviews, I'll head to Amazon and batch-review any books that I've read recently as well.

I hope these tips help you and your readers--please share, so we can all enjoy easier and more convenient feedback! (And don't forget to review Queens of All the Earth and Bulfinch while you're at it!) Happy reviewing!

Every Wednesday, I share action-oriented tips for building arts communities. View all the community-building posts here.

 

Wednesday
Mar092016

Building an Arts Community Using 3-for-1

 

image via www.freevintageillustrations.com

 

It's all over our social media feeds: please like, please share, please rate and review, please sign up, please come, please make my artistic dreams come true.

I love it, but I can also get discouraged when I see so much asking. I want my friends and acquaintances and the wide circle of artists I know to succeed, but sometimes I wonder, "Who's listening? Are we reaching the elusive New Audience Member, or are we all just talking at each other?" Especially when I see an artist I love with a Facebook post that only has one or two likes, or a great book on Amazon with a single-digit number of reviews.

Like my friends, and thousands of aspiring artists online, I've spent plenty of time wondering how to make my own "ask" more appealing. But lately, I've been trying something different; instead of focusing on what I'm asking for, I'm challenging myself to answer others' calls more often.

It's a very simple system: every time I ask something of my audience, I take that moment, while it's fresh on my mind, to check in on some of my favorite emerging artists, and answer their latest call. Whenever I urge my readers to leave an Amazon review for one of my books, I'll take a moment to rate & review the latest things I've read. Whenever I post something to my Facebook page, I'll hop on my friends' pages and like or share their latest posts about their creations. Every time I seek new followers/subscribers, I'll make sure I'm following the latest artists I've discovered, so their numbers swell too. I try to do three-for-one: at least three "answers" for every "ask" I make. I'm not trying to create a sense of pressure or obligation; I'm just trying to practice what I preach about supporting each other.

I know I'm not alone; here in DC, I've enjoyed the vibrant community of writers, small businesses, musicians, and visual artists who all support each other. But it can be overwhelming to try and support our friends. In the midst of all the content they share, it's hard to know where to start--and, lacking a starting point, all too often we can find ourselves getting distracted before we actually follow through on our resolutions to help out other artists. It's hard to keep up with a busy feed and manage our own pages, too. The three-for-one system makes it part of my existing routine; whenever I make time to post something online, I add in five minutes to do a quick sweep through the artists I follow, and find something to like or read or rate or share.

Three-for-one is just one way that artists can support each other and expand everybody's audience. In the coming weeks, I'll be sharing more tips and ideas on community-building in the arts every Wednesday. Next up: the thorny issue of how to encourage Amazon reviews. Stay tuned, and read all the blog posts on building artistic communities here.