This excerpt is from the article: Readers, Do You Know the Power You Wield? How Your Book Reviews Lift Your Favorite Authors by contributor Desireé Duffy to the October 2023 issue of The Authors Porch Magazine.
What Is the Difference Between Consumer and Editorial Book Reviews?
The ecosystem of book reviews is incredibly diverse. I like to break it down into two main categories to keep things simple. There are consumer book reviews, the ones someone writes if they purchased the book on Amazon, for example. And there are editorial or professional reviews. By the way, Amazon “rewards” those purchasers by labeling such reviews as “verified”. This means that the book was purchased off their site, and they give preference to such reviews.
Since Amazon owns GoodReads, there is integration between the sites. In other words, reviews on GoodReads help influence the star ratings and are “pulled” over to help inform the review’s relevance on Amazon. As an author, you can create a profile on GoodReads and “claim” your books there. I often recommend that authors at least have a GoodReads profile and make sure the integration is connected since so many readers use GoodReads as a source for recommendations.
What Makes Editorial Reviews Different?
Editorial reviews are professional assessments usually found in literary magazines or newspapers. This is more like one might find in The LA Times, or The New York Times. These can be featured on one’s Amazon site under the Editorial Reviews portion of a writer’s profile. If you are an author, you can go into your Author Central account to add your editorial reviews there. If you have a publisher, there is a good chance they are doing this for you. It is advisable to check and see if they are handling that, or if the expectation is that you will handle adding editorial reviews.
Use Editorial Review’s Blurbs on Back of Book and for Marketing
Editorial reviews are also often written by fellow authors or experts within an industry that are close to the content of a book. For example, a leading nutritionist might “blurb” a new cookbook.
Editorial reviews are written by professionals and carry the authority of expertise with them. Often, they can be purchased on sites like Kirkus and Books That Make You. These sites offer reviews that are professional and comprehensive, with pull quotes that can be used as blurbs and quoted for press releases and marketing materials. They also work well in the Editorial Review section of Amazon and other retail sites.
Learn More About Book Reviews
The above is an excerpt. Read the full article, inspired by a panel discussion at ReaderCon, in the October 2023 issue of The Authors Porch Magazine.
CJ Ives Lopez, founder of The Authors Porch Magazine, joined forces with Black Château and Books That Make You during the first ReaderCon event held in conjunction with WriterCon in Oklahoma City. Along with Dave Duffy, Head of Operations for Black Château, Bree Swider, Head of Books That Make You, and moderator Desireé Duffy, Founder of Black Château and Books That Make You, the panel discussion helped both readers and writers in the audience learn more about the world of book reviews.
During the presentation, the audience received tips for writing powerful book reviews, ideas for where to post them (there are more places than just Amazon) and discovered the reasons book reviews are so important for authors in a competitive market.
Featured Image Credit: Midjourney Bot on Discord