Ah, the “elusive” friend/family book review. The funny thing about this concept is that you almost expect your “peeps” to be the first ones to not only run out (or go online) and buy your book, but review it right away—simply because of your relationship with them—and/or the fact that you have taken the time to check out (and spend money on) their Mary Kay, Avon, Amway, and other money-making endeavors, to help them out in the past! But in reality, it doesn’t happen this way.
See, some of your “peeps” WILL buy your book and sing its praises to everyone they come in contact with.
Some will say they love it but never “get around” to posting a review for it.
Then, there are others who will never read it or review it, no matter how much they love YOU. I have come to accept that it’s not a personal attack on me or my book.
Here are seven reasons why friends/family members choose not to read/review your books.
- They are afraid they won’t enjoy the book and do not want to have to deal with telling you so–and/or they don’t want to lie in a review.
- They enjoyed the book but they just aren’t writers. They don’t usually write reviews for anything—unless it earns them money or they are UNSATISFIED with a product … that’s when you’ll really see their reviews online.
- They are just “too busy” to take the time to get online, log-in to their account, find your book, and then post a review. It is quite a process to go through, and most people want everything to be done in one click—hence, why Amazon designed the ‘one-click’ purchase option … they don’t give you time to change your mind or hesitate. 🙂
- They aren’t readers. Many people aren’t. You will not find many books in their homes. Some people get headaches when they read. Others get sleepy. I know people who have said things like this. Some people can’t even sit still long enough to read a book. Some just don’t … (gasp) … enjoy reading!
- They aren’t interested in your book topic. Everyone has preferences and they are entitled to those preferences. If you write children’s books or non-fiction self-help books, some people may not be interested in what you have to say—or they may not need that information because that stage of their life is over.
- They are not tech-savvy or computer literate. Some people still have no electronic devices in their homes—other than those that are necessary. It may sound unbelievable, but there are still millions of people who DON’T have smart phones, tablets, e-readers, laptops, etc. Often, these people, if they are readers, will ask for a paperback copy of your book. It’s a good idea to keep paperbacks on hand.
- They don’t have an Amazon or Goodreads account and don’t want to open one. This has been the case a few times for me. And don’t bother trying to explain to them how to open one. People tend to resist things they aren’t comfortable with, or have to take the time to learn about.
So there you have it. Seven—legitimate or not (matter of opinion)—reasons why friends/family don’t buy your books or review them.
I have learned to STOP asking. Once they know what you write and where and how to get it—IF they want it, they will go find it. Let it go for now.
It takes time for some people to come around. People are all about ‘social proof’ these days. Once they see your ratings going up, your number of reviews increasing, and your sales totals growing, they MAY take a chance on you. Some will even, with false interest of course, ask you about your books when they run in to you. You will soon learn if these people are just asking to be nice and make conversation or if they really want to know. If they say things like, “Where can I buy it?” or “What is it about?” Chances are, they MAY want to know more. But if they simply ask, “How are your books going?” Just smile and politely say, “It’s going great! I love being a writer!” and leave it at that.
So what DO you do to get reviews? It’s like trying to get credit before you have credit, right?
Your best bet at getting solid, credible reviews, is taking the time and effort to connect with fellow authors in book clubs such as:
By the way, if you join either of these clubs, please mention me, Traci Sanders, when you sign up–as I am a member of both. 🙂 Find me and connect too!! 🙂
Final Words of Wisdom:
Just keep plugging away at Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites. Eventually your hard work will pay off by way of sales AND reviews, and as a bonus—you can meet some incredibly supportive people who truly DO enjoy your craft!
**Twitter is probably MY favorite place to connect with people because it’s quick and less drama. You are only allowed 140 characters per tweet so you have to make it a good one. Learning how to use the appropriate hashtags to promote your genre of books is crucial!
If you’d like to connect with me–find me at: