Image shows illustration of one hand passing a book to another hand with the words "If you love a book...tell one friend!"

Tell One Friend

With apologies to Leo Tolstoy: All book launches are alike, but all failed book launches fail in their own way.

The details of my failed book launch for my contemporary romantic comedy, The B Word, can be found elsewhere. The key part of the story is that Amazon throttled reviews during the crucial time period when my paperback was live (before the ebook launched) and then they dramatically curtailed reviews after the ebook went live. There were other substantial hiccups regarding discoverability and social proof. To date, they post only a fraction of reviews.

Like most authors, I have regularly encouraged my readers to leave honest reviews at the vendor where they purchased their books. I’ve placed a call to action in the back of every one of my books. I regularly encourage readers of my newsletter to review on vendor sites. I routinely include review appeals in my social media.

But I am now shifting my focus.

I am now saying to my readers, “If you loved my book, tell one friend.”

“Tell One Friend” won’t increase my tally of reviews on Amazon and other vendors. It won’t edge me toward the magic number of reviews I need to purchase Bookbub Featured Deals and other advertisements. It won’t provide visible social proof at the point of sale.

But “Tell One Friend” exploits the fact that the number one reason most people read a book is because that book was recommended by a friend. “Tell One Friend” will keep me from alienating my most avid fans—my ARC readers—who have invested time and effort to read ARCs and write reviews only to be told their reviews aren’t acceptable. And “Tell One Friend” has the potential to reach more new readers than written reviews reach, because it demands less effort of my current readers.

In my dream world (hey—I write romances, with guaranteed happy endings!), many authors—including you—will join the Tell One Friend campaign. Tell One Friend doesn’t have to be exclusive; authors who still get positive results from the vendor-controlled review system can urge their readers to leave reviews as well as encourage them to Tell One Friend.

So, how about it? Are you ready to encourage your readers to Tell One Friend?

Click on the graphic below to download a full-size version.

Image shows illustration of one hand passing a book to another hand with the words "If you love a book...tell one friend!"

© 2022 Mindy Klasky. Permission granted for reproduction of the Tell One Friend explanatory text and graphic above.

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