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Today let’s talk about social proof and the value of having others review and recommend your book to more readers.
For many writers, an author platform is oftentimes more about being a town crier and begging people to buy their book than simply providing an invitation into a conversation that can be continued over time.
How you find out about a book will sometimes determine whether you’ll actually buy it – and read it. For example, if your trusted friend who loves to read other books you have enjoyed told you about a new book she just loved and couldn’t put down, chances are you would either ask to read it when she’s done or possibly run out and get your own copy so you could read it too. Another example is when book clubs tend to make recommendations or select books for their club members to read. Chances are, you’re going to trust that recommendation and read that one too.
In the digital age we live in, there are more clubs, reviews and recommendations being made than ever before. Websites like today’s guest, Shelf Pleasure, and others including Goodreads, Shelf Awareness, Shelfari, AuthorsDen and more help you stay in the loop with books others are reading and enjoying – and those they’re not.
Social proof is a concept that may be unfamiliar by term to many authors but it is the author’s heartfelt desire to have it—and keep it. Social proof is when someone other than you talks with someone else about your book or project. Examples of this are when someone turns to someone else and says, “I just read this incredible book. Great read!” That’s word-of-mouth and that’s social proof. When you receive an endorsement or praise for your book, that’s social proof too. If someone or an entity recommends your book, like a book club or online community, that’s social proof too.
If we turn the words around, it means that your book or project has proven itself to society.
This does not require you shouting on Facebook, “Buy my book! Buy my book!” Instead, it invokes something much more powerful: the power of the relationship you build with readers – and that relationship gets built through your author platform.
By building a continuing conversation with readers, social proof naturally evolves as part of your platform and conversation that reaches more readers. The more they like it, the more people they tell!
As a society, we often look to others to determine what is valuable, correct or important – and what is not. It’s sort of like the old saying, “Well, if everybody’s buying it, it must be great!” Social proof is something we’ve seen probably all our lives. The advertising world thrives on social proof. Businesses rise and fall as a result of social proof.
Since your book is your hook—and a product worthy of social proof, the best thing you can do is get as many people as you can to talk about it, recommend it and review it so they can tell others about it. After all, the more people you can reach and let know about your book, the more people will know about it and, proverbially, buy it.
Stop shouting from the treetops and start using your book as your hook to extend your platform, raise more awareness about your book, and get more social proof through recommendations and reviews from others.
For more information on this Education Corner topic and others, please refer to www.YourBookIsYourHook.com/blog for more articles and resources to help you with your books.