Create the most glorious, over-the-top, and fantabulous reviews of your book. Yes, you.
I also want you to do it before you even write your book.
One of the most important parts of the Book Sales Page are the testimonials or reviews. They are the social proof that does an excellent job that the author herself cannot: give an honest, third-party perspective on your book.
“Slow down there, partner. Didn’t you just say we should make them up ourselves? Uh, that’s kinda cheatin’ right?” — Honest Author
Yes, I want you to create testimonials for your books yourselves. But I don’t want you to actually use them publicly! This is about the process of how we build the content for these reviews. What do we actually want them to say?
Here’s what we don’t want:
The book was really good. I liked it a lot. I recommend it.
Well, unless it’s a celebrity or a dog or someone who will influence the masses.
We also don’t want this:
The book was about a dog and two boys and they got lost in a tunnel.
Well, unless you’re an eight-year-old. But we don’t really want this, either.
Here’s what we want:
I couldn’t put it down. I read it in line at the post office. My kids were annoyed with me because I wasn’t making dinner and I wouldn’t put the book down. In fact, I need to stop writing this review because I’m not done yet!
There’s a passion in the writing, even an urgency. It doesn’t talk at all about what the book is about, but you just know that you have to read it! Or something like this for a non-fiction book:
I’ve read lots of books on how to raise turtles, but this one was by far the best. The research that went into it, the photos and especially the free turtle toenail samples that the author send by mail. It saved me time and money and my turtles are the smartest in my whole town. Thank you, author!
It shows results, it tells how it helped them (saved time and money, etc.).
Why you need to write some practice reviews yourself before you even write your book.
Before you even start Chapter One, you need to know what the reader is going to get out of your book. Is it entertainment, humor or will it help them in some way? We care more about how the book makes them feel than what it actually does. Sure, a book might help someone lose weight but it makes them feel free and like a new person. We want that: we want to feel free and like a new person.
For fiction, it’s a little less concrete, but still possible–and recommended. How do you want your readers to feel? What emotion do you want them to have when they finish a chapter? Also think about what emotion other people are looking for.
If you go through the process of writing 3 reviews of your own book before it’s written, it will help you write your book. If I could guarantee it somehow, I would. But at least give it a try and if it doesn’t work, come back here and let me know why it didn’t work.
Wanna write a book? Great, you and half of the population. I want you to write three Dream Reviews before you write your book in such a way that I will want to read your book–and you’ll want to write it.
If you need some help, Reviews are an important module in our Book Sales Page Course.
Part of the homework from the Testimonials Module in the course is to write our 3 Dream Reviews but then also 3 more boring, but still accurate, reviews. Here goes for my Every Single Day book.
I’m just going to wing these (do I know another method?) and can edit later.
- I didn’t really “get it” until I read the book and tried the techniques for 30 days. Now I get it. Now I’m unstoppable.
- I know Bradley personally and have been wondering what has turned around his life and transformed him into an insatiable monster of joy over the past few years. Now I know the secret.
- This book could have been a single line long: Every Single Day. But of course then we wouldn’t do it. The stories he collected from all walks of life to tell about their transformations did it for me. I was a believer, but now I’m a convert and taking my ESD every single day.
Well, that was fun. Here are some boring ones.
Boring but still helpful reviews.
Why do this? Because not everyone is going to blather on and on and shower you with love. Some are more rational and less, well, loving. Here’s what they might say–but I’ll still be happy with.
- I was impressed that the author brought a very simple topic into the complex (through his examples and case studies), but then managed to bring it back to simplicity.
- I was pleased to see that this book wasn’t 300 pages. It’s a simple topic, but one that needed to be driven home through the examples and the stories and case studies provided did just that.
- OK, fine, I’ll do it. I still don’t really get why I can’t do Every Other Day or Every Thursday, but I’ll go with Mr. Charbonneau and give it a shot. If he’s so freakin’ happy about it, it’s worth a shot.
Huh, that was kinda fun. But it also makes you think about how your book might affect people and, ideally, that’s going to help you write it. Honestly, especially this second group of testimonials, reminded me how important the case studies and stories are going to be for the book. So I better, uh, get on those.