Blogger: Rachel Zurakowski
Location: Books & Such main office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
A recommendation from a trusted individual goes a long way in influencing a person to read a book. Why do you think publishers are always asking for endorsements on projects? Readers are highly motivated by those little recommendations. The bigger the name, the better because more people will be influenced to read the book if they recognize the name.
I think, if publishers could, they would rather tailor endorsements to individual readers. Wouldn’t you rather read a book your best friend recommended instead of one Oprah liked? I think my best friends have a better idea than Oprah does of what I enjoy reading. I value the opinion of my friends because I know that they enjoy similar books. We’ve had success sharing books in the past. We enjoy discussing the books after they’ve been shared between us. It’s fun and it gives us another way to connect. This is also why many people participate in book clubs.
Friend recommendations and book club recommendations expand a reader’s horizons. You end up reading books that you wouldn’t have picked on your own, and many times they’re great books! If you don’t have a “book-buddy” you should try it. Ask your good friend for a book recommendation and recommend one in return. Ta-da! You have a new “book-buddy.” Easy!
I think that the importance of a recommendation is one of the reasons that reader reviews are so beneficial on websites like Christianbook.com or Amazon.com. A reader review gives you the opinion of a “real reader,” someone just like you, instead of an endorser who HOPEFULLY actually read the book. Most endorsers really do read the projects, but some don’t. Isn’t that sad?
Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool. The book, The Shack, by William P. Young, was self-published and sold hundreds of thousands of copies because of word-of-mouth before it was picked up for traditional publication. I’m sure this isn’t the only word-of-mouth success story. I bet most bestsellers got to that level because of word-of-mouth. Money spent in marketing can be great, but if readers aren’t talking about a book, the sales aren’t going to be as good.
These days, communicating your opinion to all of your friends is one of the easiest things to do. I let my friends know through my Facebook news feed when I’m going to the gym or eating dinner–like they care. I think I’ll start using my Facebook page to promote the books I love. I want my friends to experience the same emotional connection I feel when I read my favorite books. I also want to help my favorite authors because they did such a great job writing a beautiful book! I bet my friends are going to be happy to have something interesting to read in my little news box. What about you? Are you going to endorse a book today? Feel free to do so on our blog!