Getting book reviews is essential, but time-consuming, and BookConnect may just be what you need to lessen the load.
You probably already know the importance of book reviews if you're self-publishing a book.
They help drive credibility and awareness to your book, helping your book reach readers through your book marketing efforts.
And even if you aren’t aggressively marketing your book, reviews are still crucial for helping your book stand out in the sea of competition on Amazon or other book publishing platforms.
Related: How to Publish A Book
But getting reviews can be hard work. You have to find readers willing to review your book, then spend time sending your book to them, following up, sending reminders…etc. The list goes on.
In this article, we'll review BookConnect, a software for authors that claims to help with your book review process.
Here's what we'll cover in this BookConnect review:
- What is BookConnect?
- How Does BookConnect Work?
- BookConnect Software & Cost
- BookConnect Review: The Pros & Cons
- Is BookConnect For You?
What is BookConnect?
BookConnect is a software tool for authors that allows books to be easily distributed for review purposes.
Because many authors struggle with book reviews – which is a crucial component for increasing book sales and book marketing – the concept of BookConnect is to automate the systematic steps for getting books reviewed, such as file converting, linking, and sending reminders.
When it comes to getting book reviews, authors face several challenges, such as not having an email list, building review momentum, delivering the right book file format, and following up with readers to remind them to review.
Related: How to Build an Email List
If you’ve already self-published a book, you understand this struggle!
Debbie Drum, author and creator of BookReview, also understood this pain point and set out to create a solution for other authors.
According to the website, the BookConnect software helps authors do the following:
- Deliver your book to reviewers. This is a huge convenience because readers have different preferences on what type of format they read your book in. Some might prefer mobile, while others prefer an iPad.
- Creates one link for everything. Instead of you having to search for various links to send different readers based on their preferences, BookConnect generates one link that you can send to everyone.
- File availability in PDF, EPUB, and MOBI. Again, book format files differ based on the device being used to read the eBook. Some devices require PDF whereas others might require EPUB or MOBI. Instead of you having to convert different files manually, BookConnect does this for you.
- Sends automatic reminders to reviewers. During book launch when we’re scrambling to get more reviews for our week, it can take a lot of time and effort to keep following up with readers to remind them to write their review. With BookConnect, you can utilize the automatic reminders, which is super convenient and time-saving.
How Does It Work?
The concept is simple: BookConnect is a solution for authors to easily deliver their book to potential reviewers.
Once you purchase BookConnect (which we’ll cover more details on in the next section), there are four steps to get everything set up on the software.
The steps seem pretty straightforward, and according to BookConnect’s FAQ, there are training videos available to walk you through the process.
Here are the steps to use BookConnect:
Step #1: Create your author name.
This is the name you want listed on your book. If you’re using a pen name, you can add it here. You can add up to five author names here (in case you have various author pseudonyms).
#2 – Set up your book listing.
Just like you have to set up your book on KDP, you have to do the same on BookConnect. This is where you add your book title, author name, and other information.
#3 – Add your book files.
Once your book is set up, you need to add the various file formats for your book. The more file formats you can provide, the more options your readers will have to choose which platform or device to read your book on.
#4 – Generate the link.
When your files have been added, you can then have BookConnect generate one link, which you can share with readers. You’ll have to navigate to the “Download Page” on the BookConnect dashboard to generate this link.
#5 – Remind reviewers (optional).
This feature is only available on certain BookConnect plans, but this is a way to essentially send a reminder to your reader after 10 days for them to review your book.
BookConnect Software & Cost
The BookConnect software is available for Mac users and PC (Windows) users, and costs $37 per month.
Note: The price is $37 at the time we are writing this review, but its subject to change, so be sure to check with the site itself to see current pricing.
Since you need to have your book written and published before using BookConnect, you should purchase it when you're actually ready to start using it.
Related: How to Write a Book
So what are you getting for that monthly price, exactly? Let’s break it down:
Here’s what’s included with BookConnect's package:
- Up to 5 author names. This is useful especially if you publish specific genres with a pen name.
- Unlimited book downloads. Your readers and potential reviewers aren’t limited to how many times they can download your book.
- Page Builders. This makes it easy for you to create your own Download Pages and Author Pages.
- Automatic follow up. You can send readers and reviewers messages and emails to remind them to review 10 days after they download your book. This feature may be part of a higher subscription plan.
- Various file formats. You can upload your book in PDF, MOBI, EPUB, and Zip.
- Email list feature. This allows you to store email addresses from people that download your book.
- Templates. As you can see in the screenshot from above, the software has templates to make it easy for you to write your book descriptions and follow up emails.
Related: Book Templates
According to the website and tutorial, a couple of the above features are new and have been recently rolled out. This is a good indication that the software is continuously updating and improving.
BookConnect Review: The Pros & Cons
As with anything, there are always pros and cons to consider before investing!
This wouldn’t be a thorough review without acknowledging these points, so let’s dive into the benefits and disadvantages of this review management software.
- Easy to Use. Based on the tutorials and videos we’ve seen of the tool in action, it appears that BookConnect is relatively easy to use with a simplified dashboard. It’s also easy for readers since they can download your book instantly in a variety of formats.
- Convenient. BookConnect’s automated features such as the email follow up reminders to readers and the generated central link make it a super convenient tool for authors.
- Saves Time. If you’ve already had your first book launch, you know how time consuming it is to send readers your book files and send reminders for them to review your book every few days. With BookConnect, you’re cutting down on that time considerably!
- Verified Reviews. If you’re mainly publishing on Amazon, you should know the importance of verified reviews. But it’s important to note that just because BookConnect can send your book to readers in different formats, this does not mean that all reviews will appear as “Verified” in Amazon. You’ll have to make sure readers use the right Amazon link to download and access your book before reviewing.
- Product Misconceptions. Authors might find the BookConnect product concept confusing, or be unclear as to what exactly it does. Some authors may even get the impression that BookConnect is a marketing tool that finds reviewers for you, but that’s not the case. You will still have to implement your own marketing strategy to get potential reviewers to your Download Page and Author Page.
- Price. If you’re just getting started on your author career or only plan to publish a couple books, you may have a hard time justifying the monthly price of BookConnect. Other self-publishing tools like Publisher Rocket and Vellum Software (although entirely different in concept) use a one-time payment model, so if you’re used to that, the BookConnect subscription model might be a downside.
- Website Experience. This is minor, but worth mentioning here. If you plan to research more on BookConnect before deciding to purchase, just note that the website is a little bit tricky to find when doing a Google search. There are a few different companies that go by this name, which means you’ll likely have to do some digging.
Is BookConnect For You?
Based on our research, it’s clear that BookConnect can be an effective solution for specific types of authors.
It can be used for fiction or nonfiction authors, so you can use it if you're publishing a novel or memoir or children's book!
BookConnect may be for you…
If you publish books often, manage multiple genres and pen names, and/or are aspiring to earn a full-time income from your books.
If your end goal is to become a full-time author and build your passive income, then BookConnect might be a software tool that you invest in because it will save you a ton of time and effort in the long run.
This means less time managing follow ups and files and email lists, and more time spent writing and publishing…which, for most self-published indie authors, is money well spent.
BookConnect may NOT be for you…
If you’re looking for a marketing tool to actually promote your book to reviewers and/or find reviewers for you, this is not it.
You will still need to do all the marketing work like setting up book funnels, creating lead magnets, and more.
BookConnect is more of a management tool, rather than a marketing tool. BUT, ultimately, book reviewers do increase the effectiveness of your book marketing, so you can make your best judgment there.
It also might not be for you if you are just getting started with your author journey, and don’t plan to publish more books in the near future.
If you’re planning one big launch and that’s it, it might make sense for you to just hire an assistant to manage the book review outreach process during your launch period or only purchase BookConnect for a few months.
Overall, BookConnect seems to be a nifty software tool that has the potential to save authors time and effort, as long as you understand that you will still need to implement your own marketing strategy to get book reviews.
The software seems to have ongoing training and updates, so it’s likely going to continue improving and rolling out new features. We’re excited to see what’s next!
If you’re still curious about the software, head on over to the BookConnect website to learn more.