Last week, I talked about bad book reviews and how authors can handle them. Well, guess what? My rant about reviews isn’t quite over. This time, I’ve got a different beef, one that falls under the category of ‘be careful what you wish for’.
So, what’s my problem with reviews now? It’s a personal one.
If you buy a book, and you like the book, please write a review. Reviews aren’t just a way to validate an author’s hard work. They have a much greater significance. Reviews can influence sales. Some people read those book reviews before they buy and might be more likely to buy a book that’s well reviewed.
Amazon reviews can be instrumental in promotion. When a book surpasses twenty-five reviews, Amazon will include the author’s book in the “Customers who bought this also bought” category when readers are buying other books. After more than seventy reviews, Amazon will highlight the book for spotlight positions, including their newsletter. Even more reviews and an author’s book can be included in an email to all Amazon customers who have purchased other titles in that author’s genre. Talk about exposure!
Yes, it feels good to get a good review. If you’re not a writer, or you don’t know one, you may not realize how much goes into a book. It’s not simply writing a story and handing it off. Most books start with story and character outlines well before they’re written. After writing comes the editing and revising and then still more editing. Then you share your work with beta readers and with their feedback comes still more revising and editing. Then, maybe if you’re lucky, you can release the book.
When you finally release the book, you hold your breath and hope that readers like it. And you’re not going to know if they like it without that review. I’m not going to lie. It’s very depressing to release a book that you’ve worked hard on and feel proud of and wait for reviews that never come. It can make you question your ability and wonder why you worked so hard.
So, if you read a book you like, especially if it’s one of my books, please take a moment to write a review. It doesn’t have to be an essay. A few kind words will do. Those few kind words can make a huge difference to an author that has no reviews at all. And to those of you who faithfully read and review my books, thank you. I couldn’t do this without you.