Written by Susan Sheehey
How often do you write a review for the books you read? If you do, where do you post them? Do you manage a personal blog for reviews, or do you share them just on Amazon and GoodReads, etc? How much do you rely on reviews as a reader for a book you want to purchase? Do negative reviews influence your purchasing decisions for books?
Before I became an author, I was an avid reader (still am). But in my hectic life, I didn’t get around to writing a review about a book I loved. Definitely a shame. In fact, I was one of those readers who only posted a review if the book irritated me. As a way to ward off other readers from purchasing the book and feeling the same way. Honestly, I didn’t write that many negative reviews at all. But it was the only time I felt compelled to write one.
Now as an author, I realized my method of writing reviews was completely wrong.
Positive reviews were far more powerful than any negative one I ever wrote. I should have written many more to thank the authors for such awesome and compelling stories.
Little did I know at the time that was the best way to thank an author.
For Indie authors like myself, getting our name out there is extremely difficult, especially with so many other awesome writers out there. It’s hard to set ourselves apart. Don’t get me wrong, I love that there are so many incredible stories and characters out there. It’s never been a better time for readers. Each book you pick up is more and more likely to amaze you. You have so many ‘favorite’ authors in your book piles now.
But how can we entice readers to pick up a book written by an unknown author?
The resounding answer I keep getting is:
Theoretically speaking, the more reviews a book has, the more likely a reader is willing to buy it (trusting the positive reviews. Therefore, the more it plays into Amazon’s super-secret algorithm for visibility. The more reviews, the more 3rd party promotional sites are willing to display your covers. The better placement novels receive on website rankings such as B&N Nook, iBooks, etc. Thereby equating to more sales. Then generating more reviews on top of it. It’s a beautiful circle.
I’m not going to touch on Amazon’s new review policy or the controversy around it, because that’s a whole monster on its own.
But I want to hear from you. How much stock do you put on reviews? Are there some sites you trust more than others for reviews?
Susan Sheehey writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance. Her latest series features royals on the run in the Royals of Solana romantic suspense series. Water plays a crucial element in all of her novels, and she’s a strong advocate for Autism Awareness and acceptance. Forced to give up Diet Coke, she now functions on massive amount of French Vanilla coffee (more cream than coffee). She lives and laughs in Texas with her husband and two boys. Follow her at www.SusanSheehey.com, as well as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.