Today I'm going to talk about reviews. Many who read this blog love books. I love them too! And one thing I've discovered since first starting my writing journey is that small-time authors thrive on reviews.
Websites like GoodReads, Amazon, Book Gorilla, BookBub, Barnes and Noble, etc. make decisions about a book's visibility (how prominently to display a book) based on the number of reviews that book has gotten. It was something I never thought about when I was just a consumer, but those reviews are lifeblood for a fledgling author.
The more reviews a book gets, the more likely it is that the book will be featured higher in searches, showcases, and newsletters. Crossing thresholds like 100 or 200 reviews can catapult a title from obscurity to fame. No joke.
One of my colleagues in the indie-author biz has a book with over 250 reviews on Amazon. He is constantly getting sales for his eBook even though he does littler advertising. Another colleague has 33 reviews and she sees very little engagement with her title despite using her full advertising budget each month. Those reviews matter.
Unfortunately, leaving a review is more complicated than just smashing a like button on YouTube. Readers often have to go the trouble of logging in or creating an account to leave a review. Other sites, like Amazon, require you to have spent a certain amount of money in the last 12 months in order to be eligible to review a product. It's a pain, I know.
The reasons for those requirements, though, are simple. Authors can be a desperate lot and in the past have created burner accounts to leave reviews or have employed bots to mass review their works in order to jump up the visibility ladder. Thus, these websites have taken great pains to make sure that doesn't happen. Their integrity and the customer experience depend on it.
So if you can, please leave your favorite authors a review on whatever platform you prefer. It will mean a lot to them and you'll help improve the overall customer experience for everyone.
Now, I wouldn't blame people for pointing out that this post might be self-serving, but I'm not directly asking folks to leave me a review per se. Although I will greatly appreciate every review that I get, I'm a long ways from any of the key thresholds. Instead, I just want to put out there how important reviews are to book lovers and book writers alike. If you love the books you've read, the best way to ensure you get more titles like that is to leave a review. This will encourage that author to continue writing AND show other authors what kinds of stories people want to see.
It's a virtuous circle that keeps feeding itself.
Anyway, come back tomorrow for a really cool reveal. I'll see you then!