Reviews Mean A Lot…

Let’s spend a few minutes talking about reviews. Sure, as a writer, I would love to see dozens, if not hundreds, of 5 star reviews. This would give me no end of satisfaction. I love learning that a total stranger enjoyed my book enough, and did so strongly enough, that he took the time to tell others about it by posting a review. On the flip side of things, those 1 star reviews can rip your heart out, making you dive into the Häagen-Dazs and crying under a comfy blanket. How can one person love your book, and another totally hate it? It can be quite frustrating making any sense of it at all. As a writer.

From the business side of things, however, there really isn’t any such thing as a ‘bad’ review. Especially on Amazon. Sure, the more positive reviews you have, the more likely you are to make a sale. But in the grand scheme of things, the shear number of reviews makes a big difference in the visibility of your book.

We’ve all seen the sections on Amazon’s site under the product being viewed called the ‘also bought’ and the ‘recommendations’; that’s free advertising from Amazon right there. But how the heck do we get our books listed there in the first place? The answer is simple, reviews. The more reviews, the better chance of getting listed there. Any reviews. Good, or bad. So the big question is simple.

How do we get reviews?

I have to shrug here. Sure, I could buy reviews, but that contains a risk. Amazon has been pretty brutal in cracking down on false or purchased reviews. My books could be removed, or worse yet, my account suspended.

I could give copies to my friends in exchange for an honest review, but even that holds no guarantee. I know, I’ve tried it myself. I’ve given away a hundred copies, and have gotten 2 reviews out of it because they ‘just don’t have the time’.

This is all a learning process as I go along, and I’m always open to suggestions. So why don’t people leave reviews for the books they read, whether it be good or bad? I really don’t know. If I could figure that out, I would be most of the way to getting more and more reviews, and getting sales along the way.

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