If you're reading this post, then you are probably an avid reader. Me too! I love books! I love story in any form, book, movie, TV, or just someone telling me a story. In fact, most days I have a complete story world happening in my head. Just ask my husband. For me, there's nothing better than flipping open a book or my IPAD and entering another world. But how many of us, myself included, take the time to post a review online for a book we really loved?
I've been a published author for over ten years now, and I can honestly say that reviews matter! Regardless of what "they" say, potential buyers look at book reviews. Some may just look at the overall rating, others may take time to browse through the written reviews, while some read every review on a book. Regardless, most people will decide to buy a book based on reviews
Retail reviews, such as those found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other retail sites, are the most important reviews in today’s environment. —Survey by Formatting Fairies, a top formatting company founded by NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author, Marie Force.
43% will wait to purchase a book if they see “low” star ratings, 38% will still try a low-starred book if they like the cover and blurb, 9% rely heavily on the stars in a review, and 11% say starred reviews are not important at all. —Survey by Formatting Fairies, a top formatting company founded by NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author, Marie Force.
This is a double-edged sword for most authors because, let's face it, reviews can be so subjective! What's to stop a reviewer who has a personal vendetta against an author from trashing that author just to be mean? Also, heard of Amazon Trolls? They are people who go around posting bad reviews on books they've never even read. I've had a few of those myself. I've also had reviewers who get offended at the Christian message in my books leave horrible reviews. These reviews don't just slam my book, but have attacked me personally.
Yet....despite all of that, good reviews sell books. Yet so few readers take the time to leave them. Current estimates say that only 1 in 1000 readers will leave a review. What gives? I've talked to many readers and most of them give one of the following reasons:
- They don't have time (It actually only takes 5 minutes to write a review)
- They don't feel qualified to write anything (No English comp degree required. Just tell the truth)
- They didn't like the book (Okay, I get this one!)
- They don't know how (Ask for help. Ask the author to help! I'm sure they will)
Reasons for a reader to take the time to write a review
- More reviews on a book make it more visible on sites and enable more people to find the book
- Were you blessed by the book? Why not bless the author in return?
- The more good reviews the author has, the more they will sell and the more they will be able to write more books. This is the key. If you want to read more books by a particular author, do them a favor and write a good review! Writing is a business and we have to make enough money to keep writing!
What are your thoughts?