Trinity College LibraryIt looks like I’m getting better at keeping this blog updated, and I am trying. Today, I want to talk about something that I’m sure I’ve mentioned previously, probably a lot: the importance of reviews, particularly to authors like me, although I’m sure they’re also still important even to authors like Neil Gaiman.

First, for an author to use promotional services, such as Bookbub, reviews aren’t just important, but necessary. Services like that won’t even do business with books that don’t have a lot of reviews, so if a book can’t get any reviews (good or bad), then they can’t do more to promote their book.

Reviews, also, obviously, help other readers discover a book. A review can tell a reader more about a book than the book’s description. If several people write that they enjoy a book and give it a favorable rating, other readers are more likely to purchase that book and read it. See how that works?

Most importantly, though, are Amazon reviews. And I know people love to bad-mouth Amazon, but it’s still one of the most important retail outlets for books. And a book needs at least 25 reviews on Amazon to get on those “Also bought” and “you might like” lists. Those also help get books out to more readers. After around 50 reviews, Amazon starts adding the book to its Spotlight and even includes it in its newsletter. And that is a huge boost for an author.

But if books don’t get reviews, none of the above happens, and the author continues to struggle in trying to get the word out there. So if you’ve read a book that you enjoy, or even one that you didn’t, please leave a review. And although blog reviews and GoodReads reviews are definitely appreciated, please consider leaving a review on Amazon, even if you absolutely hate that company. Because it has nothing to do with Amazon, but it has everything to do with supporting those authors who write things you like.

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One Response to The Importance of Reviews

  1. Douglas Van Dyke Jr says:

    Hi Robin! I’m a member of Grievance currently watching your interview on Geekside News. I believe you are correct, and that authors can’t understate this point. I have published books too. I’ve noticed that even minor book-selling companies on the web may borrow Amazon’s reviews over to their site. So, those reviews go much farther than a person may realize. Remember folks, independent authors have an uphill battle to get noticed, but fan reviews are the biggest boost both for sales and an author’s motivation.

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