Monday, May 5, 2014

On Getting Reviews

As an Indie Author, reviews are the lifeblood of my writing existence.  Reviews and word of mouth are two of the most powerful ways to get your story across to more people.  Think about it, when you look at a book on Amazon that you've never seen before, you most likely look at 4 things.
  1. Title - That's your first chance to sell your book
  2. Cover Photo - The eye naturally goes here next.  A poor cover will destroy your chances.
  3. Blurb - Another critically important thing.  If the potential reader has made it this far, the blurb is the thing that will hook them.  If it's bad, you've just lost a reader.
  4. Reviews  - Lastly, people want to know what other people thought of the book.  The more reviews you have, the better a new reader can gauge your book. 
So that means you'd like all 5-star reviews correct?  After all 5-stars is the best.  If a person sees that all 10 or your reviews are 5-stars then they are more likely to read it correct?  Well, yes and no.  You certainly want 5-star reviews, but more importantly you want reviews that are well thought out and tell you more about the book.

It's more important in my opinion to have a 3 or 4 star review that goes into detail about the book and tells the strengths and weaknesses of it rather than a 5-star review that just says the book was great.  Think about that.  If the review just says "read this book" or "I thought it was awesome" what does that tell you?  Not a whole lot.  A longer, well written review is worth ten of those non-informational ones.  Would I rather all my reviews are 5-star?  Of course, as long as I earned them.  If it's not, I can live with that.  One-star reviews that are informative can be very helpful, not only to you as an author, but to potential readers as well.  Would I like it?  No, but I can swallow my pride and take what the reviewer mentions to heart so that I can improve my writing in the future.

Other than the quality of the reviews, quantity matters as well.  Twenty 5-star reviews looks impressive, but 300 4-star reviews looks even better.  The more reviews, the more chances for people to talk about your book. 

So remember, next time you finish a book, but sure to reward the author by giving them an honest, thoughtful review.  It's the best thing you can do for them.

Good luck and happy writing!

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