Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Did you leave a review?

Every time I want to go see a movie, the first thing I look at are the reviews.  Did people enjoy the movie?  Would it be worth the $10-$12 per ticket to go see it or should I wait and get it for $1-$2 in Redbox?  Reviews from others are what gives me the insight I need, in order to make a good decision.  Even though people have different opinions I can still read those reviews and develop my own opinion.

It is the same with book reviews.  They will help guide your friends, family, and others to know whether or not it's worth their time.  They are especially important for Indie (self-published) authors.  Without those reviews, Indie authors will struggle to get their book noticed.

I came across a website by Trish Milburn (http://www.trishmilburn.com/why-book-reviews-are-important-to-authors/) that describes the reason we need to leave reviews.  I have listed her steps below.

1. We live in a world where people are much more likely to vent online if they hate something than to post something nice if they enjoyed it. Sad but true. So if you have 100 people read a book and 98 love it but only the two who thought it was garbage post a review, guess what. People who come across that book on a retailer’s site are going to think it’s garbage. They won’t know about the 98 people who thought it was a wonderful story with engaging characters. Those negative reviews could keep people who might enjoy the book from buying it, depriving the author of sales that are necessary to help pay his or her bills.

2. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, authors look for good opportunities to get the word out about their books. Sometimes online advertising venues have requirements such as a certain number of positive reviews on retailer sites before they will even consider selling you an ad. The same is often true of book review sites, especially if those sites are popular and have a lot of clout among readers.

3. I feel like a larger number of reviews, especially positive ones, helps books get seen on sites such as Amazon.com. We authors have heard about the mysterious algorithms that determine which books pop up on things such as the “you might also enjoy this” suggestions, but we don’t know what aspects of our books are weighted more heavily than others. Visibility is important in a marketplace flooded with books, so every little bit helps. I have seen mentioned elsewhere that it takes 10 reviews on Amazon before a book can be added to those “also bought” and “you might also like” lists, so my goal is to have at least that many for each of my books. But the more, the merrier.

4. Word of mouth. If someone sees a positive review of a book and decides to give it a try, he or she might also enjoy it enough to not only leave a review but also tell their friends about it. We’ve all heard stories about how word of mouth sent a book from obscurity to the bestseller list. Sure, it’s a long shot, but it’s better than no shot.

Writing a review, as you can see, has many advantages to everyone.  I know that time is precious, and these days it seems like people have less and less time.  So I ask, please take a few minutes after you've read a book and leave a review.  Even if all you can do is give it a star rating that helps too.  Thank you to those who have already left reviews for any or all of my books.  I truly am grateful.  If you have read my books, and haven't had a chance to write that important review, please go to the Buy Me tab, click on the links and write your honest review. They truly help!


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