Why do authors push for reviews? Aren’t reviews stressful, even painful?
Because more is better on Amazon! They want to see at least 50 reviews on a book—and since Amazon controls the book market, they get to make the rules.
Good or bad, glowing or painful, reviews are critical to a book’s success. Reviews are the number one way to reach readers—reviews sell books. Reviews are like word of mouth, only typed. Millions of readers look online for their next read, and they pay attention to reviews. Reviews also influence how Amazon advertises your book, and even how you rank on searches. That’s why Amazon makes it easy to leave reviews.
Did you know reviews can be short, but still effective? Here are the shortest reviews for One Man Two Votes:
“Really fast and exciting read.” – Ken – *****
“A fantastic read reminiscent of Robert Ludlum!” – Edward – *****
“Want more from THIS author.” – Lois – *****
One Man Two Votes has 39 reviews, even though it’s been read by hundreds of people. There are only 11 to go before Amazon starts giving it better positioning. So, tell all your friends to write a review!
Question: “Can I review your book and stop reading this blog now?”
Yes, Please! Anyone with an Amazon account can write a review.
Review One Man Two Votes here http://amzn.to/1hEVq7s
Review Two Dirty For D.C. here http://amzn.to/2zqos4K
Oh, while you are there, click “yes” on the reviews that you think are helpful. You can click “no” if you think any aren’t helpful. Surprise–that helps authors as well! Who knew the “Was this review helpful to you?” buttons would assist your favorite author’s book in rising up through the ranks?
The Amazon review algorithm is secret, but did you know that not all reviews carry the same value? That’s right. You can’t add them up and get the star average. Interesting, hunh?
From low to high the book gets points for:
- A review
- A review from a verified purchaser
- A review labeled yes or no for helpful (The more yes or no votes, the higher it ranks)
- Then, finally, how many stars the book gets.
Aren’t a few good reviews good enough? Not at Amazon–more is much better. If you get 50 reviews and average over 4 stars, Amazon will start advertising your book for free! They’ll even send out emails to readers who might like it. Get 100 reviews and more advertising kicks in. Why? Because they know readers read reviews to decide on their next book purchase. It’s so important that Amazon’s planning to have only books with 4.5 stars and lots of reviews in their physical bookstores.
Hey, wait a minute, you say, I’ve seen best-sellers below 4.5 stars. Remains of the Day, for example, has only 4.3 and won a Pulitzer prize! Yes, that’s true, and that book only rated 3.7 stars until it won the Pulitzer prize—but it seems logical that Amazon would make exceptions for something that generated a successful movie or won a Pulitzer, right?
So, if you love a book and want others to read it, write a review! If you want to help out the author of a book you like, write a review! Give lots of stars, and click the “yes” and “no” buttons on others’ reviews a lot. Did I mention that the yes/no buttons determine which reviews are seen first? You have the power to make a book very popular—so use it!
Why is Amazon so important to authors? Eighty percent (Yes, 80%!) of English eBook sales go through Amazon. About forty percent of print books go through Amazon, too. Only the biggest best-selling authors like Baldacci or Grisham can get shelf space at a regular bookstore. The rest of us are on Amazon since it has unlimited online shelf space.
To be a bestseller you must be selling best on Amazon!
Help an author and write a review, and click those “yes” and “no” buttons!