It seems I’m always begging people who like our books to post reviews on Amazon.com and Goodreads. Yet most don’t. Why not?
THEY THINK IT’S HARD
Actually, all it requires is a couple of minutes and a couple of sentences. The star rating counts the most.
5-stars = Excellent read
4-stars = Good read, but not outstanding
3-stars = Just okay (On Amazon, it’s considered a negative review. On Goodreads, it’s neutral)
2-stars = Not great, but may have a quality or two worth reading
1-star = Should never have been published
I almost never write anything less than a 4-star review. I recognize tastes vary, and what may not appeal to me may appeal to someone else. I’ve only posted two 1-star reviews. One was so badly written I couldn’t get through the first page. (Amazon subsequently removed this one because of all the negative reviews and comments. I was far from alone.)
The other was by one of my favorite writers, but this book was dreadful. Quite a few others also hated it. I had previously written many positive reviews for this writer. This book had many reviews, and I felt obligated to warn others away from this title.
The vast majority of my reviews are 5-star.
THEY SAY THEY DON’T KNOW HOW TO WRITE
You don’t have to write a treatise. One or two sentences will do. You can always start with: I liked this book because… Then list a couple of reasons you enjoyed it.
THEY ARE FRIENDS
Amazon.com (and now Goodreads since they are now owned by Amazon) will not allow friends of the author to post reviews. How Amazon is aware of our friendships is beyond me. But it's worth writing one, even if Amazon removes it. You and the author will know in the future. (And Amazon may not realize you have a relationship.)
So why should you—and I—post reviews on books?
REVIEWS AFFECT PLACEMENT
It may seem strange, but the number of reviews a book receives affects how it shows up in Amazon listings. The algorithms by which Amazon makes these placements is arcane and confusing to nearly everyone, but the more reviews, the better the placement. A well-reviewed book will show up on the suggested books list for other books and may be suggested as a bundle with other books.
PUBLISHERS LOVE GOOD REVIEWS
Publishers will feature their well-reviewed books more often in their publicity. Since they do little of it anymore, good reviews give the author a boost.
THEY AFFECT LISTING ON OTHER SITES
Some other sites which feature authors and books require a minimum number of Amazon reviews before they can be listed. These sites have large followings and can give a listed book greater visibility. But if there aren’t enough good reviews on Amazon, they won’t be considered.
READERS USE REVIEWS TO BUY BOOKS
Readers looking at books to read on Amazon or Goodreads often use reviews to decide whether or not to purchase the book. Good reviews generate sales—always a positive for authors.
So, if you enjoy books, please follow up with a positive review.
And if you’d like to post a review on one of our books, here are the links:
The Memory Keeper, Ghost Writer, Snowflake Secrets, Seasons of Love, Directions of Love, The Art of Love, …And a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe, An Aspen Grove Christmas, Murder…They Wrote, Murder in Paradise, 31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park, The McGregor Chronicles: Book 1 – Saving Mike, The McGregor Chronicles: Book 2 – Escape From Eden, The McGregor Chronicles: Book 3 – Alien Invasion
We would appreciate your reviews, especially if you have enjoyed them!
Do you write book reviews? Why or why not?