To Review or not to Review: A reflection

reflected bridgeHow many of you, after reading a book you’ve purchased on Amazon, then go back to the site and review the book? I do much of my book buying on Amazon and they usually send you a prompt a few weeks after the purchase asking for a review. I try to reply to the prompts and leave a review.

I also review books I receive from other authors. If you do this please remember to mention that you received the book from the author for an honest review. That is an Amazon policy to make an effort to insure honest unbiased reviews.

I never really thought much about reviews until I became a published author. It is a fact that reviews do sell books. Two similar books on Amazon, one with ten five-star reviews and the other with one three-star, will probably garner the sales you might imagine. The book with ten reviews will be purchased while the other will be passed over as being a lesser work.

There are some book promotion venues that will not consider your book unless it has a certain number of four or five-star reviews. I will not give a five-star review unless I feel it is a five-star read. If I give a lower star review, I will always try to explain why. It is true that not all stories will click with all readers. I am not a non-fiction fan, but I read non-fiction written by other authors because we all need the reviews on our work. If you have twenty reviews up there, people will see that at least twenty people have read your book. That in itself will boost your ratings in the internal engines of Amazon. It is all very mystifying to me, but people who understand statistics can explain it. That is not me. Let it suffice to say, authors need reviews!

When I published my first book, The Legend of the Swamp Witch, I asked my friends on Facebook to please read my book and then go on Amazon.com and leave a review, good or bad. A writer cannot improve her craft if she does not know what she needs to work on. I received some three-star reviews, and for good reason. I did not have the book professionally edited and it was obvious when it got into print. I learned my lesson and had The Ruby Queen edited by a professional. I also learned a lot about writing while going through the editing process.

Until the next time, Write On…and review!

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