It’s no secret that every author appreciates a review of their book, especially if it’s a positive one. On a personal level, I don’t place my book’s value on the number of reviews it receives. At the business level, though, book reviews are very important. I’ll tell you why below!
Reviews show customers that people are buying your book! As with any business, reviews show that your product has value and that people are interested in it. If you look at something that doesn’t have any reviews and it’s been released for a few months, it might make you wonder why no one’s reviewed it yet. If you see that a book has some reviews, it’ll stir your interest at least somewhat, and the good reviews will probably help sway your decision to add it to your checkout cart.
Reviews give you credibility as an author. Especially if not all of the reviews are 5 stars! Having a 1 star review or two won’t necessarily scare away potential readers. Some of these low ratings are more of a troll-ish nature, anyway, and people can see that. What this shows is that you clearly have real readers reviewing your books and they aren’t being paid to write glowing reviews praising your writing prowess. Having a variety of ratings (That are more positive than negative) can make a reader wonder what all the fuss is about and check out the story for themselves.
Reviews can help market your book. The author, publisher, and marketing team (If you have one) will make every effort to show their book in the best light to gain new readers. A review shows a real world, outsider’s viewpoint on the story, which interests readers more. If your book has received mostly positive reviews, this can help lure more readers. Let’s face it – you’ll probably want to read something with an average of 4+ star reviews rather than something with an average of 2.5 star reviews. Those positive reviews count for something and not just on a personal gratification level, of course. It helps your author brand as a whole!
Review numbers matter! Once a book (or any item) receives more than 50 reviews, Amazon will start paying more attention to it – meaning they will start marketing and promoting it for you! It definitely pays to get the higher review numbers in the long run. I can imagine this is one path to gaining more regular book sales. Marketing and promotion is HUGE for any business and books are no exception. If a big company like Amazon is actually promoting your books for you, this can lead to a much better income.
Now you can see what all the fuss is about when authors talk about reviews. Like any business – big or small – sales and reviews are extremely important. I find it funny how most people understand a company’s need for reviews, but once it’s a solo creative business, such as an author or a painter, they can be portrayed as vain or emotionally fragile for talking about reviews. Believe it or not, I’m not selling books for emotional validation alone. I hope to make a living off my writing one day and this is why I take it seriously.
I hope you all found this interesting and helpful! If you’ve bought a book, don’t forget to leave a review, even if you didn’t really like the story. It takes no more than five minutes to add it to Amazon and/or Goodreads. Every review helps! ❤