Shadows Wake was published July 15, 2015, and since then I’ve learned so much more about the aspects of getting a book seen. And there is one element of this challenge that is directly on the readers.
Books live or die by their reviews.
Does that surprise you? It’s true. Authors cannot submit their books to book lists without a certain number of reviews with a four-star average (the number varies by list). Amazon’s visibility algorithms don’t work until reviews begin stacking up. Some say 50 is the sweet spot, others set a goal for 200.
The best thing you can do for an author you like is to review their book, whether that’s on Goodreads, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or Amazon. I’d encourage any reader who enjoyed a particular book to review it both where they bought it and on their favorite review site (e.g. Goodreads) if they have one.
Authors have more promotional opportunities based on their reviews. And honestly, we write for our readers. It’s absolutely wonderful to read good reviews (and educational to read bad ones).
Buying your favorite author’s book is always appreciated, and borrows are great, but it’s the reviews that make others willing to buy the book you enjoyed. It’s the reviews that allow a book to get more exposure. That’s why so many authors are more than happy to give away copies of their books if there’s even a remote chance a review will come of it. The publishing world is different today. Indie authors aren’t paid an advance and most traditional first time authors receive tiny advances. Reviews help books sell, which keeps your favorite author at his or her desk working on the next book you’re dying to read.
Your review doesn’t have to be fancy or wordy. Just write an honest view of the book in a couple lines if that’s all you feel like doing. It helps more than you know. Also, if you are used to reviewing on GoodReads, keep in mind that a four-star on Goodreads isn’t an equivalent review on Amazon. Often a five-star review on Amazon is equal to a four-star on Goodreads.
AMEN – love! Thanks Michelle.
You bring up an excellent point, Robyn. I’ve always written reviews for my friends (fortunately, they’re all strong writers), but I just started doing this for strangers…for all the reasons you mentioned.
Someday, I’m going to publish my novel. If I want to folks to be generous enough to enough for me, I need to do it myself.
Thank you Robyn, this is great information – and I can certainly relate to the truthfulness of it at the present moment 😉 There are so many hurdles towards creating something “successful”, which in and of itself is a word that has different meanings to different people. But, the first step – and perhaps most critical, is getting a book seen. I will remember this the next time I turn the final page of a book 🙂
So true! The more I get involved in the publishing world, the more I realize how much of a difference reviews makes. It makes me giddy every time I get a new review on my novel, and I do my best to pay it forward by reviewing every book I read.
I so agree with this! I try to review books as often as I can – which, sadly, isn’t as often as I’d like. I have three reviews in the pipeline, waiting to be written and/or revised. I especially like supporting new authors.
Pingback: Friday Finds: Week 33 | Avid Reader
Truth! When my first book came out I urged those who bought a copy to please review. Many of them told me directly that they loved it. I told them thanks and to now tell the world. It’s hard to get reviews. Before I never really thought much about writing them, but now that I’m on the other end, I always make sure that I do.
Pingback: Is Digital Publishing Broken?