Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Why Reviews are Important to Authors!

I did not realize the importance of writing a book review on a purchase site or Goodreads until I, myself, became published.  Even a simple star rating with a  "I liked it or I didn't like it" is important. For me as an author, I want to know what people don't like as well as what they do.  I am having Outcast reproofed as many reviews have stated my proof-reader and I did a horrible job on the first book.  I would not know to do that if readers had not told me.

Why are reviews important?  Several reasons come to mind, but here are my top four. 

1.  We live in a world where people are quick to vent what they don't like but not share what they do. It is just a fact of our digital age.  Trish Milburn shared that, "if you have 100 people read a book and 98 love it but only the two who thought it was garbage post a review, guess what. People who come across that book on a retailer’s site are going to think it’s garbage. They won’t know about the 98 people who thought it was a wonderful story with engaging characters. Those negative reviews could keep people who might enjoy the book from buying it, depriving the author of sales that are necessary to help pay his or her bills."  This has been my experience as well.

2.  Many advertising sites and reviewing sites will only pick up books that have a certain number of reviews.  In today's market, with so many small publishing firms and independent authors, the cost of publicity lays squarely on the author.  If you don't get your book out, you don't get read.

3. Amazon uses algorithms to place books where they will be seen.  How many reviews you have are a major part of these algorithms on if a book even gets seen.

4. Even if a person doesn't leave a review, but shares with friends about the power of a book they have read, this is helpful.

If you really like an author who is not able to write full time, reviews may give them the income to write faster for you.  I know that had been my plan. I had quit my job to give my readers what they were asking for, Bloodmines out faster.  However, Cancer decided to run interference on that plan.  A friend of mine often tells me, "if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans."   I don't know if that is true or not, but I do know that the best laid plans do often go awry.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and all the love from your frenzied writer....
Cheri Matthynssens

Coming soon, TheBloodmines