(We are so excited to share our first guest post on the blog! Award-winning YA/NA indie author Valia Lind was kind enough to write this important piece on why reviews are so important for authors – especially self-publishing authors who rely so heavily on street teams, word of mouth recommendations, and written reviews!
A thousand thanks to Miss Lind for this crucial piece! Check out the bottom of the post for links to her work and social media)
“Please leave a review!”
“Reviews help authors!”
“Save an author, leave a review!”
Okay, that last one may be a little much, but it’s still pretty accurate.
How many times have you seen authors ask for reviews? How often have you wondered, “Why do authors have to continuously ask? Isn’t it enough that you bought the book and read it?”
These questions are asked all the time and I am here to clarify any misconceptions you may have.
Are reviews really that important? YES.
Let’s think about it this way: when a consumer is looking to try a new product, he or she checks the reviews. They may not read the reviews, but they definitely look at the star rating to see how people are responding to whatever item they have purchased.
When one is looking to buy a vacuum, or a new hairdryer, oftentimes they go to friends and family who have purchased similar products to see how they feel about them.
All of these scenarios work for authors. A book recommended to a friend is more likely to be bought. A book with more star ratings and reviews is more likely to catch a reader’s eye. And that’s just one side of things.
The other is the business side.
Amazon is notorious for recommending books with higher ratings. It used to be you only needed 25 reviews before the algorithm kicked in. Then, it went up to 50. Today, it’s difficult to say how many reviews are truly needed, because readers are reviewing less and less. With Amazon changing their system all the time, it may be that no matter how many reviews you have, they won’t recommend your book. But readers will gravitate towards higher-reviewed books and then they will do the recommending.
When trying to promote to new readers, authors often utilize subscription or newsletter services, such as Bookbub or BookPerk (amongst others). To be qualified for these types of services, a book needs to have a high rating on retail sites.
One of the best features of reviews is that it allows the readers who are looking at you book to get a glimpse into the story and its characters that may not have been portrayed in the blurb. It’s so hard to cover everything with the back of the book copy. But reviewers who are passionate about the book will transfer that excitement to their review, and eventually to a new reader.
There may be a dozen more reasons why reviews are so important. But the best way to summarize it is to say that reviews equal more sales and more sales allow authors to write more books.
So yes, please leave a review. You don’t know how much an author may need it!
(Read more of Valia Lind’s insights, find her amazing books, and follow here on social media here!)