I used to be one of those fiction writers who didn’t believe in reviews. It wasn’t that I had anything against reviews, but I didn’t believe they helped.
There were several reasons for this. One, in the age of the Internet, it just seemed that many reviews weren’t of good quality. Two, too many reviews seemed negative, often even snarky, which means “annoying” to me; whether a reviewer liked a book or not was besides the point for me as I wanted at least a little in-depth information about the book and not just a snotty opinion that seemed ill-formed at beast. Plus, as a reader, I just didn’t pay that much attention to reviews, thus I figured other readers were the same.
I was wrong. I admit it. Reviews are important, and they make a difference to novelists.
In the modern age of electronic publishing, many readers and writers and reviewers go to Amazon to check out the millions upon millions of book reviews on the site. About a year ago when my novels and short story collections first appeared on Amazon, I didn’t put much stock in Amazon’s review system.
Again, I was wrong.
Every time I get a review, whether good or bad or indifferent, my sales jump a little in the following days.
More importantly, I’ve found reviews on other sites can boost sales even further.
Recently my epic fantasy e-novel City of Rogues was reviewed at the online horror e-zine Deadman’s Tome. I knew the review was coming sometime soon, but I happened to be on the road traveling with no Web connection for several days. When I finally got a chance to log on, I’d found my sales had jumped. In fact, I’d sold more ebooks in those few days than I had the entire month before. Eventually I put two and two together and realized my sales had jumped because of the review at Deadman’s Tome.
So, at least in my experience, reviews can help. Whether you’re writing for money or just to be read, reviews can help to bring in more readers and more money.
I’m sold. At least on fiction reviews.