Before I became an author, I didn’t think too much about reviews or their impact. If I came across a book that really moved me I might write a review, but more likely I would go the word of mouth route, telling others in emails, blog comments, and social media what I was reading and how I liked it. Sometimes, I would drop the author a note to tell them how much I enjoyed the read.
After becoming an author, I found myself all too often staring at Amazon and Goodreads pages hoping for a review. At first, it was about seeing if people understood how The Emotion Thesaurus could be used, and finding out if it helped them as we hoped it would. After all, not everyone knows about this blog, and so for many, seeing the ET in book form was their first exposure to the idea of an Emotion Thesaurus. We wanted to make sure readers understood our intent for it to be used as a brainstorming tool for describing their character’s emotions, not a shortcut for cutting and pasting body language (unless it was for place-holding purposes).
|photo: Adikos via photopin cc|
It didn’t take long though for me to understand that in a sea of books, especially on a site like Amazon, reviews were the difference between someone taking a casual look (because maybe the title or cover caught their eye,) and actually sticking around (because someone was enthusiastically recommending the book.) I suddenly saw just how important reviews are for discoverability: they draw attention because no one wants to waste time or money. Visitors need to decide if the price is worth the investment before they hit “buy.”
The first reviews can be the most important, as they seemed to gather the most ‘likes.’ They float to the top, remaining visible, and so visitors would see that many people agreed with the review by liking it. Becca and I were lucky to get some great 5 star reviews at the start, and so it hopefully encouraged others to try out the book.
Reviews also help by enticing visitors to put the book on their ‘wish list’ as a way to keep track of it. This puts the book on Amazon’s radar for their top 100 “Most Wished For” and “Gift Ideas” lists. Suddenly a book becomes discoverable in a new way–friends and family looking to buy books at Christmas or for a birthday can just check out what other people are pining for in a particular genre or category.
Amazon Reviews are the starting point for a giant promotional wheel. Reviews lead to sales, which lead to ‘customers who bought X also bought’ matches, which leads to more visibility and sales, ‘adds’ on individual wish lists, and finally, Amazon promotional emails to customers pairing your book with others like it. This of course leads to more sales, more reviews and more visibility! All because a person who read your book took the time to review.
Becca and I are taking this opportunity to send you all a big THANK YOU for all your reviews, emails and feedback on this book. We appreciate all your support of us here and elsewhere! We also want to encourage you to get out there and write a review or two. It really does make a huge difference, and the author will appreciate it.:)
Do you review books?