Hey guys! Today I’d like to talk to you about this tweet:
Theresa knows what she’s talking about here. Over the past year I’ve been fortunate enough to become friends with a lot of authors I respect and admire, and learning about how much they struggle is what inspired me to start this blog. My voice isn’t the biggest, loudest or best educated on the matter, but I sure as hell read a lot of books and I love talking about them. I’ve studied Literature enough that I don’t feel like a complete buffoon when I talk about why I enjoy the things I do. While my original goal was to focus mainly on self-published work, I quickly discovered that being trad-pubbed isn’t exactly a magic bullet either and a LOT of those authors face similar struggles, but with the added fun of having to make back their advances from the publisher. Yeesh.
People are reluctant to write reviews for a variety of reasons. For one thing, it’s a lot of effort to write a good review. In addition to taking notes while I read, it can take me 2-3 hours to get all my thoughts in order and write a review that I’m happy with. For some people it’s a confidence issue – why would anyone want to listen to what I have to say? I still feel like that a lot of the time. People have busy lives, or they assume other people are writing reviews… the list goes on.
Thing is, Amazon has all these crazy algorithms that change a novel’s rankings, which can make or break an author. And leaving a review doesn’t have to take any effort at all.
Here’s the crux of it:
There it is. That’s all it takes from you, and it makes a massive difference for authors. These algorithms make books more visible in searches, which drives sales, which further improves rankings. If you’re reading any series that’s incomplete but isn’t Game-of-Thrones-huge, taking 2 minutes out of your day, going to Amazon, writing nothing more than “good book!” and leaving a star rating… that could be the difference between the series getting finished or the author giving up and going back to the day job. 15 reviews is the magic number to get things rolling, and it’s rumored that 50 reviews sets off another set of algorithms that benefits the author even more. It’s all very secretive, since Amazon doesn’t want people gaming the system. But you have the power to change things for struggling authors. So go mad with that power!
I leave Goodreads/Audible Ratings, they’re owned by Amazon. Does that count?
It’s awesome that you do that and helpful to the author, but despite Amazon’s ownership of both these sites, their ratings have no crossover. Authors always appreciate Goodreads reviews, but in my experience it’s Amazon reviews they want most.
Will Amazon flag me as a spammer if I copy/paste my Goodreads review?
Nope! I cross post my reviews to Amazon, Goodreads and Audible where applicable with no problems at all.
Do I need to have purchased the book from Amazon to review it there?
Absolutely not. That library book, or the one you bought directly from a small indie publisher? You can totally review it on Amazon. They may give priority to verified purchases, but your review/rating still helps.
So get out there, friends. Go do some good for an author you love!
Thoughts? Additions? Leave me a comment below!