As an author, I am finally beginning to fully comprehend the importance of reviews…and not just any reviews, and not just positive reviews either. Readers shop by reviews, I know that because I am an avid reader and I rely upon reviews by other readers to help me select my next read. Bottom line is that reviews sell books!
But what about ratings ? Ratings appear next to titles and they can entice a reader into looking at the actual reviews or passing the book by. The sad thing is that a poor rating is NOT always accompanied by a review, an explanation from the reader why he or she did not like the work.
Good reviews are reviews that explain why a reader enjoyed or did not enjoy a book, and the rating coincides with the reader’s comments whether the review is positive or not! I am reminded by the reviews of a book by one of my favorite authors. Because her new work was different from what her fans had grown to expect from her, she received a mix of good and bad reviews, high and low ratings. I bought the book anyway, and enjoyed it very much because it is her story-telling style that makes me a fan of her work. Strangely enough, the “bad” reviews helped me to make the decision because the reviewers were conscientious enough to leave comments explaining their poor ratings.
Reviews are for readers, not authors, although we use them for various purposes and ALWAYS hope for good ones, and get excited when we receive them. After all, don’t we all enjoy a good pat on the back? Reviews are a reader’s opportunity to share their own personal and unique opinion with the world and help other readers make choices. Although reviews help sell books, that is not their purpose. A well written, conclusive review, whether your experience was positive or negative, is invaluable to your fellow readers.
So read on and by all means, tell the world what you think!