Why Book Reviews Are Important to Authors

Over the last five years I have become an avid reader. I am happy to read any genre but my preference is psychological thrillers.

Like a lot of people, I rely on book reviews. Whether it’s book review sites like Amazon / Goodreads, blogs or word of mouth, they can help you to make an informed choice for your next book selection.

In the last year, how many books have you read? And out of them, how many have you reviewed? I’m guessing, for many, the number isn’t that high and I am guilty of this too.

There are many people who don’t realise how important it is to leave a book review. So, I thought it would be a good idea to explore a few reasons: –

You wouldn’t want someone to read a bad book

With the rise of online shopping, reviews tend to play a large part in deciding what product to purchase and we will only buy something if other people have already purchased it and are happy with it.

If you are looking for a builder, do you just Google one or do you have a look at a review site for builders to see who has the highest rating?

The same principle also applies to books. No one wants to a read a bad book and if you enjoyed the book, let people know.

Number of positive reviews will influence algorithms

Many (if not all) online booksellers use algorithms to help with promoting books.  I haven’t been able to find what Amazon’s ‘magic number’ is to appear on ‘Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought’ selection but I’m guessing this heavily relies on the number of reviews a book has/receives.reviews

If 50 people read a book and 45 people enjoyed but didn’t review it, and those 5 people who didn’t enjoy it reviewed it poorly, readers looking for their next book will only see the 5 bad reviews and won’t bother with it. This is likely to affect the algorithm and although 45 people enjoyed the book, no one else will know this. More book reviews lead to higher rankings which lead to more exposure to readers which leads to more sales, and the cycle continues.

Some books can be overlooked because of their genre

For a long time I used to stick to one genre, women’s fiction, and then someone suggested a title from the fantasy fiction genre. She raved about it so I thought I would give it a go.

I absolutely loved it, it wasn’t like anything I had read before and just fell in love with the characters. I did, in fact, write a review for this book and hopefully, it will help someone to select this title when they are looking at the reviews.

This opened me up to trying out other different genres. There are a lot of jewels out there and reviews can help us find them.

Getting a buzz going

Leaving a review and talking about it on social media will get picked up by other readers and they may purchase the book.

If you liked a book, you will want others to enjoy it as much as you did. Although everyone’s taste is different, it’s a great conversation to have with members of the reading community (or even the author on social media!) when you discuss what you liked about the book.

It can take a long time for an author to be able to support themselves (and their family) writing full time. Leaving a review will only take a few minutes and can make a massive difference to the author as well as the reading community.