A tsunami of books
One book every five minutes. That’s the estimated rate of books published by the click of a button on Amazon every day since the self-publishing boom. That’s a tsunami of books! How can an author ever expect readers will find their book? This is why reader reviews are so important. Amazon’s algorithms. Authors don’t ask readers to post reviews to feed their ego – they need them to sell books.
The following is an excerpt from The Ugly Truth of Publishing & How BEST to Support Writers on Author Kristin Lamb’s blog that explains why mainstream authors need their readers to write reviews on Amazon.
Reviews are more important now than ever before…. The reason is that with the change in the publishing paradigm, the slush pile (unfortunately) has been dumped into the reader’s lap. There are a lot of bad books out there. But even then, that really isn’t all that big of a problem.
Want to know the bigger problem?
There are a lot of good books out there.
How is having a lot of good books being published a problem? The total number of books on Amazon is in the millions. Readers are overwhelmed with choices. If someone browsing online sees a book with only five reviews versus a similar title with thirty reviews, which do you think they’re most likely to buy? They will naturally gravitate toward the book with more reviews. Studies show both good and bad reviews count — it’s all in the numbers.
Reader Reviews = Visibility
More importantly, reader reviews affect a book’s visibility. Lamb writes:
Beloved reader — When you review us, Amazon favors our books in the algorithms, meaning more people SEE our book. More people SEE it, odds are I will sell more copies. In the on-line world, you have the power to get authors that awesome front-of-the-store book placement. The more reviews the better the algorithm. Better algorithm, more views. More views, more sales, more sales—> we might make a best-seller LIST!
Authors love it when you tell them you enjoyed the book, but, if you really want to help them (and in turn, help other readers discover their books), please write about it on Amazon.
The biggest factor that helps online book sales is word of mouth: reader reviews.
You can read Lamb’s post about The Ugly Truth of Publishing in its entirety here. Lamb is the author of the #1 best-selling books We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer.
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is the author of In the Context of Love, adult contemporary fiction, a 2016 Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist.
Angelica Schirrick had always suspected there was something deeply disturbing about her family, but the truth was more than she bargained for.