Do Reviews REALLY Matter? (Hint: The Answer Is NOT No…)

When you’re a relatively new and struggling author, reviews of your books are VERY important.  Well, maybe they’re important if you’re a wildly successful author, too, but I don’t have quite the same personal insight into that perspective as I do the former.  I’ll let you know if that changes anytime soon.

Bottom line is…reviews matter.  And I’m talking about reader reviews, too, not just reviews from professional book reviewers or organizations.

Reviews tell a writer that somebody was interested enough to pick up his or her book and actually read it, which feels incredibly wonderful!  Unless, of course, the reviews are unflattering, in which case I suppose it feels more like a kick to the gut–or maybe someplace a little lower if they’re especially harsh…

But the point is, somebody read the book!  Yay!  Writer’s existential crisis averted!

But there’s a lot more to reviews than I first realized, and maybe more than you realized, too.  Until recently, I had no idea that books on Amazon only became eligible to participate in the Kindle Daily Deals once they earned at least 10 reviews, and this is important to an author because Kindle Daily Deals are seen by tons of readers and represent an incredible opportunity to become known to the general public.  Eligible doesn’t mean a shoe-in, but it’s a start.

There’s more, though…

Rumor has it that there are other promotional opportunities on Amazon that an author can’t become eligible for until he or she earns a certain number of reviews, like the “If You Liked This Book You Might Like ______” or “Buy This Book With That Book” for a special discount price.  And once you reach 75 or 80 reviews, I think you win a car.  Or something.  The details are a little fuzzy right now…

But anyway, reviews definitely matter.  They don’t have to be lengthy reviews that analyze subtext and note similarities between the work in question and Anna Karenina or anything like that.  They just have to be honest.  And hopefully respectful, even if the reader didn’t particularly care for the book.

So please make a writer’s day and leave a review!  And if you want to compare his or her book to Anna Karenina, you go right ahead.

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