|Posted on September 20, 2014 at 3:10 PM|
The title of this post begs a question that seems to surface pretty often in the social media groups/forums that I frequent. And it's actually an excellent question. Are reviews really that important?
The short answer is yes. Reviews are very important to some readers when they are considering their next book purchase. But, as with anything, the importance of reviews varies according to the reader and, in some instances, the author. If the author is one with a solid readership, reviews will not make a big impact on the reader's decision to purchase the book. They will most likely buy it based on their prior experience with reading the author's work. If not that, they will probably wait and see what friends or other readers are saying about the book, but those opinions are not always shared via a review on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. Quite simply, word of mouth “reviews” may take precedence over written ones. After all, wouldn’t you value the opinion of a friend over that of an anonymous online reviewer?
On the other hand, there are readers who will only buy a book after having read the reviews. Some readers are looking for various things in a review that will influence their decision regarding purchasing a book—the number one deterrent being a review that complains about bad grammar/editing. As a reader, myself, that would also be a big turn off for me. Bad and/or non-existent editing makes for a bad reading experience.
However vital reviews may or may not be, I do feel that some authors overemphasize their importance. I believe that some authors fixate on receiving a large number of reviews when the honest truth is that having reviews in not the only way to sell books. Selling books takes a combination of things that must be repeated and are virtually never-ending (promotion, adjusting prices, fine tuning blurbs, revising covers, revising the book, and so on). After all, I've seen books with lots of reviews and poor sales rankings. It would be nice if tons of reviews = tons of sales, but that simply is not true. The reviews are just one piece of the book-selling puzzle.
Please don't think that I'm knocking reviews altogether, because I'm not. I even wrote a post with tips for getting more reviews (you can read it HERE). As I stated before, they are an important and much-needed part of the publishing process. Just don't put all of your eggs in the review basket.
What say you? Do you think reviews are important? Do you read them before purchasing a book? Comment below and share your opinion!
Until later... be blessed
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