Book Reviews, How Important Are They?

READERS – YOUR reviews are important to every author – please leave them 😀

Have We Had Help?

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The short answer is that without good, bad and indifferent reviews, books simply don’t sell, doubly so these days since the concept of the electronic book became reality.

Not too many decades ago, before the coming of the internet, when books were written by a handful of establishment writers under contract to traditional publishing houses, reviews were the domain of a few individuals employed by newspapers like the New York Times and leading magazines such as Time. They were often critical, sometimes praiseworthy, but never vicious like the one star variety most writers are subjected to today.

How times have changed. These days literally anyone can write a review for any book they find on any given internet book site. There lies the problem. No matter whether you are an Indie, or under contract to a publisher, we are all equally at risk of being attacked by a vocal minority…

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7 thoughts on “Book Reviews, How Important Are They?

  1. Writers are very much like the comments here, Chris. Some like reviews some don’t put much stock in them, but I bet every writer reads what is written about their work. I’m a writer but as a reader I certainly look at reviews before I buy and like most people I do check out the bad reviews. I also put them in the context that you can’t please everyone all the time and judge the books from an overall look at reviews. Reviews are important

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  2. I actually think we spend too much time worrying about them. It’s useful for the author to get some feedback, but I dont think people take much notice of reviews. If they like something, they’ll buy it regardless of what someone else thinks. The look inside feature is a better buying guide. Similarly, I don’t think theres any such thing as bad publicity with regard to 1 star book reviews. If its nasty and vitriolic, people will read it for the fun of it, then buy the book to see for themselves… voila! Book sold!

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  3. Reviews are the life blood of an author, the lower the star rating, the more the patient needs a transfusion. LOL Low reviews given with the intentions of helping an author see his or her failings is like getting a heart transplant that can save the author if they are willing to see their flaws and how to improve. The trolls are like heart attacks waiting to happen, they do the person no good if they are just trying to be vindictive.

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  4. I agree, reviews are crucial. One of the problems (I am thinking here of Goodreads) is that reviewers can leave a 1 star rating without making any comments to back it up. The vindictive, the sad and the inadequate can have their little moment of glorry by leaving 1 star reviews. Having said that, reviews are vital to authors and enable us to improve our writing. I don’t object to critical reviews, what I object to is reviews written by trolls with the sole intention of poking authors into a response. As is often said, “don’t feed the trolls”!

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