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Reviews. A Necessary Evil

Updated: Jun 10, 2022

Welcome Back! No special catch phrase today I'm afraid. I really couldn't come up with anything I didn't hate or isn't already taken. I mean, I could call the two people who read my blog Kieferites, but that's just lame. So, I start this newest entry without my usual flash.

Today I want to cover something that is very important to us indie authors. Really it is important to all authors, but it is doubly important to indies. Why, because we live by them. What supernatural token of power am I talking about? Well, the review of course. You know, that thing all of your author friends are always begging you to do for them. We even give our books away for free to get them because they are that important.

Of course, being an indie author I know full well that most people don't actually go and do it. They say they will. They even promise that they will, but never do. I won't lie, I am pretty bad myself with doing it. I can hit the stars, but I never know what to put in the actual review. Sure, I always come up with something, but it never really sounds generic. I mean, if I read my review when looking for a book, I would think it wasn't genuine.

I know it's hard to do and it seems like a bit of a hassle, but it really is more important than you realize. Not only does more reviews help us get promoted by Amazon, but we need your good review to counter the 1 star reviews of the amature editors out there who gave our books a bad review because they had one typo in it. I am not lying, it actually happens. Just ask any author. Even the mainstream traditional authors get the 1 star review that says, "it's obvious this book was not professionally edited."

Really? Not professionally edited? I paid $2000 dollars for a professional editor. The truth is, there is no book that is perfect and without some mistakes. I just read a traditionally published book from a mainstream successful author and found four errors in it. The reality is that as soon as some people see "indie", they automatically hold the book to a higher standard than they do traditionally published works. They start looking for mistakes they would overlook in a book published by a traditional publisher, and of course they are going to find them. This is why a lot of indie authors start their own publishing houses in order to seem more legit. Helps keep the wanna be editors at bay.

I had one friend, who was really trying to be helpful, tell me that she found a lot of spelling errors in my book. That really isn't possible since I use a spell checker, Grammerly, and a professional editor. What she meant, was grammatical errors not spelling errors. She is, of course, a grammar nazi, but she was right. There were some errors. Mostly very small ones, a than instead of a then here or there, a few words missing from sentences ect. I just had another proof read done on the book, and I corrected them and uploaded the corrected manuscript to Amazon, and guess what? There will still be some errors.

So, that being said, we authors really need your reviews. It's really hard on us getting a bad review because of a few grammatical mistakes and we need to see the reviews that are based on the content of the story and not just the ones that are based on the few mistakes that got past the editing gauntlet. Yes, if the whole book really was rife with mistakes and it was hard to read because of it, then I accept that. But it really isn't and even the 1 star people know it. If you hated the story or my writing style just isn't your thing, I can except that. Put it in a review and I will read it and if it is something I feel needs to change, I will. But please don't just put 1 star with no explanation. I personally ignore those when making decisions on whether or not to purchase a new book.

Also, the Amazon algorithms that help promote our books are also driven by reviews. The more the merrier, especially five stars. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon is likely to promote it. The more five star reviews a book has the more Amazon is going to promote it. We all go to those reviews before we buy something whether it be books or products. The truth is, however, that most of us are only compelled to leave a review if we are dissatisfied. This is a real problem, because we tend to buy things that have good reviews. If most of us don't leave a review unless it is bad, than how can we base or decisions on them?

This is true of books especially. I have actually decided not to buy some of my favorite authors books because of bad reviews. Most of the time when I finally break down and buy them, I find that I didn't agree with the bad review. Some people are just really hard to please and they like complaining about it. From what I have seen, most bad reviews on books are like that. And in all honesty, art is subjective. What one person didn't like, you could love. Just look at the current divide in Star Wars. Some fans, and rightfully so, hate the sequels and others love them.

I may rant about the 1 star reviews, but reviews of all kinds is what I need. I would prefer five star, but the more the merrier. The less reviews an author has, the harder it is to sell his books. This is just a fact and why we are always begging for reviews. I don't necessarily like hearing from people who didn't like my work because it hurts, but I want them to leave a review regardless. Unless of course you didn't finish the book, than I personally don't think you have a right to leave a review, which is why I really don't care for Goodreads. If you didn't finish it, than you can't effectively review it. I have been told by a lot of people, that the second half of my book is where it really shines. So if you didn't finish it, than I am not interested in your opinion.

So, now you know why the review is so important. Good or bad, it is the cornerstone of the current book selling industry. Most people no longer buy books at brick and mortar stores, so the days of being seen there are over. It is the Amazon algorithms and other online stores that drive sales now and reviews are what drive them. So please, for the love of God and all that is holy, go leave a review today. Your favorite author will love you for it. Unless of course you are a DNF Goodreads person, then just keep your opinion to yourself, cause no one cares what you think.


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