Yesterday I listed the benefits to the reader/listener when they take the time to provide a written review on Amazon, Audible, Goodreads, Bookbub and elsewhere. The benefits include getting free books and showing off your writing skills. Check out this link if you haven’t read it.
Today we’ll discuss ways reviews help authors; the one who wrote the book and others.
2. A review helps the author.
The number of stars isn’t the only issue. You may think that only 5-star reviews help an author but that isn’t the case. I’ve been told some speakers and authors consider all 5-star reviews without any comments as “no thought” reviews. Leaving comments in addition to stars whether good or bad provides constructive feedback for the author and colors in the rating for other readers.
Just as an annual review provides an employee with performance feedback, an author (who typically works alone) needs concrete explanations of the reasons readers like or dislike their work. One successful author Kandi Steiner was told she could confirm success when she had gotten 10, 1 star passionately written reviews! To learn more about ways authors confirm success see my blog Authors’ Definition of Success May Surprise You.
A recent Facebook post by an audio book listener demonstrates the value the author derives from an honest opinion. While the person had received a free promo code for a book, they were having trouble listening to it because of their discomfort with the narrator. They didn’t want to finish the book but felt they shouldn’t leave a review because they hadn’t finished it. They asked for the group’s opinion on what to do. Various audio book narrators chimed in, all saying the same thing: an honest, respectful review is always valuable whether you’ve listened to the entire book or not. Letting the author know that the story wasn’t enhanced by the narrator, especially if the book is part of a series, may alert them that a change in narrators could improve the chances for happier listeners and future sales. This information is golden to authors.
The potential to attract publishing houses/agents. While being an indie author may be fun for an author, many have goals of signing with a larger publishing house. When a publisher sees the quality and quantity of reviews by fans it demonstrates a commitment to purchase future books. Because of the amount of money and time publishing companies put into the books they market; they want to be assured of a regular audience.
Tomorrow I’ll explain the third reason to write a review – to benefit audio book narrators. I don’t just mean the narrator of the book you just listened to either.