IWSG: September 3, 2014
Alex Cavanaugh: The awesome co-hosts for the September 3 posting of the IWSG will be Laura at My Baffling Brain, mark Koopmans, Shah Wharton, and Sheena-Kay Graham.
And it’s our three year anniversary of posting!
I’m the generation that picked out my reading material at Coles or Chapters. I’d buy a few books, read them, and moved on to the next batch. It never occurred to me that the author might appreciate a review. When I plunged into the published author world, my marketing adviser stressed on the importance of book reviews.
In discussions with authors, readers and marketing people, I’m a bit less convinced on the role of book reviews. Some polls suggest that readers look at book reviews with a bit of skepticism. Apparently, readers suspect that during a book launch, the author will obtain reviews from family and friends who will provide a top rating of 5 out of 5.
Becoming more scientific about the value of book reviews, I’ve discovered that my amazon rating is affected by a complex formula and algorithms – including volume of reviews my book receives. Okay, this is where my gut clenches down and my teeth grind. Readers don’t give a lot of weight to reviews, but amazon does? Ugh!
At the recent writers convention, I learned more about the Amazon black hole, but I’ll save that for another day. The fact is I can market my fuzzy little head all day long, but if I don’t find a several hundred reviewers to post a report, I’ll remain in the amazon ‘also ran’ pile. Volume is the key word. How does an author get readers to post a review?
Recently, I found a post by Trish at Between the Lines: who wrote a thoughtful and humorous article on how to rate books. I loved her extended version. Her simple version is as follows:
The above rating is basic and used often as a template. However, it says so very little about what was great, or not so great. To actually write a description is miles beyond what average readers want to do, or can do. So many of my friends and acquaintances prefer to not write a review as they find it difficult to compose. They’re not writers and they don’t feel qualified to make a judgment (ratings) on someone’s work – other than subjective or personal, and that’s not helpful to other readers.
What if the reviewer was given a simple form to complete. This may encourage more reviewers to post a review. Ergo, the author’s overall amazon rating could improve.
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