Why reviews are vital for authors

If you enjoyed a book, the most generous gift you can give an author is to leave a review!


I read a lot. I write a lot. I review a lot.


Whatever profession you’re in, everyone deserves feedback, and most people need an encouraging pat on the good or a ‘you did great!’ We’re human, and we thrive on positive feedback and praise.


But aside from the nice feels, for some people, positive reviews are a lifeline in terms of continued business or sales. This applies to many professions - artists, bakers, pet sitters, nail technicians, painters and decorators (the list goes on) - and not just authors.


So I don’t just review books, I try and leave reviews wherever and whenever I feel praise is due, whether I’ve eaten at a great restaurant, bought an excellent product or received a great service from someone. I like to show my gratitude and appreciation, and I also believe in social karma.


For authors, reviews really are critical to the success of their books. Reviews are social credence, and can mean the difference between other people purchasing their book, or not. If you viewed a book on Amazon with zero ratings / reviews followed by another book with a high number of positive reviews and high star ratings - which would you buy? I'm guessing the one with the higher number of reviews or higher star ratings!


Many people don’t realise what actually goes into writing a book - it’s often a very long and messy process that starts with a great deal of planning, followed by a pretty rubbish first draft that’s rewritten many, many times, endless nights of writing, immense struggles followed by bursts of joy, the fear it might flop... it’s fair to say that most authors put absolutely everything they’ve got into their books, and I mean everything.


But I haven’t got the time to leave a review, and I’m not great at writing...


You don’t have to be a seasoned writer to write a review, and you don’t have to spend a huge amount of time on it either. A one liner will suffice, for example ‘Great book, my daughter really enjoyed it’ or ‘Would definitely recommend this book’.


Which leads me on to...


Why are Amazon reviews so important?


Amazon doesn’t know (or care) what the review says, how long it is, or how impressive the reviewers prose is. Amazon just calculates numbers i.e. the number of reviews. The higher the number of reviews, the algorithm bumps the book higher up the list of millions of books, and  it becomes more visible to other potential buyers.


Leaving an Amazon review for an author is the best thing you can do for them. It’s the biggest high five, and it lets them know that their work is appreciated. It’s the most heart felt thank you.


Some authors sell their books at craft fairs and schools etc as well as online, so even if you didn't buy the book from Amazon, you can still leave a review on there (as long as you have an Amazon account).


A useful guide to Amazon star ratings - this differs from reader to reader, but I rate / review books as follows:


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️  Absolutely incredible. I’m blown away

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️      I loved it, really brilliant

⭐️⭐️⭐️          I liked it

⭐️⭐️              I’m disappointed

⭐️                  I didn’t enjoy it at all


So next time you read a book you like, please remember how important reviews are, how much it will be appreciated, and how much it will help the author - it will only take a moment of your time.


Thanks for reading! Much love, Fran x


Fran Grant is a writer and children's author. She is also the wife of a very patient husband and the mother of 3 energetic little boys. As a self-confessed bookworm and book hoarder, she is a huge believer in keeping the magic of reading alive for children. After many years in the corporate world, Fran is now fulfilling her lifelong ambition of writing books.

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