When you buy a book online, do you read the customer reviews first? Most people do, and in fact, those reviews often have a huge impact on the book’s sales. Reviews not only persuade or dissuade buyers, but they also have an impact on getting shown to users on Amazon or Barnes and Noble’s sites. For those reasons, authors are very appreciative of readers who take a minute or two to leave a thoughtful review of a book.
If you’ve enjoyed a book and would like to let the world know, writing a review is one of the best ways to do that. While it’s great to share your thoughts about a book on Facebook or Twitter, the best place to leave a review is on the book’s sales page itself on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, like the sales pages for The Grave Blogger here on Amazon and here on Barnes and Noble. Why there? Here are a couple of reasons:
- Sharing on social networks like Facebook and Twitter is great for letting your friends know about a book they should read, but the rest of the world will probably never hear about it. Sharing on the book’s sales page on Amazon or BarnesandNoble.com will be able to reach lots more people!
- Amazon uses the reviews on its own site to help decide which books to show prominently when users search for books, or when recommending “books others have also bought”. Amazon doesn’t use reviews posted elsewhere such as on Facebook or Twitter, so any review left on other sites won’t help the book get shown to more people on Amazon. (Barnes and Noble likely uses a similar system).
So now that you know how helpful it can be to write a review directly on the book’s sales page on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, you should probably learn a few other little facts.
- Not only can you write a review, but you can also rate a book using a 5-star system. Generally speaking, 1, 2, or 3 stars is BAD, and means you don’t like the book and you don’t recommend it. 4 or 5 stars is GOOD. A nice mix of 4 and 5 stars on a book’s page usually means that a lot of people enjoyed the book, and because there are some 4’s mixed in, it’s more likely that the reviews haven’t been “manipulated” or “faked”.
- Always be honest. People trust book reviews only if they seem honest. If you love a book, but feel it should have been a little longer or shorter, for example, it’s okay to say that.
- Don’t give away the crucial plot elements. No spoilers, please!
- No single-word reviews are accepted. Reviews should generally be at least 20 words long, (with 50-100 words being a good average review), and should not only state that you liked or disliked the book, but also why.
- Discuss the book itself, rather than the author or non-related topics.
Below is what the reviews look like on Amazon. As long as you are logged in as an Amazon customer, you can write a review of a book you like. So support the authors you’ve enjoyed, and write your reviews on the book’s sales pages. You’ll be helping other readers find good books to read, and you’ll be supporting the authors you like too!