REVIEWS – Where & What

Yesterday on Twitter I had a great conversation with some other writers about reviews, where they do the most good, what the “most good” is and why it’s different for everyone.

For me (personally, not for the group) I find that my Goodreads reviews give me the most sales. Yes, sales. Does that mean they do the most good? I don’t know, listen for a second and then tell me what you think.

Whenever I get a good GR review, there is an automatic bump in my sales. Every time.  I don’t even have to check if there’s a new review any more. This is a valid statement for me 100% of the time.

When I get a good Amazon review, there is no bump. Never.

But, here’s the Catch-22: I do believe that when someone finds your Amazon book page, if there are no reviews (or no good, articulate reviews) they may back away from trying you out.

So, while I don’t get sales from all those great Amazon reviews (and Amazon reviewers have been  very good to me. Very kind with some great insightful, topical reviews,) I do believe if those reviews weren’t there backing up the reader’s original source…well, I can see people walking away very easily.

For me, I think GR works for several reasons. First, this book is a short. GR readers seem up to giving shorts a chance. I’ve seen a lot of other writers with shorts get negative Amazon reviews that state “this was short” — yes, that’s why the Product Description said (sometimes as many as three times) this is a short story. I always feel bad for both the author and the reader in that situation.

There are two things GR does that I think furthers great reviews. When a reviewer has built a following – when she’s gotten to the point where people trust her opinion – they’re going to get updates letting them know what she thinks about each read. Amazon has nothing vaguely like this. Also, if you don’t follow that person, that doesn’t mean you won’t find their review in a feed or mentioned elsewhere on the site OR from being in a book group of some sort with her.

Yes, Amazon has tags (and I’ve been told that even though “sweet romance” only has 6 or 7 tags on KISS that several people found it that way) but, this seems like a lot of work. Tags aren’t always cohesive or consistent.

For example, on KISS there is “sweet romance” “sweet” and “clean romance” — someone looking for something might hit one of those…but with a lack of consistence, maybe not.

Of course, my opinion didn’t match up with everyone’s. Others – people with long-form books OR who already had a following – felt like Amazon was the best place for a review to pop up. One person went as far as to say she thought a lot of people had never even heard of GR.

I’ll be curious if my longer-form book I’m working on for this summer has different results…and yet, I kind of doubt it.

And then there are always the reviewer sites. I know I got several tweets and emails about Cheeky Reads review.

So, readers, where do you feel like you get the most trustworthy, I-must-try-that-book reviews?

And, authors, where do you feel like most of your sales come from?

See how nosy I am – I want to hear from everyone!

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