Recently I was reading a series of books (not JAFF) that I really enjoyed. When I went to buy another one on Amazon, I noticed that this particular series didn’t have a lot of reviews on Amazon. The first book had 819 ratings on Goodreads and 252 reviews while the Amazon listing had 11 reviews. Book two fared even worse–with 3 reviews on Amazon.
I suspect this disparity is because the author left a floundering small press that wasn’t paying her royalties (that’s been happening a lot) and re-published the books herself. In the process she lost all of the series’ previous reviews. My heart went out to this author (who I don’t know at all). She had written great books that obviously a lot of people enjoyed, but the number of reviews on Amazon suggested nobody had purchased it or read them. I immediately sat down and wrote Amazon reviews for her books.
Now this may be a specific situation (although it’s more common than you might think as a lot of small presses close their doors), but many authors are in the situation where the number of reviews doesn’t reflect the number of people who buy and enjoy their books. I read that 7% of readers leave reviews for books. Think about that. Seven percent.
So, if you want to support a good author, buy his or her books and then write an Amazon review!
This isn’t a personal complaint; most of my books have gotten plenty of reviews. This is important to all the JAFF books on Amazon. Most JAFF books are self-published and the rest are published by small presses without big marketing budgets. JAFF authors aren’t getting rich (if you are, please call me and tell me how you’re doing it). All of us have days when we wonder if it is worth the hard work and sacrifice. Good reviews help us both emotionally and financially when we’re wondering if we should give up on writing and just focus on our day jobs.
I know it takes time to write a review. And it’s more convenient to give stars on Goodreads than to actually conjure up words for an Amazon review. But an Amazon review can be short: “I liked it.” “It was good.” “It was better than Harry Potter and Hamlet combined….” etc.
Why do JAFF authors need Amazon reviews? For a couple reasons:
- Reviews are essential word-of-mouth marketing for self-published authors. K. Rowling, Stephen King, and Nora Roberts won’t miss the thousandth review for their latest bestseller. But writing the fifth or seventeenth or fiftieth review of a self-published book has a huge impact on that book’s wellbeing and helps the author continue to be an author.
- Amazon buyers base their purchasing decisions on the quantity of reviews. We all do it. We look at a cover, read the blurb, and see that the book has high ratings. Great! But only five people reviewed it. Uh-oh. Five people could be the author’s friends. Five reviews suggests the book wasn’t very popular. We might not even take the time to read the reviews because the quantity of reviews is enough to dissuade us from giving the book a try.
- Promotional opportunities depend on the number of reviews. Amazon, Book Bub, and other platforms will give a book special marketing opportunities, but only if they have the required minimum number of reviews.
- Reviewing is a bit like voting. If you don’t vote, you take the risk that the candidates you don’t like will be elected. If you don’t buy and review books by authors you enjoy, you run the risk that they’ll stop writing the books you enjoy. Either the author won’t be able to afford to keep writing or she will just write the books that the more vocal readers like.
Did you enjoy the last JAFF book you read? Yay! I’m so happy to hear that. Now support the author and go write a review on Amazon!
When Charlotte Became Romantic received a lovely review today from Night Owl Book Cafe! Sophia Rose writes, “I would recommend this to both Austen fans and those who enjoy a sweet, heartwarming second chance romance.”
My new book, When Charlotte Became Romantic, is in the midst of a blog tour. Each stop features a Giveaway and guest post, excerpt, or review. Stop by and say hello!
Oct. 21 – My Jane Austen Book Club
Oct. 22 – Diary of an Eccentric
Oct. 23 – More Agreeably Engaged
Oct. 24 – Interests of a Jane Austen Girl
Oct 28 – Babblings of a Bookworm
Oct. 29 – So Little Time…So much to read
Oct. 31 – Darcyholic Diversions
Nov. 2 – My Vices and Weaknesses
Nov. 4 — From Pemberley to Milton
Nov. 5 – Austen Authors
Nov. 30 — For the Love of Austen
Dec. 13 – Austenesque Reviews
The paperback version of When Charlotte Became Romantic is now available! https://www.amazon.com/dp/1734163011/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=when+charlotte+became+romantic&qid=1571602815&sr=8-3
It’s here! My next book, When Charlotte Became Romantic, is now available at Amazon, Smashwords, BN.com, Apple, and Kobo. A paperback version will be available soon. Did you ever wish Charlotte ended up with a nicer guy? This book is for you!
In the original Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet’s friend, Charlotte Lucas marries the silly and obsequious clergyman, Mr. Collins. But what if fate—and love—intervened?
Desperate to escape her parents’ constant criticism, Charlotte has accepted a proposal from Mr. Collins despite recognizing his stupid and selfish nature. But when a mysterious man from her past visits Meryton for the Christmas season, he arouses long-buried feelings and causes her to doubt her decision.
James Sinclair’s mistakes cost him a chance with Charlotte three years ago, and he is devastated to find her engaged to another man. Honor demands that he step aside, but his heart will not allow him to leave Meryton. Their mutual attraction deepens; however, breaking an engagement is not a simple matter and scandal looms. If they are to be happy, Charlotte and James must contend with her parents’ opposition, Lady Catherine’s nastiness, and dangerous figures from James’s past.
Charlotte had forsworn romance years ago; is it possible for her to become romantic again?