Reviews are all part of the world of being an author, even though I would bet there’s no complete agreement among authors about how important they are. According to my Indy-published friends (Ava Miles, Emelle Gamble, Debra Holland, Tori Scott, Norah Wilson, MJ Fredrick, Theresa Ragan, to name a few…) the number of Amazon reviews is important in increasing discoverability, but does it matter if the reviews are positive or negative? I don’t know how Amazon assesses their rating system, but I do know that some people say they don’t count. Others won’t read any reviews for fear of encountering a negative one.
I’m very lucky that I’ve received very few stinker reviews over all the books I’ve written. The stinker reviews, though, tend to stick with an author (me, I mean) and loom bigger than all the glowing reviews. That is an unhappy fact of human nature, even though it makes no sense at all.
When negative reviews are written in a hurtful way, they do hurt. When they are based on something ridiculous, they just make me angry. Sometimes, though, they are helpful. A reader reviewer on Amazon once called the villain of one of my books cliched. She was right. After that, I’ve tried to make my villains more real and complex and less Snidely Whiplash.
So, I’m smiling today. The three reviews I posted on my website are all very very gratifying. And (so far) I’ve not received any stinker reviews to diminish my pleasure.
How about you? Do you read reviews? Do they matter? Do they determine whether or not you’ll buy the book? (Or if you are an author, do they affect your mood in significant ways?)