The Importance of Reviews
I know you wanted to talk about the importance of reviews but before you get into that, please introduce yourself! Use your Pen Name if you have one.
Aaron Walker Sr.
The Thing About Reviews…
One of the things I’ve learned during my personal writing journey for Cargo 3120, is just how much visibility for your books is determined automatically by search functions that are built into platforms like Amazon and other online retailers. It all happens behind the scenes based on rules that we’re predetermined and then programmed into the search function by the creators of those platforms.
On Amazon, these “rules” determine (on the fly), which books and products get more visibility than others. In the case of books, these rules take into account more than just the sales. The number of reviews is weighed heavily in this calculation. Customer reviews (not to be confused with editorial reviews, which are written by professional reviewers), have a significant impact in determining how often your book is shown to readers.
A Game of Visibility…
Yes, as an author you need a great cover, a well-edited manuscript, and a great ad copy to make the book stand out. But also, the number of reviews plays a big part in helping authors win the game of visibility, resulting in your books being displayed to more readers on platforms like Amazon.
The point of the game is simple: the more people see your book, the chances that those people will buy your book will likely increase. Even when using Amazon marketing services for advertising, their own training courses suggest that having at least fifteen reviews with an average of 3.5 stars or more is needed before a book or product is considered “Retail Ready”.
The reason reviews are among the elements considered for retail readiness is that reviews help to build credibility and trust for a product.
You can check Amazon’s training course for optimizing for retail readiness. In fact, Amazon has a lot of resources like this to help you understand how to be successful in selling on its platform.
Why does Amazon offer these free courses? I believe it’s because their financial success depends on their seller’s success with using their platform. If we make money, they make money… and everybody wins, right?
In my experience, of all the elements that make a book retail-ready, getting reviews is the hardest part. Let’s face it, most readers just don’t leave reviews. It’s not always because they don’t like the book. People have busy lives and sometimes forget to leave a review or rating. Others may not feel comfortable writing a review. The list could go on and on. And sitting around waiting for reviews to come in organically can be an exercise in frustration. Yet these reviews are critical. So, what is one to do? Well, the answer is not as hard as you think. You have to actively ask readers for reviews.
The key is being creative in your approach. Whether you offer something like a free review copy in exchange for an honest review or use services like NetGalley to find folks to help you out, the ability to get those reviews is possible. It’s just going to take time, so don’t give up!
A Call for Reviews…
Sometimes people just need a reminder. So here is that friendly reminder:
If you’ve read Cargo 3120 Ties that Bind, please leave a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble Online, or wherever you purchased the book. If you’re not sure where to leave a review, sites like Goodreads or Bookbub are excellent places to start. If you’re up for it, you can leave the same review in multiple places.
And please, don’t just leave reviews for my book. Please go out there and support other authors you enjoy by leaving reviews for their books as well. It all helps us to reach more readers like you.
Wrapping it Up…
Well, that’s all for now. Thanks for reading, and I hope you found something here helpful, especially if you’re a fellow writer trying to navigate the ins and outs of getting your book noticed. So, go out there and get creative in asking for those reviews.
Thank you so much for this wonderful information! I knows there will be others who will benefit from this. Now let's talk a little bit about you. Tell me a little bit about your book(s).
Cargo 3120: Ties That Bind
Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Winner - 2023 Literary Titan Gold Book Award Honorable Mention - 2022 Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention - 2022 San Francisco Book Festival
So what is it about?
Fans of Star Wars, Dune, and Star Trek buckle up... ...because there's another intergalactic franchise that's about to suck you into a futuristic adventure like you've never experienced before! The year is 3120 and the Milky Way is in turmoil. Each alien race, including humans, is fighting over the scraps of what's left of Krillium, the current energy source. But there's a new source of energy on the horizon: Ladium Crystals... ...And that's about to change everything as the powers of the universe jockey for control, knowing whoever gets control of this precious resource will reign supreme within the galaxy. It all starts when Captain Marcus La'Dek, a retired mercenary fulfilling one last mission to help his old buddies, unknowingly finds himself right smack in the middle of this galactic power struggle when he transports mysterious CARGO to the outer reaches of the stars. If you've been searching for the next big book, this is it! This action-packed science fiction novel is a high-octane, fast-moving adventure that will literally reach out and grab your attention from chapter one and not let you catch your breath until you've reached the last page!
Book Links: Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/lists/books-written-by-aaron-walker-sr
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