A truly magical and enchanting ‘fairy tale’ – taking the ‘ordinary’ and making it quite ‘extraordinary!’ The adventures, heartaches, surprises and unquestionable love take us on a journey of greater awakening to our inner heart connection with all life on our beloved earth! It is a precious book – brilliantly conceived and lovingly given to the world to add more Light. Thank you Bianca.
~ By Anthea (5 Star The Immortal Life of Piu Piu by Bianca Gubalke) – 9 October 2016
The Importance of Amazon Customer Reviews
‘Word-of-mouth’ is known as the most effective – and, probably, the most honest as well as intuitive and innocent – way of ‘influencing’ other people, especially people we care for. If I go to the movies and love the film, I’ll tell my friends about it, so they have that wonderful experience as well. If the food in a restaurant was awful and the service sucked, I’ll make sure my close friends and family are at least alerted to it so they don’t have that same experience. It’s in no way forcing a decision onto anyone. We alert, Warn. Advise. It’s a good, well-meant tip we share so that others can enjoy equal benefits or avoid pain, disappointment or traps.
Of course, indirectly, it’s also a way of ‘marketing’ . . . and online giants like eBay, TripAdvisor and Amazon – to name just a few – have recognized the opportunity early on and cleverly integrated this helpful human trait and behaviour into their marketing strategy.
It’s nothing new. It’s proven. And it always works.
The eBay Customer rating system shows which vendor is reputable, trustworthy and reliable – like a good friend advising us where to buy, who to avoid.
TripAdvisor’s rating system benefits from travellers and holiday makers around the world rating their accommodation – like a good friend telling us where to go, which places to avoid and why, even with photos as proof. That this can also be manipulated and abused is true but I won’t go into that in this article.
And, finally, in the Amazon bookstore or in the Kindle Shop potential readers who browse the digital shelves, not knowing exactly what they want, aren’t only influenced by shiny bookcovers and sexy titles and descriptions, but also by customers who reviewed a book or simply posted comments about what they liked or hated. Not to forget the star rating system! If a book only has 1 star Amazon customer reviews, we probably continue to look for another title with at least a few 5-star reviews, to make an informed decision.
If I know what I want, reviews may offer me different insights, which I may find interesting, but they wouldn’t normally influence me in my decision to buy.
So it becomes clear:
From an author’s perspective – and bearing in mind the huge competition in this book publishing arena today – it is crucially important to have as many good Amazon customer reviews as possible to attract potential and spontaneous buyers to our oeuvre – whether we’re traditionally published, self-published (indie authors) or hybrid authors (i.e. doing both). Simply put, reviews mean readers.
The growth of our list of reviews has an immediate effect on the Amazon search algorithm and will result in showing our book more often, like in ‘More items to consider’ for instance. This means more visibility for a book – ideally resulting in more sales.
A prodigious author phenomenon like J.K.Rowling can literally blind us with thousands of reviews due to a huge international following and a massive social media platform. All this is based on astronomical marketing budgets and strategies around the world, which even capture our little dreaming village down here at the end of the world at times and hold it in its firm grip for a week or two. Brilliant – but certainly something any new and/or aspiring author can only dream of! But dreaming is good! J.K.Rowling did exactly this. She had a vision . . . before she became who she is today. And you become what you think . . .
How to get book reviews
However, any ‘normal’ author knows that readers love to read but they seldom take the time to leave a review. Without at least a few book reviews any form of marketing makes no sense as potential readers and buyers want to see at least some reviews.
It becomes even trickier for those of us not living in the US or the UK: When readers buy books on Amazon in say France, Britain or Germany AND leave honest reviews, these only show in that specific country as Amazon cannot synchronize them yet. So they don’t count! it’s a bitter pill to swallow.
There is a slight remedy as they can be integrated as Editorial Reviews – but that doesn’t up the numbers – and it’s the numbers that count. 10 reviews. 26 reviews. . .
So where do we get more readers – and readers who not only love reading but also leave book reviews?
Let’s talk about that in another article . . .