Sunday, May 27, 2012

RATINGS AND REVIEWS: Do they mean anything?

A 5 star rating and review are a kick to get, no mistake. But after that fifteen minute glow wears off, and you have tweeted and Facebooked/bragged about it, what does it really mean?

In the long run, not much. On the opposite end of the scale, when you get a lousy rating/review, it stings, but it too, fades rather quickly and you move on.

Ask most readers and they will tell you they rarely take reviews into their book buying decision. They look at them, but they use them as a vague guide. Reviews/ratings are not that important when deciding to buy a book. The cover and blurb trump reviews most of the time.

The same could be said for movies, restaurants and hotel chains. It's just another person's opinion. It's not to be taken as gospel. I like to make these decisions for myself. I may glance at a review, but I seldom take it under consideration for anything I buy. If someone boasts on twitter they have 20 five star reviews on Amazon, does that compel me to rush right over and buy the e-book? No, not personally, but I suppose the writer is hoping to reach that one person who will rush right over.

Great reviews do not translate into sales for the most part. Publishers like them, gives them something to brag about. An effective selling tool for getting a book title out there. Yay. Apparently bragging about getting a good review annoys the hell out of people. I had one of my posts reported as spam on Facebook and removed. Seeing I was overtired and cranky anyway, I assumed someone did it, and found myself eating humble pie for the rest of the weekend. Believe me, getting yourself bent out of shape or making a fool of yourself over reviews isn't worth it.

We've all cringed at seeing drive-by ratings by anonymous people with no avatar and private profiles. Those type of ratings really do mean nothing. I'll thank a person for a written review, good or bad. At least they read the book.

For my first release, Timeless Heart, I sent it out to a lot of review sites as I was a new author and wanted to get my name out there. I have a few horror stories on some of the experiences that I'll keep to myself. I've found a select few ladies whose opinion I trust, and they will be my go-to blogs for reviews going forward. Publishers send out your ebook to 20-30 review sites. To me, that's enough. If 2-3 of those review your book, count yourself lucky.

I like getting a good review, but I am no longer going to pursue them or brag about them on Facebook. When it comes down to it, I'd rather be writing~

Cheers~

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