I’ve been thinking a lot about reviews lately. Why don’t people leave them? My daughter just finished a yoga class at her school that everyone loved. That teacher did simultaneous classes at maybe 5 places, with a total of maybe 50 families. After the last class, she emailed us some final info and mentioned that we could leave a review on her Facebook page. I read that, had every intention to do so, but didn’t. After a week, thinking about my own frustration with getting (or not getting) reviews, I added “review yoga class” to my to-do list. Another couple of days later, I made that review…and I was the first one. So many happy clients, and not one review, and I probably would have forgotten also if not for my own lamenting.
Why don’t we write reviews? Are we selfish, too busy, uncaring? I don’t think of myself or my friends/fans this way, yet we don’t take the 2 minutes (literally that’s how long it took) to go online and review a product we enjoyed. I understand we can’t review everything, but when it’s a friend, acquaintance, community member we see around, I really think we should make that extra effort.
Wanting more reviews of my books, I’ve been doing some research, and thought I had come up with an awesome idea….a Facebook group for authors in my area to have physical meetups where we would read one another’s books and write reviews on the spot. But the more I’m reading about Amazon in particular, I don’t know if this is allowed.
I’m still sorting through all this, so I’m pasting links I find helpful regarding Amazon reviews at the end of this post, mostly for myself, but you may find it helpful as well.
What I do know is okay:
- Verified purchases. If you bought one of my books through Amazon (or Kindle), your review is the most respected. Please take a minute to write a few words.
- Friends. Amazon draws the line at “close” friends. Who knows how they value my friendship to you…go ahead and take a chance. 😉 write a review!
- Strangers, fans, etc. If I don’t know you personally, it’s perfectly okay for you to review my books, and because you don’t know me, that makes you even more awesome if you do this for me.
And of course, word of mouth is also great, and according to one blogger, is even better for an increase in sales than reviews.
Is my new group idea okay for Amazon.com?
https://www.amazon.com–An unusually high number of reviews appearing suddenly may get flagged…
https://www.amazon.com–2 instances of “review clubs” that are not okay: The customer is a member of a review club where sellers or brands give the customer ratings or refer the customer to other sellers or brands based on their review. The customer is a member of a review club where they are asked to register their Amazon public profile so that sellers or brands may monitor their reviews of products offered through the club. SO OTHER TYPES OF REVIEW CLUBS ARE OKAY?
http://annerallen.com/amazons-new-review-rules-should-authors-worry/#comment-22009–One author’s opinion about Amazon’s new rules, says avoid asking for a review in exchange for giving one (which isn’t exactly what would happen in my group).
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/18602023-where-to-get-reviews?comment=166376986#comment_166376986–places to get reviews (several comments liking my idea for a meetup group). Goodreads also has a large community of “genre specific review groups” that says they adhere to Amazon’s guidelines because they ensure that direct review swap doesn’t happen. If I review your book, you won’t be selected to review mine.
Well, if you think my group idea is okay, and you’re in the area, click here to join: Westchester Authors
Another blog post about the importance of reviews, I haven’t quite finished reading it yet, but good so far: http://juliecgilbertwriter.com/2017/05/16/carole-p-roman-speaks-reviewing/
Keep writing those reviews and telling your friends about the great books you’re reading!