Are you happy about your book's sales figures on Amazon?
Did you self-publish or did you clinch a publisher contract?
Either way, Amazon sales can cause your heart to blip for two reasons: great or lousy sales figures.
I'm amazed my historical novella is selling so well as it is with so few reviews. It is, after all, only a novella. No one in the blogosphere has made mention of it so I'm guessing (a) they haven't bought it, or (b) didn't like it. Have I begged other bloggers to buy it? NO! Have I begged for reviews? NO! I've made mention of it in passing, nothing more. It's advertised on my blog, and I gather few people notice what is in a sidebar. So, "Her Favoured Captain" is reliant on the few who do notice sidebar content, and those whom browse Amazon looking for historical romances.
Now, here's a funny thing, the times I've had someone say in a private e-mail, I've bought loads of books by fellow bloggers to support them, posted reviews to Amazon, and some couldn't even be bothered to say thank you. I think I may have said that, too, on occasion. Yeah, well, that pretty much sums up the "self, self, self" promotion junkies. It's kind of interesting to see who reciprocates and who doesn't on the blogsphere re marketing of books.
So. Do glowing reviews sell your book? Good question.
Some authors say yes, of course it matters how many reviews I get. It's what sells my book.
But, is that really the case?
Take the next piece in what ever way you like, but there's more than a ring of truth to it.
A short while ago I was reading a piece by a marketing guru on one of Amazon's own forums: to do with marketing books on blogs and other social media outlets. This marketing guru pointed out that too many reviews of your book on Amazon etc., (basically overt glowing reviews by fellow authors, friends & family) can put off the general reading public. In that, very few readers out of millions of people who shop at Amazon and other on-line retail outlets will bother to return to post a review, unless they hated the book and have a grievance about content, or they're an out and out fan of a particular author! The majority of shoppers return to buy more books. He stated, when Joe or Josephine Public discovers a long list of reviews it means nothing to them, and often as not a book's sales slow considerably once sales to friends and family etc,. have ceased. Meaning, Joe & Josephine Public suspect it to be a hyped book and tend to avoid it.
The guru further claimed personal recommendation has more clout, i.e, someone mentions in passing at work "I really loved this book" or "I bought this yesterday and couldn't put it down". What he was effectively saying, is that reviews on Amazon are impersonal to Joe & Josephine Public but do provide authors with sense of feel-good-factor on the basis that their friends, family and circle of fellow authors love them. Which of the former do you prefer, mere sales to family friends and close fellow authors, or that of Joe & Josephine Public? Bear in mind the former might reach a thousand sales, the latter beyond your wildest dreams!
Food for thought?
I'm thinking short short short reviews, i.e. "I bought this and couldn't put it down" and "Ooh, it kept me turning the pages" type of review. Perhaps, much better than the *long-winded* variety that often as not reveals the plot and blows the suspense that might otherwise have existed whilst reading the darn thing. I tend to ignore reviews and go by a book's blurb, and yeah, too many reviews set my lovey alert button off big time. If the blurb is well-written and well-presented it's the make or break of a sale for moi!