Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Rating Books to Help Struggling Authors Succeed


You've found a book on the Church of Christ Women Authors Blog written by one of your favorite authors. You bought it by either clicking on the link within the post, from the publisher, or from a ladies day book sale. You read it and you loved it! You tell everyone you know about the book. Recommend it to friends and family, and are blessed for reading it. In fact, it is your new permanent decoration on your nightstand.

Sounds like an author's dream, right?

Almost. You may wonder why this scenario isn't the best, most rewarding scenario for a struggling author. After all, you're telling people about the book and you enjoyed it.

Let me be the first to tell you that an author is super excited when someone, really anyone, finds their writing worth while; however, if you want to help an author succeed that isn't enough.

Amazon Rating:

The little star buttons that appear beside an author's work don't appear by magic. Those rating buttons are used when a customer writes a review. The thought is to have the customer who reads a book, rate it.

Notice the customer review chart on the left. This is from the book Humanism: A Christian's Greatest Enemy .

By reviews, it is obvious that the topic is polarizing. You are either going to love the book or hate it, and that's okay. (Authors have to have thick skin.)

Sadly, those who hate the book have written more reviews than those who liked it. (Some of them who have rated it poorly have not even read the book, or closed it before getting far into it. I can tell by the comments).

This system of customer reviews gives the book a meager 2.8 star rating out of 5 stars. Notice this excerpt from a Forbes article titled, Fake Reviews: Amazon's Rotton Core.

"Carpet-bombers do not leave negative reviews in order to help readers avoid a bad book, they do it to undermine the reader’s confidence in positive reviews, damage the book’s ranking in Amazon and thus that author’s sales. They are, like fake positive reviews, designed to game the system. Explains author Robert Kroese:

The effect of a bad review goes far beyond the impact that it has on the author’s ego, however. The prominence of a book on is determined primarily by two factors: how well the book has sold and how positive its reviews are. More highly rated books are displayed more prominently, which leads to more sales. Increased sales leads to even more prominent display, which leads to still more sales. Through the miracle of the positive review snowball effect, a few hundred rave reviews can transform an otherwise unremarkable book into a worldwide bestseller.""

It is so important for readers to understand that customer reviews are the lifeblood to a book. Reviews will make it successful, or in some cases it will destroy it.

So, next time you find a book that you love and have read, take a moment and write a review or at the very least click on the stars.  The author will appreciate it, and you are helping the next person who might want to read it.

Have you rated a book today?