Amazon Book Reviews; Authors need them to succeed

Amazon Book Reviews

I learned something incredibly important today; reviews on Amazon (and other book provider websites) are necessary to increase the success of an author. This applies to all authors, but especially indie authors.

If you take the time to read a book, a comic book, purchase a coloring book full of curse words, or you know how to read one of those super technical books that include a table of contents a mile long, this blog entry is for you.

Self-published author (and cosplayer extraordinaire) @Robin Burks explains the need for personal book reviews on Amazon. She is the only reason I understand this subject now.

Check out her recent blog post

** Robin’s self-published works can be found here; and Twitter contact is @sunriserobin – She’s really cool. Give her a shout out. I’ll wait. **

Now, back to the importance of book reviews.

Not only are reviews a nice way to tell an author how much you enjoyed a book, but authors need reviews to progress to the next stage of online publishing. The reviews can also help an author reach a wider audience by allowing the book to be accepted by other online sales sites.

Personally, I had no idea how important book reviews meant to authors (even famous authors) to progress through the Amazon equation of what makes a “hit book.”

I’m a huge advocate of indie writers and filmmakers. I like supporting the writers, artists, and entertainers I enjoy, including brand new entertainers, so this information was important to me.

If we readers want to see a wider variety of work on the market, we have to take the time to do what is necessary to help the creative artists reach the same limits of big corporate works. This doesn’t mean not supporting big productions, but it also means we have one more way to support those who are are just starting out. What this means for us as readers is we take a few more minutes of our time and leave feedback on the material we read, watch, and enjoy. It’s the least we can do for those who word hard providing new content and enjoyment.

Do not be afraid to write a review. Reviews do not have to be as long as a dissertation nor does it have to be a summary of the book.

If you are pressed for time, a review can be as short as a few sentences. If you are starting out and you are unsure of how to complete a serious review, the “sandwich method” of reviewing is a good place to start. When following this method you can make the review as long as you wish or you can provide one or two quick sentences for each part.

Example: What did you like about the book? Something made you purchase the book, so there is something you like about it. Even if it was just the cover which caught your eye, there was a reason why you spent time reading the book.

What did you not like about the book? Be honest with yourself and the writer. If there is something you don’t like, how do you think it could have been better? Was this the first book of the author? Is this a topic you don’t like personally? Was the story good but not the editing? Was the editing great, but not the story development?

Then, the final part of the “sandwich” is what is the one thing another reader might enjoy about the book? What makes the book worth purchasing? Would you suggest this as a “beach book” on Kindle or a book for your personal library to be shared with others? Unless the book is just downright terrible in every way and even if the book is not your style, what is the one thing which another reader might enjoy?

If you have time and you really enjoy the book or author, upload images of yourself doing nice stuff while reading the book (on the subway, lying on the beach, sitting in your favorite chair, etc), a photo of your favorite passage (no more than one short paragraph), or even a photo of your new book placed beside your morning coffee. These “action” photos make others want to experience your happiness with you and increase sales of the book.

As readers (just like an audience at a play or a business meeting) we have a responsibility to the people on the stage or the authors of a book. Reviews are just one more way we can show our appreciation for those who work so hard to provide us with great entertainment every day.

Excuse me while I log-into my Amazon account and … take care of some stuff. Now that I know what I should be doing, I owe some reviews to some wonderful people.

Until next time… be safe, be kind, and always be happy.



3 thoughts on “Amazon Book Reviews; Authors need them to succeed

  1. Pingback: Amazon Book Reviews; Authors need them to succeed | Catch The Moon, Mary

  2. Thank you Amy for this post! No matter how many times I ask, beg, bribe or threaten people they still don’t put a review on Amazon! Some do of course and they are legends! But I still only have 12 reviews and the Amazon target is 50 before they start pushing the book themselves in the “if you liked Moon-Gazing hahaha you may also like Catch the Moon, Mary”…it’s invaluable promo and reaches vast numbers of people no other medium can reach.


    • I hate that. I also hate that I didn’t know this information sooner. I read a lot and I should have been leaving reviews (even very short reviews) way earlier than I did. — Maybe if we can get out to the people how important the reviews are to the authors, maybe that will make a difference. — Maybe, like me, people just don’t know that reviews on Amazon are very important to the success of a book. Not just face to face, or on a blog, or on Twitter (all very appreciated of course) but reviews on Amazon and other book outlet sites are super important to the actual success of the book. If the reader wishes to help the writer succeed, or the reader wishes to see more books from Indie Authors, then they have to leave reviews. There is no way around this. Even a two or three star review is better than no review at all. Leaving reviews shows a reader actually cares about the writer and the book. I hope this blog post will help readers understand their words are important too.


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