When you finally put your book out into the world you know that you’re opening yourself up for feedback and criticism – it can be a daunting prospect. You also hope that if readers enjoy your book, they might leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads to encourage others to give it a go, and that can be a thrilling prospect.
What I didn’t fully appreciate when I first self-published on Amazon KDP however, was just how much I would come to value the reviews left by readers. Having spent 22 years pulling everything together to put my book out there, the reviews from readers who have enjoyed my story continue to mean more to me than the sales figures. My partner said at the very beginning that it wouldn’t be the number of books I sold that would be the measure of success; it would be that first 5 star review from an unknown reader. He was right. When that first review appeared on Amazon I was thrilled. My story had reached out to someone I didn’t know and touched them in a way that inspired them to write about it and recommend it to others. Job done. Then the next review came in, and the next… With each review a little momentum was gained and my confidence grew, showing me that I was in fact an actual author and not an imposter!
Leaving a review for a book does much more than boost a writer’s confidence though; it can have a major impact on the success of a book. The more people talk about a book, the more potential readers become interested. Readers listen to other readers: a few words of praise from one can influence another much more effectively than most well planned social media campaigns.
Reviews also influence what search engines show potential customers. If a book has a good number of reviews it indicates that it’s of interest to a good number of people and so the search engine decides it’s worth displaying. Reviews ultimately make your book more visible in an on-line world which is crowded with ‘products’ fighting to be seen. They therefore become a valuable marketing tool. In fact many professional review sites, bloggers, potential publicists and so on won’t even consider supporting or representing a book which doesn’t have a certain number of reviews already under its belt.
As a writer, reviews give me a unique insight into a reader’s mind, showing me what they enjoy, value and appreciate. In this way readers, and their reviews, can influence a work in progress. What readers think and feel is, after all, central to a writer’s work; it’s what drives us.
With that in mind, I’d like to say a huge thank you to the readers who have taken the time to leave a review of ‘Dancing Through Fire’. These reviews have supported me as a new indie author, putting my debut novel out into the world, in countless ways. They have motivated and encouraged me, surprised and inspired me. They really are the ultimate measure of success for those of us who aim to reach out to others through stories.
To see the full list of reviews for ‘Dancing Through Fire’ on Amazon, please click on the link below:
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