Saturday, September 9, 2017

Why Authors Love Reviews More Than Chocolate

Have you ever noticed how many authors ask you to leave a review of their book? Have you seen authors say that reviews are the best thing you can do for them? I'm one of those authors and I agree. I might even love reviews more than chocolate.

Handing out virtual chocolate seems to be a thing today. It's a nice gesture, at no expense from the giver. But my research for this post has shown that authors have been known to love reviews even more than chocolate. Why?
Reviews provide insight and happiness. We all know chocolate can provide happiness, but insight?? Never had that happen. Because reviews, whether positive or negative, help a writer get to know their audience better and see what people think. Feedback is a good thing! And the warm fuzzies that come after reading a good review are pretty awesome! :)
Reviews can actually sell books. Do not question me on this: it's scientific fact. xP Lots of the big marketing places like BookBub will not agree to advertise your book at all unless you have a lot of reviews. Not just any reviews, but Amazon reviews. That number matters to them because it tells them how well you're doing on your own. Everyone knows people don't really write reviews unless prodded. So seeing a decent number (say 200) on a self-published book tells them a whole lot more than 1,000 Twitter followers ever could. Authors actually need reviews. :D
Reviews are rarer than chocolate. Yep, we authors admit it. We're selfish. Chocolate has become so commonplace that we want something rarer: reviews from our readers. Now honestly, that doesn't really make us gluttonous monsters, does it?

I think reviews are rarer than chocolate because:

// They require an investment. Time is in short supply today. Not shorter supply than reviews, but still. It's easy to shoot down this argument as laziness, because if you spent several hours (or more) reading the book, then you can take another ten minutes to leave a review.

// It's like schoolwork. Wait, I have to split a 300-page novel into likes and dislikes and then rate it using a dubious 5-star system? I know, it's hard. But if you can spend 14 years of your life in school, and then willingly subject yourself to spend another 4 years in school ... this assignment will not be the death of you. ;)

// Technology is difficult. I know. Amazon requires you spend ~$100 before you can write a review. It's a pain. Honestly, what I do is use my parents' account. So of all the Amazon reviews I've left people, not one says it's from Abigayle Claire. But I left a review! So I don't think the author will mind the change in identity. ;)

// Readers fear authors. I'm not kidding on this one!! Sometimes we read a book and our opinion is not positive. If we know the author, we really don't want our name associated with a 2-star review. (I'm telling you there are huge benefits to using your parents' account.) Even if we don't know the author ... do we really want to do that to them? The answer is YES.
In closing, negative reviews should still be written. While I expect all of you to be tactful, the author should understand that not everyone is going to connect with their book. That's actually impossible.

Martin Hospitality has received a one-star review on Goodreads now. I can't even tell you how grateful I am that it wasn't just a rating, it was a review. The reader told me exactly why she didn't like the book! And if I felt the way she did, I would have made it a 2 or 3-star review (way to make me feel better!).

The interesting thing is, that review had a ton of comments. 100x the interaction any of my positive reviews have garnered, and mostly from people I don't know. While several said they wouldn't read the book now, twice that many (guesstimating) said they were definitely going to read it to see if they agreed with the negativity.

As my dad said, negative press is still press.
Are you in the habit of writing reviews when you read a book? ((Amazon reviews carry the most weight, so I highly encourage you to do that for your author friends!)) If you read but have not reviewed either of my books, you can review Martin Hospitality HERE and Andora's Folly HERE. ^.^

What do you love reviews more than?

SIDE NOTE: Thanks to those of you who volunteered to be my reading accountability partner! So many good options!! I have selected Lisa // Inkwell to fill that role, but I'd love to keep up with the rest of you on Goodreads. :)


  1. Cool post, Abi. I think you make a lot of good points, but...chocolate. *cries* I love it so much, and now this post makes me want it even more. Lol

  2. Thanks for this! I do have a habit of writing a review as soon as I finish a book or at least before I pick up another book.

    It's going to be a while before I write a review on Amazon so I'll try to make good use of Goodreads and hopefully I'll be able to read books by bloggers in the future!

    1. Sure thing :) That's a great habit! Precisely why I have the Goodreads app on my phone. Because if I don't write a review as soon as I finish ... then it may never happen D: Overall I much prefer Goodreads over Amazon--it's just has a better filtering process for reviews than stars, so other companies tend to look at it. Oh well :P I'm personally trying to get better about copying my reviews to Amazon, especially if I know the person!

  3. I need to read your books, Abi! I've put it off too long! As soon as my paycheck comes in, I swear ...

    Also, to this whole post: YESSS!

    1. Aww, I would love that!! I expect a review, though ;D

  4. Replies
    1. YES <3 One of my favorite parts of being an author

  5. I do love chocolate (and sugar in general), but yes, reviews are so much the better! Nice to be back reading your posts again! :D

    1. EMILY! Welcome back :D I'm so glad we agree on this. Aren't reviews just amazing?? Also, I finally got around to ordering two copies of your book for some friends. So you should have two reviews coming your way before too long ;) I still need to order myself a copy at some point! Your book is so gorgeous in person <3

      Aw, that's very sweet. I'm heading over to your blog to read your latest post right now :)


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