My book is stuck at 31 reviews
Why the reviews on books is so important to selling sites?
I don't like writing reviews and millions of readers out there never write reviews because it's time consuming, they don't see a reason for it, and when they finish reading a book, they close it and move on to reading the next book.
For me, the best rating is when a reader enjoys the story enough to read my books from cover to cover and don't put the book aside after reading just a few pages or chapters.
If it would be up to me, I would only put one easy click button by the books on selling sites: "finished reading it".
Or, an easy click rating widget such as Netflix uses for their customers to rate movies with 1-5 stars. No fuss, takes one click, and most of all, the vote numbers can't be manipulated to remove or add ratings, so the numbers reflect only the opinion of the customers.
Why is it so important to have a certain number of reviews on book selling sites?
Books with less than 50 reviews are sitting at the bottom of the shelves.
To my best knowledge, fifty is the minimum number of reviews (however, the higher the better) for books to be shown as "readers also bought" when readers are searching for or buying books in the genre.
I really doubt that my book will ever reach the magic number of reviews. Why?
Because a lot of my 5 star reviews had been removed since Amazon changed its policy, I can only estimate, but the number of reviews on my book would be close to eighty by now.
I may never find out why they removed only the 5 star reviews because Amazon's review policy is vague.
I can only guess why the best reviews were removed:
Maybe because the readers follow me on social sites and Amazon considers their reviews biased because the supposedly "know me"?
We all know that out of hundreds of social site "friends" all of us have only a handful of people we could really call friends.
Maybe because my book's rating was too high but it didn't earn bestseller status with hundreds of sales every month? I guess it's a good reason because they want to promote books that earns them lots of money, right? My story is magical realism genre, so the reader base is not as wide as for romance or other more popular genres.
Maybe that's their way of keeping the number of reviews way under 50 to give them reason not to show my book in search?
Maybe because they think that my story cannot be as good as to deserve 5 star reviews and the reviews must be biased?
Readers who like the genre buy and read my books. Most of them rate it with 5 stars because their opinion is that the story deserves a five star. Perhaps for its originality, or maybe because they like my writing style. Why can't a 5 star review be unbiased and reflect the readers' true opinion about the story?
Why do the selling sites ask readers to rate books?
Since Amazon started removing reviews, it makes the readers feel that their opinion is worthless because it can be removed at the convenience of the publishing site.
Good or bad, the readers' opinion should not be manipulated and should be respected!
There are a lot of angry posts circulating on social sites that a recently published book's 1 and 2 star ratings and reviews are being removed in order to increase the book's overall rating. I can't say it's true because I don't have proof, but I've seen screenshot posts proving that one day there were certain amount of 1 star reviews on the book and they disappeared the next day.
Anyway, the sad part of not having over 50 reviews on a book is that the selling site doesn't show it to new, potential readers when they search the genre.
I don't have the financial freedom to promote and market my book, therefore, it stays invisible to potential readers.
Well, not much I can do about it but hope that the next reader will find my book somewhere in cyberspace and leave a few words review to increase my book's chances to be shown. If you're that next reader, thank you in advance!
My story is good, the kind of story I like to read. However, to be perfectly honest, I wouldn't rate it with 5 stars. There are hundreds or even thousands of stories out there that deserve the 5 star more than my story.
I would rate my fantasy series 3 stars or 4 stars the most.
If you like the genre, click and read about
Erika M Szabo
Author of magical realism, fantasy and children's books, Publishing Coach at
Print & eBook