Friday, March 23, 2012

Authors and Amazon

The reviews on Amazon can be a great tool for authors. Good reviews can boost sales, and all of the reviews provide the author with feedback about their work. Thus, I review a lot of books. I love reading, and I love giving authors feedback on what they have written. Obviously, the funnest reviews to write are the ones the 5 star ones. Giving authors encouraging feedback simply makes me feel good. That being said, there are just some books that you can't put 5 stars on. Whether the author just really shouldn't be writing, or the message in the book was horrible, there are just reasons that keep you from adding up the stars. I'm sure you all understand.

I took some time last week to look back over the reviews that I have written on Amazon, and I noticed the way that I have grown during that time. Originally, if I found a horrible book, I wouldn't hold anything back, but just totally mock the work. - I'm so sorry! Now when I have to post a negative review, I still try to include some positive feedback in some way or another. And as I was pondering on  my review history, I wanted to put out some suggestions for authors in dealing with Amazon reviews.

#1 When someone takes the time to review your book, you should take the time return the favor and mark their review as helpful - even if the review was negative. Why? Because they took the time to review your book and give you feedback. Is there any truth to their comments? Did they say anything good at all? Why didn't they like your book? Can the answers to those questions help you while writing your next book?

#2 Resist the urge to comment on the reviews. If someone bashes your book, let it go. It will do nothing for you to write a rebuttal, and most likely someone who enjoyed your book will do that for you anyway.

#3 Take the time to review books for other authors, and always try to say at least one positive thing - remember that they might review your book in return. Some authors have suggested using different accounts to post reviews then the ones that they use to publish their books, but Amazon frowns on that and you can actually get banned if they catch you (so I wouldn't recommend it). You might consider only writing positive reviews, and knowing that if I book is bad, just not reviewing it, but I chose to speak the truth in love whenever possible - even if it means that I might get a negative review in return.

So there you have three suggestions for dealing with reviews on Amazon:
Return the favor
Resist the urge
and Take the time

Do you have any tips to add?

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The main reason I write is to help other authors. I would love your feedback or suggestions for future posts or devotions. You can leave a public comment here, or use my contact form to send me a private message.