Leaving Book Reviews

Guest Blog by Raakhee Stratton.

Over the last six years I have become a real bookworm. I am open to most genres but my preference is psychological thrillers.

Like a lot of people, I rely on book reviews. Whether it’s sites like Amazon / Goodreads, blogs or word of mouth, they can help you to decide on what book to purchase next.

Have a little think…In the last year, how many books have you read? And out of them, how many have you reviewed? I’m guessing, for many, the number isn’t that high and I am guilty of this too.

I spoke to a lot of people and the majority of them didn’t realise how important it is to leave a book review. So, I thought it would be a good idea to explore a few reasons: –

It’s the numbers

Many (if not all) online booksellers use algorithms to help with promoting books.  For example, Amazon’s ‘magic number’ is a bit of a mystery. Book sales are more likely to increase if they appear in the ‘Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought’ selection and I’m guessing this heavily relies on the number of reviews a book has/receives.

If 50 people read a book and 45 people enjoyed but didn’t review it, and those 5 people who didn’t enjoy it reviewed it poorly, readers looking for their next book will only see the 5 bad reviews and are unlikely to purchase it. This is likely to affect the algorithm and although 45 people enjoyed the book, no one else will know this. More book reviews lead to higher rankings which lead to more exposure to readers which leads to more sales, and the cycle continues.

Share the love

Online shopping is growing in popularity, reviews play a large part in deciding what product to purchase and we will only buy something if other people have already purchased it and are happy with it.

If you are looking for a builder, do you just Google one or do you have a look at a review site for builders to see who has the highest rating? Or even ask a friend / relative?

The same principle also applies to books. No one wants to a read a bad book and if you enjoyed the book, let people know.

Try a different genre

For a long time, I used to stick to one genre, women’s fiction, and more recently, psychological thrillers. Someone suggested a title from the fantasy fiction genre. She raved about it so I thought I would give it a go.

I absolutely loved it, it wasn’t like anything I had read before and just fell in love with the characters, the plot, I could go on. I wrote a review for this book and hopefully, it will help someone to select this title.

This opened my eyes and encouraged me to read other genres. There are a lot of jewels out there and reviews can help us find them.

Fuel the buzz

Leaving a review and talking about it on social media will get picked up by other readers and they may purchase the book.

If you liked a book, you will want others to enjoy it as much as you did. Although everyone’s taste is different, it’s a great conversation to have with members of the reading community (or even the author on social media!). Authors love to know how much you enjoyed their book

It can take many years for an author to be able to support themselves (and their family) writing full-time. Leaving a review will only take a few minutes and can make a huge difference to the author as well as the wider reading community.


About the author

Raakhee Stratton previously worked for a UK publisher and now runs her own business, RS Virtual Assistant.

She provides Virtual PA support to authors, small businesses and entrepreneurs. If you would like to get in touch, please email raakhee@rsvirtualassistant.co.uk


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