Why are Reviews Important?

Reviews are very important for the following reasons

  1. A Review is proof that at least one reader liked your book enough to leave a review
  2. A Review means that at least one person bought your book. More than just buying your book, that person read all of it, and chose to review it
  3. Reviews stack up i.e. the more the reviews, the more readers there are vouching for you, and the more the impact
  4. Readers trust other readers more than anyone else. Therefore, a recommendation from another reader is the best way to sell your book
  5. Reviews used to be very trustworthy. Now, there are all sorts of shenannigans. However, most readers have developed the ability to see which reviews are honest and which are fake
  6. Negative Reviews also serve an important function – they help readers figure out the downsides and avoid the books that are not a good fit for them. That in turn saves you from getting more negative reviews
  7. Reviews invoke Social Proof and Pre Selection. Social Proof – other readers are buying this book and liking it (as social creatures we want to do what others are doing). Pre Selection – this book is getting bought and is approved (pre selected) by readers. These are very powerful psychological principles that motivate readers to buy your book

There is a lot going on when a reader visits your book page. The reader is going through a Decision Process – figuring out whether or not your book is worth buying. A review is the single best thing that will nudge the reader in the direction of purchasing your book. The more the reviews, the higher the review rating, the stronger the nudge

Why are Reviews so important, given that Books are relatively cheap

A common argument is that reviews are important for expensive purchases such as phones and TVs and not important for books because books are relatively inexpensive

That does not consider the opportunity cost of picking the wrong book, and the time the reader spends reading the book

Reviews are very critical for Books because

  1. Readers will be giving 3 to 6 hours of their reading time
  2. If the book is a failure, then that reader’s reading time will be wasted. Time wasted is time we can never get back
  3. The reader might not have another 3 to 6 hours for reading until the next week, or the next month
  4. They are left with a bad taste in their mouth. It is not until next week or next month that they can read a good book and get back to feeling great about their reading life
  5. Reviews are absolutely critical to ensure that readers do not miss their one chance that week/that month to get a great reading experience

This also explains why readers get so upset when authors have cut corners and not had their book properly edited and proof read. The author has spoiled the reader’s one chance that week/that month of having a great reading experience

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