Monday, March 18, 2013

Ratings and Reviews: Do they mean anything?

A 5 star rating and review are a kick to get, no mistake. But after that fifteen minute glow wears off and you have tweeted and Facebooked about it, what does it really mean?

In the long run, not much. On the opposite end of the scale, when you get a lousy rating/review, it stings, but it too fades rather quickly and you move on.

Ask most readers and they will tell you they rarely take reviews into their book buying decision. They look at them, but they use them as a vague guide. Reviews/ratings are not that important when deciding to buy a book. The cover and blurb trump reviews most of the time.

The same could be said for reviews/ratings on movies, restaurants and hotel chains. It's just another person's opinion. It's not to be taken as gospel. I like to make these decisions for myself. I may glance at a review, but I seldom take it under consideration for anything I buy. 

Great reviews do not translate into sales for the most part. Publishers like them as it can be an effective promotional tool for getting a book title out there.Also the author can wring out a few days promo out of a good review. Hey, I've done it.

As writers, we've all cringed at seeing drive-by ratings by anonymous people with no avatar and private profiles. Those type of ratings really do mean nothing. I'll thank a person for a written review, good or bad. At least they read the book.

For my first release, Timeless Heart, I sent it out to a lot of review sites as I was a new author and wanted to get my name out there. I have a few horror stories on a few of the experiences that I'll keep to myself. I've found a select few ladies whose opinion I trust, and they will be my go-to blogs for reviews going forward. One the whole, I am done with a mass review campaign.

A lot of publishers send out your ebook to 20-30 review sites. To me, that's enough. If 2-3 of those review your book, count yourself lucky.

I like getting a good review and really appreciate ANY review at all, but I am no longer going to pursue them with such fervor. When it comes down to it, I'd rather be writing~



Patricia Preston said...

Good post. I have wondered about whether reviews matter that much. You read a lot of stuff about how you need to get reviews for your book. But I really don't buy a book because of a review. A good, professional cover is important. Then, I mainly interested in the story. If it a story I would want to read.

Karyn Gerrard said...

Thanks Pat! Same here, I don't base my book-buying on reviews. I glance at them, but they don't factor in my decision. I agree, cover and the blurb have to pull me in. Thanks for commenting!