"What do you want for Christmas?"
Now, this is a tough one to answer. I'm pretty content with what I have. My family is healthy, we live a decent middle class life, and I feel truly blessed. I don't really want for anything.
But if I'm honest with myself, there is one (selfish) thing I would love to have more of, and it's something my family can't give me (due to Amazon's strict regulations on the subject).
No, it's not the ability to dunk a basketball. Although, that would be a close second. The one thing I secretly wish and hope for, is more reviews for my books on Amazon and Goodreads.
"But why?" you may ask. "Does your ego really need that much more of a boost?"
While getting great reviews may temporarily boost my ego (or crush it with bad reviews), those are just side effects. As an author, I want new readers to discover my books and give them a try. The more reviews each book has, the more willing new readers will be to spend that $1-4 to purchase my novels.
It's all about social proof. Think about the books you decide to buy. You go on your Kindle app, start searching for something new to read, and a cover catches your attention. Next your read the title, which sounds mildly intriguing (i.e. 4 Years Trapped in My Mind Palace).
Next, you click on the link to check if this book is worth your time and money, and what's the very next thing you do?
Start reading the synopsis? Nope. Start reading the first sample chapters provided on the listing? No way. That's way too much work. Do you read the authors bio and check out their backlog of published books? Negatory. Wrong again.
You know what 95% of people do next? They look at how many reviews are listed for the book. And if there are less than 40 reviews, most people skip ahead, continuing their search, never delving deeper to read samples or the book synopsis. In fact, many people don't even bother to read what the reviews say. If there are not enough reviews to justify their level of social proof, readers will just move along until they find something interesting, with more reviews.
I know this, because I do the same thing myself. Sometimes, I won't even look at a book with fewer than 100 reviews, and at least a 4+ star rating. And if a book has 300 or more reviews, then, I'm much more likely to give it a try.
With that said, here's the sad part. On average, a book will only receive 1 review for every 200-300 downloads.
Ugh. Reviews are a tough business. In my opinion, getting reviews for a book is actually harder than writing the book itself. But without them, my stories will never reach their full readership potential.
So, if you want to give me a special gift this holiday season, feel free to add a review about my stories on Amazon and Goodreads. It will only take you 2-5 minutes. Reviews only need to be 1-2 sentences long, and it doesn't matter if you leave a good, bad, or ugly review. I'll take them all.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!
Sincerely your friendly, review-hungry author,