Is that an avalanche I hear?

Do they help? Those reviews you see when you shop for books online. Do they? Or is it just reassuring for the author of a book to see many reviews, hopefully mostly positive?

If I wasn’t reviewing books on a blog like this, I would most likely put up a lot of reviews over there instead. As it is, I do a few of them. I don’t have time for more, because I tend not to be able to use the same reviews as I write for Bookwitch. They are often in a style that wouldn’t work elsewhere.

But then I get told by authors how valuable the shopping site reviews are. Some authors actively ask people to post a review once they’ve read their book. So it is at least perceived as useful. When there are truly awful reviews on the shopping site, I can see that having a more favourable one added will balance things somewhat.

I assume it also matters more if there are only a few reviews, whereas some books have more reviews than I as a potential buyer would ever want to read.

Which brings me to the question whether my reviews here make a difference. I just don’t know. Sometimes readers leave a comment to say they will definitely buy the book now, or that they have ordered a copy, and occasionally they report back later to say what they thought of the book.

But that’s just a handful. No one will eat well off that number of sales.

On the other hand, perhaps I start avalanches of book buying in silence. I hope I do.

6 responses to “Is that an avalanche I hear?

  1. I tend to read reviews before I purchase something. So I, at least, find reviews helpful.

  2. I recall reading some reviews before buying some books by an author who shall remain anonymous, quite a few years ago. The reviews were glowing. The books were not. I can’t help wondering who those ‘misguided’ reviewers were.
    And then this last week, an author mentioned his new book and I just wanted to check the price and the date, and went over there and found one of those dreadful one star reviews (of what I know to be a great novel), but the author was very polite about it. As always.

  3. I really like your style of writing reviews. I have written elsewhere that I have read “Atticus Claw Breaks the Law” on your recommendation. I plan to buy a copy, after borrowing it from the library. It is good!

    ( I wish I had known about you when my books were published – “My Big Brother JJ’ in 2009 and “Sammy goes Flying” in 2011. I’d like to send you one, but don’t know where to send it.)

  4. I enjoy reading Reviews, and usually only read about the genres I gravitate toward. A few of my book purchases have been as a direct result of someone’s liking.

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