Blogger: Rachel Kent
Last week, Wendy’s client Kathryn Springer received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly for her new book The Hearts We Mend. A review like this in a significant magazine can really help a book to sell, so this is a big deal. Congratulations, Kathryn! Publisher’s Weekly is a great publication for a review like this because it is read by many bookstore buyers–including the significant box stores like Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Costco. Seeing that star on a review might be all they need to order a book for the store or to put in an order for extra copies.
Reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Christianbook.com are great, but they are more likely to reach individual readers who might buy one copy of your book instead of bookstore buyers or librarians who might buy multiple copies or even case quantities.
I also learned recently that if you have all 5-star reviews on Amazon, that Amazon actually views this less positively than if you have many 5-star reviews, but some 3- and 4-stars as well. They are more likely to promote your book if they view your reviews as “real”–from readers rather than friends. This is a good thing to keep in mind when we post reviews. It’s better to be honest in our ratings than to try to be nice just because we know the author personally. We can still be nice while being honest though! I have had a few writers cry at writer’s conferences after my in-person critique and it’s heartbreaking! I don’t want writers crying while reading reviews that we post online either.
Do you review books after you read them?
Have you noticed reviews making a difference for your books?