Monday, June 30, 2014

The Popularity of Book Reviews

Before I became a writer, when I only read books, I never EVER left a review. It never even occurred to me to do such a thing. Now it seems like every author wants their book reviewed (which I can understand—I’d like that, too, but I’m certainly not going to beg for them). I can’t tell if this reviewing craze is a new thing or if I’m just learning about it because I have a book out now.

Kind of the same issue I had with Bruce Springsteen. I moved to NJ (close to his hometown) when “Born in the U.S.A.” was released. I had never heard of him before, so I figured he was popular there because he was local and it took me awhile to realize he had become popular everywhere.

So… what do you think? Has reviewing books (either on Amazon, B&N, or Goodreads) always been an issue (and I’m just noticing it because I’m an author) or is it a new thing because of the glut of self-publishing? This curious mind wants to know!

By the way, on Saturday I noticed a copy of My Sunny Vampire sold on Amazon (I follow the sales on So of course I mentioned it on Facebook (I was happy!). On Sunday I went to see that #1 again (yeah, I'm a sap) and found it had become a 2. I sold another! Made for a super weekend.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, before the first sale, the ranking of MSV (on Amazon) was over the 1 million mark. That first sale brought it up to around 300,000 and that second sale around 130,000. Doesn’t take much, does it?

Have a great last day of June!




JeffO said...

Please don't take this as rain on your parade, because it's not meant that way at all. The fact is, I don't know that anyone understands Amazon's ranking system, and this illustrates why getting super excited (or super down) about the sales ranking is a waste of energy.

That said, congratulations on your sales, and I'm sure there are many more to come. Regarding the reviews, I suggest it's really due to the internet and the way things are set up. Before, pretty much the only reviews you got to see were those in magazines or newspapers, or the self-selected blurbs the publishers wanted you to see. Everyone was always a critic; now, everyone has a venue to be one.

Keep those sales rolling!

Stacy McKitrick said...

Jeff - I don't take the ranking thing personally. I was only trying to show what a sale does to the ranking (and how wildly crazy it really is!). And if I ever get around to actually ADVERTISING, I might sell some more books! :)

As for reviews, the Internet has been around a lot longer than I've been writing. Heck I didn't even know what a blog was until 5 years ago. So were reviews popular and talked about a lot then (and I was living in a cave) or is it the new wave of self-publishing that has made them that way?

Maria Zannini said...

I don't always write reviews for products and books, but I read them faithfully.

If I'm on the fence about a book, a review can make or break a sale for me.

Re: rankings
I don't understand them and I've stopped trying to figure them out. All I care is that my name is on the paycheck. :)

Stacy McKitrick said...

Maria - See... I don't usually READ the reviews for books. At least, not beforehand. For authors I follow, I blindly read the next one. For new authors, I let the cover, blurb, and first few pages (or a friend, if they've raved about it) sell me on a book. I'll read the reviews after, just to see if I'm with the majority or not (not that it really matters).

I do, however, read reviews of products before purchasing, but never, ever thought of posting a review. Heck, after owning a product for a bit, I couldn't even tell you what model number it was anymore (it's not like I keep the boxes and stuff). Kind of hard to post a review then, huh?

Sandra Cox said...

Woo hoo! Congrats on the sales. May they continue to roll in.
I don't understand Amazons ratings as far as what sales equates. Wish I did. sigh.
I think while reviews have always been coveted there's more of a push for them now. But I agree, the positive ones that are unsought are twice as sweet.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Sandra - Yeah, asking for reviews, in my opinion, is like asking for birthday presents. I mean, I like them, but I want the person gifting me doing it because they want to. :)

The Happy Whisk said...

Back when I read fiction all the flippin' time, never once did I read a review. Don't care for them, as a a reader.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Ivy - Me, too! Heck, I never even thought about hooking up with other readers. Maybe I WAS living in a cave! Haha! :)