Self-publishing journey #6

Reviews provide a look into the reader’s mind

Whenever a superb review gets posted to a distribution site where a book of mine is available, after the cartwheels and shouts of glee, I take a couple of immediate actions. First, I thank the reviewer and post that ‘thank you’ on my author Facebook page. Within my photo archives (thanks to my photographer husband), I search out an appropriate photo to include. Next, I post that review on my own website on the Books page under the corresponding book.

All reviews are desirable, Amazon reviews have special clout

For my purposes, I’ve found that having two distribution points works well (More on that in a coming post). Currently, I use Smashwords and Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Here is where things get complicated. When reviewers leave a review on Smashwords, they have an opportunity to rate the book on the Smashwords site with a star-rating system, similar to Amazon. Because Smashwords distributes to a variety of retailers, readers may alternately go directly to the retailer and post there. These can include Barnes & Noble Nook Books, or iTunes or other Apple device outlets, or Kobo, along with Amazon. To complicate matters, reviewers may elect to leave a review at Goodreads.

Amazon posts Amazon reviews only

Highly rated Amazon reviews in volume really help boost an author’s standing. But Amazon only publishes reviews from Amazon customers in good standing. As far as I can discern, the book does not have to be purchased from Amazon. Rather, the review needs to come from someone with an Amazon account who is approved to provide reviews at Amazon. When someone has been kind enough to buy the book, asking them to leave two reviews, one at a different retailer and one at Amazon, seems an imposition. So, I express my gratitude to all who review my books no matter where that review is posted. And if you want to drop in a review at Amazon, that would be doubly appreciated.

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