I once read somewhere that reviews are currently what sales books. Yet, reviews are always subjective, what one person likes another person may hate and vice versa. So why are reviews important and how should you treat them?
1) Reviews indicate how popular a book is. If I have just enough money to purchase one novel and I’m not looking for something in particular, quite often the number of reviews on Amazon tell me whether something is worth looking at. Even if that novel has something like 4 stars, if 100 people have read it, apparently there was something in it that people liked. I will more often than not read it. Case in point, Hunger Games. The novel sounded silly to me, but since all those people had read it, I figured there must be something intriguing about it.
2) Reviews can speak to what you like/don’t like. There are some books that get 4 stars for reasons that would totally make me buy a novel or 5 stars that would make me put a novel down. Oftentimes, when I am looking for a book, I will go for the poorest reviews and make sure its not something that states “the quality was poor on my kindle” or “I didn’t know it was a Christian novel.”
3) Reviews can show you what is out there. On my blog, I have intentionally categorized the book by their topics: historical, suspense, YA, etc. because sometimes the mood hits and you just want a historical and one that is good. It helps to have a reviewer who has read a number of them and you can sift through them to find the review that is attractive to you.
4) Treat reviews with a grain of salt. I read three reviewers regularly. One of them has taste like mine, if she recommends a book, I know it’s good. Another of them doesn’t have taste like mine, yet she reads enough books that I value her opinion when it is given. Another reviewer I read, gives pretty generic reviews, but again she reads so many books out there that it is helpful to me to see what is popular.
5) Treat them as introductions. Keep an open mind. I know my goal as a reviewer is to introduce readers to familiar authors and authors that people may not come into contact with at the bookstore. There is a lot of self-publishing out there. Some of it is GOOD. My goal is to find the GOOD and the GREAT.
Anyone else have any reasons as to the importance of reviews?