It’s frustrating not getting as many book reviews as you’d like. It’s probably the most vexing problem faced by writers. I don’t know what percentage of readers actually post reviews, but I’d hope a minimum of 20% of those reading my novels would take the ten minutes to post a rating and review on Amazon or Goodreads. Reviews for my three novels are running well below this percentage.
Here are my thoughts on why so few reviews. I’d be interested in your views.
1. Readers didn’t find the book compelling and prefer not to say anything. I’m hoping that’s not the case, and given that more than 90% of my reviews are 4 and 5 star, I have no reason to expect this is the reason.
2. It’s a chicken and egg phenomenon. That is, you don’t get more reviews until you get more reviews. It seems people are less inclined to review a book with few reviews.
3. Readers don’t think their opinion matters. I’ve talked with friends and family who haven’t posted reviews for my books that they’ve read, and they’ve told me, “You know I liked it. What more could I tell you in a review?” Or they say, “Sure. I’ll review it,” but they never do. They don’t realize the impact to potential buyers their reviews could have.
4. People have downloaded my novels, but haven’t read them. Hundreds of ebook copies were downloaded when I ran a one-day special on my first novel. It’s possible these are sitting on Kindles and e-readers in a long queue of titles. My ebooks normally sell for $2.99, so I would think anyone spending three bucks would take the time to read it—but maybe not.
I don’t spend a lot of time soliciting reviews. I will occasionally exchange reviews with other new Indie authors, but I don’t have time to do very many. I’ll also gift a Kindle copy of my books in exchange for an honest review, but these also are few and far between.
I guess the net of this is it takes success to breed more success. In the meantime, I’ll continue to focus on writing.