The Importance of Amazon Reviews

I'm sure you've heard it before: "Amazon reviews are extremely important to authors." That statement (or some variation) is an oft-repeated mantra. And guess what? It's true.

But do you know why it's true? Verified customer (reader) reviews boost your book ranking, which in turn, affects the algorithm that places your book link on other Amazon pages for potential customers to see. Amazon's infamous algorithm is is a formula that instructs the Amazon website how to populate suggested product lists when customers search for items (and even when they don't--thanks, Amazon).

Amazon wants to make money, and they can make money off your book if it's selling and people like it. Amazon determines how much people like your book by how high and how often they rate (review) it. Hence, reviews lead to promotion, which lead to sales, which lead to more reviews, and so it goes.

Amazon reviews are also required for promotional opportunities. Want to purchase an ad on BookBub or EReader News Today? You can't do it if your book doesn't have enough Amazon reviews. It's a classic Catch-22--how do I sell books if I can't advertise them? Five Amazon reviews is typically the minimum for legitimate advertising sites (although it takes 100 reviews to have a decent chance of getting on BookBub).

According to Cate Baum at The Self-Publishing Review, an author should "Aim to reach 40-60 reviews overall minimum to hit social proof that your book is worth buying, and aim for new ones every month."  This article also states that an Amazon gift sale only counts toward your book rank if it’s redeemed within 24 hours by the recipient. That's something to keep in mind if you're gifting your book to prospective reviewers. If you're interested in more detailed information on how Amazon sales work, I highly recommend Ms. Baum's excellent series of articles linked above.

My Self-serving Plea
So, if you've read one of my books, please click on my Amazon book page and leave a review for each book you've read--it doesn't have to be long or glowing, just a star rating and a few words. To make it easy, I've listed them all below:

Crimson & Cream
Mirrors & Mist
Warlock & Wyrm
The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy: Complete Series Books One - Three



  1. Product Reviewer Wow, cool post. I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real hard work to make a great article... but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though.


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