Just how important are book reviews?
When my first book became available I sat on the edge of my seat waiting for the first book review to appear. For a long time after that I checked the reviews for my book almost everyday. But just how important are book reviews to the people purchasing books? Does the number of stars a book has really make that much of a difference when it comes to whether or not a person will buy a book?
For me as a reader anyway they are not all that important. That's not to say I don't read them sometime before I buy a book, especially if it is by an author I am not familiar with, but the number of five star reviews is not what ultimately makes me purchase a book or pass it on by. Before I sat down to write this, I went onto Amazon and looked for Romance Novels for Kindle and picked two randomly by author I have never read. One had an average star rating of 3 Stars the other 4 Stars. One has been on the NY times best seller list, the other has not. Which one do you think I actually thought about buying? The one with the average 3 Star rating that has never even come close to the NY list. Why? Simple because the blurb from the one with the 4 Stars didn't sound like something I would enjoy.
When I start looking for a new book by an author I don't know, I first look at the Covers and Titles that appear. If one catches my eye, I then check out the blurb. If the book sounds like something I normally enjoy, I then check out the price. Maybe it is just me but I will not pay $12 for an ebook. If after these steps I am still interested in a book I may or may not browse through the reviews depending on how much time I have. After that I will either purchase it right away or add it to my wish list for later. As you can see the actual reviews don't play much of a role for me. Does that mean as an author I can easily brush off 1 and 2 star reviews? No, unfortunately I can not do that which is why I stopped checking my reviews daily. Instead I check every few weeks. But as a reader I believe that reviews are not everything.
What about for you as a reader? How important are reviews to you?