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BLOOD OUT OF A TURNIP

November 30, 2022

            For those in the know, they think of reviews when I mention that phrase “Blood out of a turnip.”

            I’ve talked about reviews many times here at Fred Central. This morning, as I write this, it hit me that I’ve lately sold nineteen copies of Gods Of The Blue Mountains and got only one four star review. The catch? Amazon now allows reviewers to just make a rating with no narrative.

            In other words, I have no idea what they liked and didn’t like about the book.

FRUSTRATING

            Just think. Nineteen books and one non-narrative review.

            While I’m happy with the rating, it would be nice to have some verbiage.

            Also, nineteen books and only one review?

            Not very much of a return.

            I guess I shouldn’t complain as others have sold hundreds with almost no reviews.

WHY IS IT SO HARD?

            The hard fact is that there are a lot more readers than reviewers. Some people find writing so intimidating yet reading easy. The dread thought of actually writing something may seem like torture or homework.

            I well understand that.

            Some also may be great at reading, but can barely sign their name when it comes to putting sentences together. That’s not a hit at intelligence, but just a fact that some people are not made to write. It’s not in their DNA.

AMAZON

            I’m sure Amazon was thinking the same thing. Many readers have an aversion to writing.

            So, why not make it easier?

            Allow people to just submit a rating and no narrative.

            At least it’s a review despite no explanation.

WHY REVIEWS MATTER

            At least on Amazon, reviews have a great impact on ranking.

            In other words, the more reviews, the higher your book appears on the lists, whether you are using Amazon Ads or not.

            Reviews are the lifeblood of an author, at least on Amazon, let alone anywhere else books are sold.

BLOOD OUT OF A TURNIP

            This concept isn’t new. Getting reviews is about as much of a struggle as general marketing.

            Just getting someone to react at all to your book is a monumental feat. When you know someone who reads it and gives feedback, that’s one thing. When they’re complete strangers, well…don’t expect much.

            You can beg for reviews or even pay for them. Paying is not on my radar because I don’t believe they’re honest or that I should have to pay.

            Sending someone a copy of a book to review is one thing. Even then, half the time this person never does a review anyway. I know that from hard experience.

SUMMARY

            What can we do?

            The only apparent way to get more reviews is to sell way more books per review. The numbers will eventually be there, but still may not do much to boost your book. In that case, the sales ranking alone will get you up there, but will be hampered by few reviews.

            It’s a frustrating deal.

            Still, I’ve no plans on giving up.

            Happy writing!

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