I found this article about Amazon reviews and their influence on the bookbuying public on the Book 2 Book booktrade bulletin recently. And I was intrigued because the way in which Testament is represented on Amazon is not something I’ve given a lot of thought to. Stupidly, as it turns out.
I’ve been fortunate – the few Amazon reviews that Testament has received have been kind and complimentary but the article makes the point that it only takes a few sharp-tongued critics to ruin your star-average and have an impact on sales.
To which the answer is…get people to write lots of nice reviews.
Has anybody reading this blog solicited reviews? Is it becoming an acceptable thing to do, a simple marketing tool? Or is it a bit naff, a bit desperate?
Though one of Testament’s Amazon reviews was written by somebody I know, it was done entirely gratuitously rather than at my request, though I was no less grateful for that. Probably more grateful indeed; there’s nothing like a free gift, after all.
But, to look at the question from the other end, how many of us actually read Amazon reviews before we buy books? I tend only to buy books on Amazon if I already know about them and have failed to buy them in a real live bookshop or can’t afford to do so. But, I’m assuming that Amazon wouldn’t bother with the whole ‘people who buy this book also bought’ thing if people didn’t impulse buy or browse.
And if we don’t read reviews on Amazon, where do we get book recommendations? I’m often swayed by reviews from other bloggers but most of my book buying is done in store and after a good long time happily browsing shelves. How about you?