Reviews Matter

Reader Xavier draw our attention to an older but still relevant article explaining why book reviews are crucial to an author's success.
One reason authors may find it such a struggle to get reviews is because readers may not realize how important they actually are.
As authors, we know the answer to this question is complicated. Of course, the obvious, simple response is that reviews are important because they help convince potential readers that this book will be enjoyable and they should buy it. Reviews, even critical ones, are valuable, as they help set reader expectations.
There is much more hinging on reviews than just that, however. Authors know that many advertising and book promotion sites require a certain number of reviews in order to use their service. They want to know that the book is decent quality, and reviews play a major factor in how they determine whether or not a book is accepted for promotion. No reviews on a book? No promotion. No advertising. In this business, if you don’t advertise, you don’t sell any books. See the image below:
10 reviews
That screen capture is from one of the best book promotion sites on the internet. They’re not going to risk their reputation on books that could be awful, and they don’t have the time to read every one that is submitted. Reviews are a convenient way for them to cull books that are poorly rated.
It has been rumored that the number of reviews on Amazon impacts a book’s rankings and visibility, making it easier for readers to find when they search for a book. We have not been able to confirm that. However, we do know that the number of reviews does affect the visibility during a promotion, as Amazon has a Top Rated section for each category. We believe that books on the bestseller’s list that have a lot of good reviews land on this additional classification.
Here's a point I can definitely confirm:
Reviews are also good marketing tools. Quotes from reviews make great ad copy, tweets, and posts on social media.
Another vital benefit of book reviews has since been discovered by best selling indie author Nick Cole. He and his co-author Jason Anspach have found that a book must have 35 Amazon reviews on launch day and 100 reviews within the first week after launch to hit #1 in its category.  He explains more of his best seller-making method on this classic episode of Geek Gab: On the Books.

As an author who knows the importance of reviews, I've made it a guiding principle to write a review of every book I read. Leaving a public review on Amazon may seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Just give your main thoughts on the book in a sentence or two. It's that simple!

I always read and appreciate my readers' reviews. Why not add your own to help others make informed reading decisions?

Leave a review of a Soul Cycle book here.

The Soul Cycle - Brian Niemeier

Already reviewed every installment in the Soul Cycle? Review The Hymn of the Pearl here.

The Hymn of the Pearl - Brian Niemeier

Already reviewed all of my books? Great! But you're not off the hook. Pick a deserving author whose book you've read. Now get out there and review it!



  1. Brian
    Thanks for posting. I figured it would be a helpful confirmation by a published writer give both hope and the path to follow for success.
    My only grumble is that some websites where I buy books don't have a review/comment section. Also I'm not a fan of facebook.
    So the other bookselling sites will need to implement a review


  2. It's a tricky spot for me. Amazon won't allow me to link to my blog, and thus I have to either copy/paste(I don't like giving them my content), or create a new review, where I still cannot link to my blog, and have to mention it awkwardly.

    1. Why not if it's possible to know? That's a little strange some Amazon is all about narketing

    2. Posting reviews on your blog is fine. In fact, you do an outstanding job of it ;)

    3. Alfred:
      Hey I found your site via Russell's blog! I loved your link to that gamer/reader who wants to be socially just. The gems! The iron fisk Correia rules!
      While I'm not a gamer I appreciated your reviews. Your book reviews are also helpful. Your summary of Nick's third Notstarwars book has intrigued me enough to get the trilogy and read closely Kill team. It might give me some ideas for my practice writing :)