If you are anything like me, you have a TBR pile that if it were ever officially noted down would take several lifetimes to get through.
Or at least one Dr Reid on staff giving you regular updates on all the juicy bits.
But seriously, when it comes to picking your books, whether to read, or simply to plan to read, what is it that you look at?
As writers we are driven by reviews. We seek them out, we see the notification of a new review and our stomaches twist themselves into knots… is it good, do they like it. Yet as a reader, what do reviews tell us?
You have spent hours browsing through your chosen genre and have narrowed it down to three books. One caught your eye because of the catchy cover, one because of the price, it was reduced, and the third one has been on your radar for a while. They all have good reviews. The catchy cover is rated 4.8 (out of 5) from 6 reviews. The reduced price book is 4.0 after 15 reviews but has 45 likes. The one that’s been on your radar is rated at just 3.75, but has 36 reviews. Which book is really the best?
To me, good reviews are one thing, but like judging a book by its cover, they cannot be the sole reason to purchasing it. Personally I would trust a book with more reviews and a lower rating than a book with a near perfect score but only a few reviews. Of course I am talking more in terms of new writers and not writers whose other books you have read and enjoyed because then you already have an opinion formed.
As a writer reviews are the name of the game, because to us, reviews mean sales, and that is true, but if we are to expect our book to get nothing but perfect reviews and five stars, then we are either kidding ourselves or sending our books to people who will review so as not to hurt our feelings rather than with any useful information. How many and I use the terms with a cringe on my face ‘mainstream’ authors are there whose books have a perfect score? I can’t think of one.