WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Where should you post your book reviews? Amazon.com, of course!

Yesterday Road Amazon

Self-published authors are unbelievably grateful for reviews. Trust me. I am one, and my cup runneth over with gratitude every time I discover a new review of Yesterday Road. That someone takes the time to buy and read the book is one thing — and a very nice thing at that — but taking the time to prepare a review and then posting it, often at multiple outlets, is spectacular.

But may I humbly suggest to folks who are so inclined (and not just for me but for any self-published author they might want to help in this way) that the single most important outlet for their reviews is Amazon.com.

Duh, right?

It probably goes without saying, yet… Over the past month or so I’ve learned of reviews that have popped up on blogs or Facebook or Goodreads but the reviewer, for whatever reason, didn’t make the hoped-for leap to Amazon. Where it would really really help. Yesterday Road currently has thirteen reviews, all of them positive. Compiling a strong consensus among a lot of people is probably going to be the book’s only real shot at a larger audience.

(And, by the way, I think it’s safe to say we’re generally talking about the U.S. Amazon.com when the author is American or Canadian. If the author is British, maybe Amazon.com.uk is more appropriate. Or .au for Australian/New Zealand, etc. It never hurts to post at more than one!)

No other review site has the clout of Amazon. No other retailer attracts readers in the same numbers, and no sales lists are as meaningful in terms of a book’s popularity. Writers know it. Readers know it. That means when an author provides a review copy of a book as a promotional tactic, she* is anticipating an Amazon review. And when a reviewer neglects to post the review there, a huge marketing opportunity is lost.

Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Sony, Kobo, iTunes, Goodreads, etc. etc. — all well and good. All useful places for self-published books to be listed. Blogs too, with their niches and loyal readers. But if you really want to help an author build a reputation and move some books, post your review on Amazon and make her day.

—–
*Generic self-published author. Not necessarily me.

20 comments on “Where should you post your book reviews? Amazon.com, of course!

  1. Charles Yallowitz
    December 16, 2013

    I’ve noticed that too. I’ve heard some people speak of Amazon reviews as if they’re not to be trusted. Other people refuse to ‘feed the beast’ and participate on Amazon’s site. Weird mentalities.

    • Kevin Brennan
      December 16, 2013

      Odd, because self-publishers don’t really have access to “trusted” reviewers. And given that fact, I don’t know what distinguishes Amazon reviews from Goodreads, B&N, iTunes, or any other site.

      As far as feeding the beast goes, there seem to be plenty of beasts to go around. It’s just a fact of life that Amazon is the Mecca of book reviewing…for now.

      • Charles Yallowitz
        December 16, 2013

        I think it’s about reputation. Amazon as a corporation is seen as a bully or an all-consuming force. For some it’s the ‘I get to be cool by not dealing with the man’ mentality. There are several authors who refuse to even put their books on Amazon because it’s ‘too corporate’. The other sites are rather small and lack that type of reputation.

  2. J. S. Collyer
    December 16, 2013

    You’ve had 13 reviews so far, that’s amazing! I’m writing mine tonight and don’t worry i make a point of post in on Goodreads and both Amazons as well as my blogule 🙂

    Seriously Kevin that’s amazing! It hasn’t even been out all that long!

    • Kevin Brennan
      December 16, 2013

      It is amazing! I just hope to get to a level where the numbers catch someone’s eye as they’re searching…

  3. sknicholls
    December 16, 2013

    I get what Charles is saying. I have had people agree to post to Goodreads (which is less influential than probably any place these days) but refuse to post on Amazon simply because they regard it as a, “Giant Corporate Machine.” If they only knew the truth. Amazon, with KDP and CreateSpace, has done more for the little guy than any company out there.

    • Kevin Brennan
      December 16, 2013

      That’s a great point. There aren’t many ways to (efficiently) get our work out there, and Amazon provides, by far, the easiest and most effective approach. But, hey, it’s not as if the traditional publishers aren’t giant corporations! They are, or at least they’re part of giant corporations, so it’s an illusion that you can somehow avoid that scene.

      • sknicholls
        December 16, 2013

        It is funny to me, the rappers and hip hop artists that denounce capitalism and corporate America all want to make money…and once they do…well, they start singing other tunes.

        Short of going to the library, how else are you supposed to get a good book at a decent price?

  4. John W. Howell
    December 16, 2013

    As soon as I finish up it goes.

    • Kevin Brennan
      December 16, 2013

      No pressure, John! Just get ‘er done before Christmas. 😆

      • John W. Howell
        December 17, 2013

        Not happening. Still doing back and forth edits. No cover yet. Maybe spring.

      • Kevin Brennan
        December 17, 2013

        J-Man, you know I was kidding, right?!

      • John W. Howell
        December 17, 2013

        of course

  5. Phillip McCollum
    December 17, 2013

    Ok Kevin, with my IT recertification out of the way and 150 pages left in my current read, I’m on to your book next. Been sitting on it way too long!

    • Kevin Brennan
      December 17, 2013

      No obligations, Phillip! I just hope you enjoy it!

  6. ericjbaker
    December 17, 2013

    Interesting post and comments. Whether one views Amazon as an evil corporate monolith or not, the reviews are not for Amazon but for the writer. Hating Amazon wont’ make it go away, and avioding large corporations essentially requires living as a fur trapper in the Yukon.

    • Kevin Brennan
      December 17, 2013

      And I just read White Fang… Fur trapping sounds like a great alternative, though you probably wind up selling your furs to Wal-Mart.

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