Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
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.
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.