All writers know this, but I think most readers don't quite understand it.
In the world of Amazon, reviews are the Kingmaker. I've taken to saying in the store, "A good review is worth 100 sales."
People will come into my store and tell me they enjoyed one of my books and I all but beg them to say it on Amazon. "No big deal. Just give me some stars and a one line comment, and that's enough."
And they promise to do so and walk out the door and instantly forget.
I understand it. I'd probably do the same thing. But it is a little frustrating.
(By the way, I probably should say, "good" reviews are the Kingmaker, but there is no guarantee of those.)
I know I shouldn't take my validation from reviews, but the good reviews have been oddly sustaining. Enough strangers have liked my books to make me think I'm not completely deluding myself. (I think deluding ourselves is a prerequisite for trying to be a writer. It's what keeps us going until we learn our craft, if ever.)
The three bad reviews I've gotten so far all seemed to come from people who apparently expected a different kind of book than what they got -- which seems unfair to blame the author, but that too is human nature. Fortunately, there are 127 good reviews to counteract them.
If I was getting lots of bad reviews, I'd probably just quit reading them and keep writing.
I've stopped asking people to buy my books or review them. The two exceptions is when they buy the book at the store, I say, "If you like it, go online and give me a review," or when they volunteer the information they liked my book.
It doesn't seem to make much difference what I do about my own books. So I will plead the case for all writers: if you really liked a book, do the author a favor and give him some nice feedback.
I'm Duncan McGeary, owner and/or operator for the last 33 years of Pegasus Books in Downtown Bend, Oregon. These days I'm writing books as well as selling them.
I'm the comic book guy. But even more so, I'm a book book guy. Books of all kinds. Big books and little books, children's and adult, fiction and non-fiction, hardback and paperback and trade paperback and graphic novels. Books with more words than pictures and books with more pictures than words. They are all part of the book world to me, and I love being surrounded by them every day.
I also have a second blog: Pegasus Books, where I list the product coming in over the next week.