The Reader/Reviewer has the Power

by Pepper on November 10, 2011

Ever since Macy’s Awakening hit the Amazon erotica best seller list three weeks ago, I’ve been watching the ranking carefully, trying to understand what makes it dip and rise.  I’ve come to the conclusion that customer reviews are a critical factor influencing book sales.

For the first two weeks, I had two five-star reviews posted and sales were brisk. And then the unthinkable: a two-star review. TWO STARS! I read the reviews of other books this person had posted. She seems to fairly consistently give very low ratings to popular books. One wonders….but never mind. Each person is entitled to an opinion, right?  Except that my ranking began to drop, further and further each day, until it almost slid off the best seller list.

Coincidence? Maybe.

But then today a new review was posted by a happy reader — another five-star review — and suddenly sales have picked up again and Macy is zooming skyward in the ranks once more.  If it’s true that customer reviews can really have this much influence, I can certainly see why some authors have friends and family post five-star reviews for them. I would never do that. But I would ask my readers to please post an honest review on Amazon after they’ve read my book — especially if you loved it!

~ Pepper
“Let’s read something spicy!” 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Alyx Niks November 14, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Hi Pepper,

I’ve long suspected that the star ratings have a lot of pull within Amazon’s ranking algorithm since I experienced the same thing you did.

I once had a one-star review added to a smattering of five and four star reviews and I noticed the stopping power it had on my rankings and sales. It took awhile to get back on track.

The person was also a one and two star serial reviewer. He only had one book he liked out of all his reviews. All books where in the same genre (non-fiction, not erotica) but definitely made me wonder about his motives.

I can take a bad review as long as it’s an honest review and not part of marketing tactic. 🙂

Anyway, great post. Thanks for sharing.


Pepper November 16, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Hi Alyx – Thanks for confirming my suspicions and commiserating with me a little. There is so much to learn! Best of luck to you.

– Pepper


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