For quite some time I sought out my Amazon and Goodreads reviews on a daily basis, then after a period of quiet I forgot to drop by and see what others thought of my books. The need to seek out the positive disappeared. But for some folk it is a drug, they need 5* reviews in their 100’s. They obsess with being a failure with 3* reviews, die over 1* and talk algorithm as if it is life blood. I don’t have the time nor the brain power to take it all in, I write when I can and that is all I can offer my reader. If they like it, joy, if they don’t, it is their right.
Recently I dropped by to work on my author pages and found a mix of reactions to my various books, and I enjoyed a light-bulb moment. If a reader does not like my work, it is their right to do so and being offered an outlet to express that opinion is embraced by many (trolls aside), and assists in book sales. Interestingly, I sell more since my 5* reviews were accompanied by 2, 3 & 4. Readers now believe my family and friends have stopped adding 5* to bump me up the rankings. The strange thing is, my family have not left reviews because it would be too obvious, and many of the 5* reviews are from strangers, but that is not what I am leading up to in this post.
I got to thinking about time before the Internet, of how I used to share my insights to a good book, and it was literally via word of mouth. I told my six friends face to face. We never used telephones and the word was spread around a local community, person to person.
So how did the authors become well-known? How did they rise the ladder of success without Amazon reviews? I only had a handful of friends to share about my Enid Blyton adventures, how exciting Nancy Drew was in book six, and of how romantic Jayne Ayre was, of how Jo in Little Women could be me …
Since relaxing away from the reviews I’ve written more, and relaxed over the almighty Amazon and Internet. It is like a breath of fresh air.
How did those authors of the past manage the algorithm so many in today’s world of writing, fear will let them down?
If it is stressing you that there are not 100% 5* reviews for your books, don’t worry. Not everyone liked/s Shakespeare but he didn’t stop doing what he loved.