Most new Indie authors believe reviews are the make or break of a book and aggressively pursue them. There are numerous articles on the algorithm Amazon uses to determine Best Sellers Rank. While it is generally considered to be reviews that help to get you to the top of the pack, it isn’t, according to what I’ve read. Amazon won’t disclose their algorithm, but will readily agree that good reviews do seem to help drive sales, which IS the major contributory factor in Best Sellers Rank.
I’ve written before on reviews, discussing whether or not 300 five star ratings are really all bogus or not. Having written and posted over 100 reviews myself, I’ve always strived for honesty, striking a balance between what I liked about the book as well as what I didn’t. Most of the books I review are Indie books, although I’ve also read more than my share of best-selling authors in the past year and posted those reviews whether the author needed it or not.
Reviews can run anywhere from a short informal paragraph or an in-depth analysis of the book of more than 500 words detailing not only the description of the plot, but a critical view of how the topic was handled. Point being: Did you agree with the observations or challenge every posture? I’ve developed the following twelve points in the submission of my reviews.
My reviews include:
1 Whether or not the title reflects the topic of the book.
2 Did the cover convey the proper genre; show you what the book is about without your having to read the blurb.
3 Was the setting properly introduced–did you know where it was located geographically or what year it was?
4 Did the opening chapter grab your attention and the plot hold your interest throughout the remainder of the book.
5 Is the dialogue believable, natural, or forced?
6 Are the characters properly fleshed out? Can you identify or connect with them?
7 Did the protagonist and antagonist convey a strong opposing emotion?
8 Are the same scenes repeated, albeit with slightly different wording, until you “heard it all before.”
9 Is the plot unique? Is the book outside your normal genre?
10 Did the story end with a plausible climax, wrapping up the loose ends to a satisfying degree or suddenly end when it appears the author is over-the-top tired of the whole thing.
11 Is it full of typos, edit errors, misused words, missing words, or extra words that should have been deleted out of the final edit?
12 Can you honestly recommend the book? Can the book be recommended outside the reader’s normal genre?
Since I have been receiving review requests, I thought it was time to change the way I post the reviews. Therefore, after the name and author, the format will be changed to reflect a little information about the author, the genre, publisher, and date published, followed by a broad review. The review will be posted on this blog as well as Amazon and Goodreads. This will distinguish reviews from requests as opposed to best-selling author entries. I am open to most genres (no erotica, please), and looking forward to your comments and reception of the new format. First review will be forthcoming shortly. ©2016 Virginia Williams