I'm sure you've noticed by now that I end each post asking readers to review my book on Amazon. I'm not doing this just so I can fish for compliments. Reviews can help make or break a sale.
Think about it: are you more likely to see a movie that's been reviewed or one that's gotten no notice? Sure, you can find out what it's about by going to the movie's website or by watching the trailer, but this is information that's put out by the studio. It's different when you read a review that's been put out by the masses.
Studies have actually been done to determine the effectiveness of reviews ... and well, they're very effective. I'll fully admit that I'm swayed by reviews. Two of my favorite sites to look at are menupages and tripadvisor, both which encourage people to share their experiences. I tend to look at the restaurants or hotels which have received the highest number of positive reviews. I feel like I'm getting the "real picture" when I hear what people like me had to say.
Reviews can also be helpful to an author. When I was shopping my book to agents and then publishers, I received many positive reviews ... and many critical ones. I found both to be useful. However, these were all opinions from people in the publishing industry who were looking at my book artistically and monetarily. Getting the opinion from someone who just wants to read a good book is a different story.
On Amazon, reviews can also help with rank. I don't quite understand how Amazon or Kindle ranks its books, but "active" pages are ranked higher. As I said before, reviews help prompt sales, which makes your book active ... and well, that moves it up to a spot where it can be seen more and get even more sales.
So whenever you download a book on Kindle -- mine or any other author's -- please take the time to review it. While I'd love to get all 5-star reviews, I'm realistic and know that not everyone is going to like my work. So if you dislike a book -- mine or another author's -- don't just say that you hated it and wanted to throw it out the window. At least take the time to say WHY you disliked it and what we can do to improve our next work.
Once again, please read and review REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD.