Like many self-published writers, I’ve been unhappy/dismayed/puzzled at Amazon’s removal of ratings and stars from Also Boughts’ listings, but I might be having a change of heart–I was just looking at the Also Boughts for my most recent novel, One Right Thing, and realized something very refreshing: every title looked as interesting as any other.
I don’t know what the current trend of thinking on this is, but I might be coming around to the idea if it was meant to encourage something like this:
- Reader likes Author, looks for book
- Reader buys book based on name recognition, reviews, and stars
- Reader needs more books, goes to Also Boughts
- Not swayed by quantified info, she picks the book that simply looks most interesting, or an author she’s heard about through some other source
- She goes to that book’s page and makes a decision to buy THERE based on the blurb, reviews, and rating, instead of a snap “I only buy 40 review/5 star books.”
This occurred to me mostly because ORT, while doing well with 12 reviews, doesn’t stand a chance–quantitatively speaking–against some of the Also Boughts on its page that have 50+ reviews. This may level the playing field on that all-important first click, and reward writers who get out there with social media, blogging, and personal contact to reach readers that are looking for a good read down the road.
And the hard work many of us put into soliciting reviews isn’t entirely wasted. A reader will now make their decision probably where it should be: on the book’s actual page, and not in a nano-second glance that doesn’t give the book a chance to tell its story.
Of course, there’s the added benefit of dealing a crushing blow to writers who use sock puppets and shills to pump up their book’s review profile like a bicycle tire. That’s a bonus we can all live with.
(the Subject was not meant to be a Dr. Seuss rhyme, BTW)