Ask any author and they will each tell you that reviews are what keep the muse pumping and the readers reading.
Without them, we slip into oblivion or rather the deep chasm that exists in what we call the jungle of Amazon. Here, a multitude of titles sit waiting and hoping to be discovered by new readers, by shouting, pick me, pick me. Unfortunately, low reviews do sway buying habits, however, I will say that they don't entirely determine the popularity of a book. Low reviewed books on Amazon can and have hundreds of reviews in other places like Goodreads and through personal messaging.
Let us move away from that for a moment as Amazon and its behaviour is another beast altogether and needs its own stage. What is cause for focus today, is the reviews that never make it to the public space, the ones that happen behind the scenes. In other words, the kind words that readers send via e-mail, messenger, or in any other social app they follow the author with.
ALL reviews are IMPORTANT and DETRIMENTAL, even those that are invisible on popular platforms.
Even the reviews, love, feedback that is, privileged for the author's eyes only, are vital and it is critical to share to encourage new readers. But how do we do that? It is simple, use the tools that are provided to you. There is no reason for that e-mail or that message not be shared and there is nothing unethical about asking if you can quote them and share their love, as long as you preserve the privacy of the individual.
It is only yesterday that I was told from a reader,
"Love your book," and "I'd like to meet Xen one day in real life."
also from another reader,
"You should be proud, this is a really good book."
"Love you your books. Can I purchase a signed copy directly from you."
I have had several people connect asking for signed copies and I always keep a few for that purpose. All these messages can add to our marketing, and can easily become a boosted post with a picture or tagline for Facebook, Instagram, or a Twitter post. Words are an author's weapon and positive reactions to storytelling are the fuel to an author's fire, so makes variable sense to promote them and share them with your reader groups, and through your social presence.
Authors often despair when they look at the low reviews on Amazon and feel lost, and to this, I say to those authors, use some of the positive messages you receive as part of your arsenal, or as tools to bring in more readers. Don't just ignore them. If you know people are reading and buying your books, and might not be sharing the love publicly, and there could be several reasons why they have not been able to do so, such as being time-poor, and in most cases this is the single reason why they might not share a review but still feel the desire to let authors know that they did love the book. It is an honour to receive praise for our work and when we do we should not let it slide without shouting it out.
Building ads in BookBrush is a fun way of using some of those reviews to boost your post and don't forget to use any review from Goodreads. Just because they are not all on 'the Zon', doesn't mean that readers are not enjoying your stories. Take advantage and use those reviews to strengthen your marketing strategies.
As author's our reviews are our life blood and we need to bring the invisible feedback to light, and don't forget to share some of that love with your newsletter subscribers. Remember they have signed up to hear not only your new book news and release but also your news.