Writers obsess over reviews. Their book comes out and they want to see people say amazing things about their work. Look, I get it. We all want to have great praise from someone. There is not a better feeling! Add in the fact that your editors can now add some of those great quotes in the front of your book talking about how amazing you are. Hey, if you are ever having a bad day, just go back and read those great quotes. But let's talk a bit of reality here.
For so many readers out there, those reviews do not matter. Heck, most readers never even see those reviews.
I want to start first with those AMAZON reviews and stars. As an agent, I could care less about those stars. We know that many writers out there have what are known as a "Street Team." These are friends and people who are there to flood the reviews with great things about the author's book. Are these people biased? Of course they are. So, when we see reviews like this, we often discount those.
Now, what about all of those book reviewers out there. Unless you are a follower of those book reviewers you won't even see the comments. Take Romantic Times. When this was coming out, it was the writers, editors and agents who subscribed to it. The everyday reader spent their money on the books, not a list of reviews. Yes, places like Good Reads really tries to promote this, but most of your sales are not going to come from people who follow that. Your average reader just does not see it.
If we want to talk about the major lists such as the New York Times or USA Today, these are lists based on sales and not those of people who like or don't like the book. So, scratch that one off the list. Yes, having the ability to say you were on one or both of the lists is great, but it does not make someone buy your book more or less.
I am betting, that even those cover quotes and the reviews listed in the front of your book are often overlooked by the readers. By the way, have you ever noticed that those reviews were for other books the author wrote and not that one? Makes you think, huh?
Now, do I think you should avoid getting reviews? No way! Any thing you can do to pick up at least one more reader is great promotion. Just remember, in the end, it is the quality of the book that sells and not the review of someone who already liked you.