Friday, July 31, 2009

Do Reviews Sell a Book?

Got a really nice review the other day for Lone Star Lycan (book two in the High Plains Shifters series) and it made me feel really good. It was a nice little ego boost especially when the book is a new release and you're wondering how everyone likes it. Call it insecurity, ego...hell, I don't know but we are curious people, us writers.

Anyway, I wonder why we worry so much about reviews. I've had one really bad review for a book that came out last year and it just about KILLED ME. It felt like a slap in the face. Naturally, all my friends were quick to assure me this is ONE PERSON'S OPINION and the smart part of my brain knew they were right about that. Others gave the book a great review. Still, it hurts. Fortunately my other reviews have been awesome. Nothing at all to complain about.

Reviews are a nice little pat on the back (assuming they are GOOD) and the book is featured on the review site which is great publicity that doesn't cost the author a dime. Who could complain about that? Still, I can't help wondering if anyone buys a book simply because of a good review? I never have. Normally, I buy the books of fellow authors whose work I know very well or tried and true authors who seldom disappoint. I go to publishers websites and check out the covers and blurbs. Sometimes I'll read an excerpt of the book on that site. Pretty much, that's how I make my book selections.

What about ya'll? Do reviews sway your buying choices?

Here's my most recent review of Love Star Lycan from Just Erotic Romance Reviews. Thanks LT Blue for reading and reviewing and giving me four stars!

Quinn Harlow suffered a horrible childhood under the cruelties of Decker Harlow, never knowing he wasn’t her biological father. Now in her early thirties, Quinn is traveling to the Wolf Creek Ranch on the day of her father, Bartholomew Fitzpatrick’s funeral and plans to stay just to get some answers. However, she is extremely disappointed that she didn’t have a chance to meet him. Joe McKinnon, ranch foreman of Wolf Creek and new Alpha, has been waiting for Quinn it seems all of his life. Quinn isn’t quite sure what has gotten into her, but making out with a man she just met at her father’s graveside isn’t something that she typically does. Joe is determined to show Quinn a side of herself that she would have never thought possible and to convince her to stay with him forever.

I tend to crave any story that has an Alpha Lycan male and I’m sure glad I picked up Lone Star Lycan to satisfy my craving. Joe’s character is so sexy and Alpha that he could just stand in a room and I would melt. I was a bit worried at first that Quinn wasn’t the woman for him, but Quinn changed my mind. Quinn’s character comes across a little stuck up in the beginning but I discovered it was a protective measure for her. The story line kept my attention throughout the story with some intrigue and action thrown in. The sexual chemistry was instantaneous in the beginning and sort of wears off. It doesn’t pick back up for Joe and Quinn until almost the end of the story. The first time Joe and Quinn have sex, it is downright raunchy which is just the way I like it. The other sexual interaction was just as hot and spicy with a bit of anal play thrown in. The secondary characters are all needed to move the story along. Lone Star Lycan is the perfect read for any season.

More stuff

Speaking of good friend, Fran Lee, is getting amazing reviews for her debut Ellora's Cave release Out of Her Dreams and today she has another good one out. Head over to EC today and check it out! I promise you won't be sorry. Fran rocks the HOUSE!

Buy it HERE!


Hallie James loves cats—she just never realized she was one herself. Not until she met delicious leopard shifters Gar and Cal, one sinfully dark, one beautifully golden.

A terrifying meeting with a runaway pit bull lands her on her butt on the sidewalk. But when the dog’s owners appear out of nowhere, asking if she’s all right, Hallie has the most shocking reaction to their mouthwatering…scent!

Cat pheromones are powerful, and Gar and Cal’s attraction to the human is as instant as hers is to them. Hallie finds herself caught between two cats—hot and hard Gar, and his hot and delicious little brother Cal. When a gal is confronted with such a succulent choice, why not enjoy the fact that cats aren’t monogamous?


Kelley Nyrae said...

I'm not sure if reviews help sell a book or not but I'm like you, I crave knowing what people think. I've gotten a good review lately too and it rocks BUT even better is hearing from a reader! It's an amazing feeling.

Fran Lee Romance said...

Yep, girl...I was swayed by a reader review when going into buy a book from EC. The cover was great...the blurb sounded delicious, but then there was this little reader rating of 3. I did pass that book up, but intended to go back and buy later. can hamper or help!

And thanks sooo much for the sweet promo!

Authors Promoting Authors said...

I think reviews help, both for the publicity and to get readers to buy the book.
I have discovered many new authors and books due to reviews and have bought several, directly from book reviews.

Regina Carlysle said...

Do you think we are INSECURE, Kell??? LOL. Aw, just an eensy bit maybe! Like you, reader notes just DO IT for me. I love it so much to know someone liked the book enough to make a personal comment and inquire about other work. Feels so damn good.

Regina Carlysle said...

You're very welcome, Fran. Hope you sell a gazillion.

Regina Carlysle said...

Thanks for commenting about that. I have just never read whether readers actually pay attention to the reviews or not. Glad to know that extra promo is out there in cyber-world.

Ava Rose Johnson said...

I do think reviews can crank up sales, especially if they appear on a respected review site. Having said that, I've never bought a book based on the review. My book-buying process consists of trawling epub websites for new releases and checking the blurb and excerpt. If it hooks me, I buy it! And sometimes if I'm in the mood for a particular genre, I'll search through the epub selection until I find something. That's just me :)

Great blog by the way!

julia barrett said...

I haven't made up my mind about reviews. Yeah, as authors we like them, but from my perspective, they do nothing for sales. Good, bad or ugly....:)

Regina Carlysle said...

I have to say that I DO look at covers, author names and titles on these review sites. I might no buy based on a good review but these sites do help with name recognition for and author/book

Paris said...

Reviews are great but most of the time my cover slut takes over and then she reads the blurb and excerpt and decides;-)

Regina Carlysle said...

Know exactly what you mean. I think there are a LOT of us cover sluts running around.

Mary Ricksen said...

I don't pay a bit of attention to reviews when I buy a book.
I have read books with lousy reviews. Maybe the reviewer doesn't care for that genre, or has a bad day,
I know it can happen.
There are even readers, (if they are), who go around saying how rotten a book is. I read a really bad review and I clicked an icon that said see other reviews by this person. She trashed everyone, so that happens too.

Tatiana March said...

Reviews help to make people aware of the book. A bad review will not necessarily put me off from buying a book, as I know it is only one person's opinion, but a good review will definitely get me interested, particularly if the author is new to me.
As a writer, reviews are a fantastic way to get feedback, and the bad ones are as important to me as the good ones.

Anny Cook said...

I've never bought a book based on a review. I find that my tastes are radically different from almost all reviewers.