I'm a true Indie. I don't chase reviews. I've sold a lot of books, and my highest number of reviews on a single book is 33 and that book has been out since May 2014. My highest selling book after 4 months has only 30 reviews and I've sold for a little Indie a shit load of that book. I got a tad bummed about the slow review thing in the beginning until I looked at a few author pages. Lets start with my favorite historical gal Christi Caldwell. Now she sells a boat load of books. She rules my historical romance space. I would love to sell in a year what that author sells in RELEASE WEEK. The number of reviews on her books~and she is loved by her readers~ averages between 20-90 reviews. To really bring home the point. Look at EL James. She's sold hundreds of millions of books, and on her amazon page for 50 shades she has 28817 reviews. That's only a fraction of a percent. Getting a review is rare. It doesn't mean the work isn't good. It doesn't mean the work won't sell. It's just how readers are.
Run, do not walk from authors who obsess about reviews. 3 things will happen. You'll find that they do unethical things to get reviews, that they whine incessantly about their reviews, and your focus will get sucked out of you listening to their constant complaints about their reviews. There is someone I know so hyper-focused on reviews that she writes her own reviews and posts them. It so obvious. The reviews are so similarly worded and when you check the reviewer they joined Amazon or Goodreads like within the last month and they've only reviewed her books. DON'T do that! First, it is obvious. Second, it will keep the Indies you want to know away from you. Third, it puts a taint on all of us when you behave badly in market.
Also, there is no such things as a bad review. Even a bad review is winning. You've stirred enough reaction to get a reader to write about your book. An Amazing thing! And in the real world the people who don't like you are more likely to review than the people who love you. My highest selling book has the lowest rating. Proof of that truism. And if you doubt this look at EL James. She has as many negative reviews almost as positive reviews. Hasn't hurt her selling, now has it?
I know someone who freaks out over every bad review...."she called my character whiny. She called my character whiny".... Shut up already. You got a review. Be happy! Stop sending people out there to post comments back at the reviewer. Those are her readers. Treat them with respect. Build relationships with your readers. That's what you need to do to grow as an Indie.
I got a 2 star review on half shell last week. It was thought out. They took time, So I wrote her a thank you note. I thank anyone(not abusive though) good or bad who reviews my books on Goodreads. You can do it privately with an email there, which I think is the way to do it. It's an amazing thing to get a review. So I thanked my 2 STAR. We emailed all last week. Here is how it went.
My Email:I liked your review even though the rating...probably not what an author wants, but you reviewed it honestly from your perspective and you got from this read as I intended a reader to see the story. So thank you. It's a nice thing to let an author know. This is not an easy journey. I admit that! But thank you for reading. The Katy Perry song thing made me smile.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for reviewing. Sorry I made you want to slap them, hopefully not me, but you did keep reading. So thank you.
Her Response: Hi!
I'm actually on cloud nine here, amazed at the fact that you took time to read my review !!
I appreciate the effort and actually envy the talent and gift you authors have that allows us readers to live and enjoy for a moment your characters lifes.
I have so many book boyfriends my husband is beginning to get worry.
I know my rating sucks! I wish I could have give it a higher star, it's really hard to put a rating in a book such as yours, since I liked the story plot, the setting, the conflict, but I had issues with Alan and Chrissie.
I know book #2 and # 3 are coming out... and don't worry I'll be checking out if Chrissie finally grows a spine and Alan becomes an actual human being so that he can make my BBF list....
Thank You and please keep on writting !!! :)
There is a lesson in this. There is no such thing as a bad review. She bought my book. She spent time reading my book. She finished reading my book. My book caused enough reaction in her to write a review. Winning. Build relationships with your readers. She spent last weekend reading a different book by me. I can't wait to hear what she thinks of that.
So tip number #3 to New Authors: Don't obsess about reviews, there are no bad reviews, and RUN, DO NOT WALK, from those obsessed with reviews. They will almost always start behaving badly in market because the truth is reviews are a rare event.
I wish you Peace.