Why Book Reviews Are Important On Amazon

Guest Post by Jeanette S Cates, PhD

If you've bought a book from Amazon, you've probably had the author ask you to post a review of the book. While you might not think much about the request, the author is focused on getting good reviews.

There are a variety of reasons that book reviews are important on Amazon, but here are the eight most important ones from an author's perspective.

1. A book review helps other readers determine whether or not the book is for them. Nothing is worse that someone who already knows a lot about a topic buying a book, then discovering it's for beginners. Or vice versa.

While authors generally try to explain who the book is for, a good review can reinforce that point more effectively.

2. A well-written review points out the things to look for in the book. Since you often highlight your favorite portions of the book in your review, it makes it easy for other readers to look forward to that section. It also helps highlight the content that is most relevant to readers - and that provides valuable feedback to the author for their next book.

3. One review encourages the next one. Not everyone wants to be the first in line, so you are doing a great service by being the first person to write a book review. Once you've gotten the ball rolling, one review leads to another, with readers often piggy-backing comments, responding to others' comments.

Also note that you don't have to write a review in order to comment on a review. You can join the conversation about a book at any time.

4. The more positive reviews a book receives, the better it ranks. The better it ranks, the more people see it. The more they see it, the more likely they are to buy it. So by posting a positive book review you are helping the book move up the ranks for more exposure.

And a note about the star ranking - anything below 4 stars is considered "not recommended", so it helps to be generous with your stars.

5. The simple act of "liking" a review helps boost that review up the list of reviews. As a result, the book reviews appear in the order of the most helpful first. Therefore, whether or not you write a review, take time to read and rate the reviews already posted.

6. Once a book has 10 reviews, it's eligible to be included in the "also bought" listing, as well as the "you might like" recommendations. These listings, in turn, add to the number of sales the book is likely to receive.

7. After an unspecified number of positive reviews, a book can be included in the "Recommended For You" emails sent to individual Amazon readers. As with every other step of the review process, this adds significantly to the number of sales a book may receive.

8. Many book review sites will not consider a book for review unless they have a number of reviews on the Amazon book page.

With these eight items in mind, you'll understand why book reviews are important and why an Amazon author is asking you to write a review on the books you buy.

Dr. Jeanette Cates is a best-selling Amazon author with multiple titles to her credit. Here latest is Sell Your Book With An Ecourse. Enjoy one of Jeanette's books at

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Jackie Wegr said...

There is some good information here but a couple of bits are ambiguous. This, for instance: "The more positive reviews a book receives, the better it ranks." Reviews do not have a jot to do with Amazon Best Seller ratings. What does Cates mean by 'rank'? Is Cates speaking of review ranks, i.e. 4.4/5.0 avg on 200 Reviews? Where did Cates get her information that any review rated below four Star is considered "not recommended?" By whom? Did Amazon say that? I've read Three Star reviews that are complimentary and the reviewer stated he/she would be looking for the author's next book. I've bought books with three star reviews. They were terrific reads. Reviews belong to the Reader, not the author. As an author, I would never encourage a reader to be 'generous' with stars. Either the book earns a four or five star review in the reader/reviewers opinion--or it doesn't. It is not for the author to say.

Karen Cioffi said...

Hi, Jackie,

It's so true that as writers, and blog posting is writing, we should include any needed references to 'proof' the content.

I also agree that stars should be earned.

Blogging is a writing form that sometimes isn't given the necessary 'due process.'

Thanks for you input!