How important are reviews to authors?

Possibly the most important post-release thing for an author is to get reviews. Also to chart as high as possible on Amazon. Charting on Amazon means you get *seen* and leads to other sales. It's an important thing for all writers.

Every single review on Amazon, Goodreads, B&N etc... is important to authors. A review is a window into a book, a way of people making an infomed decision and it seems now that Amazon is changing the way it uses reviews when it comes to charting for books.

"The system will learn what reviews are most helpful to customers...and it improves over time," Amazon spokeswoman Julie Law said in an interview. "It's all meant to make customer reviews more useful." (

A product's 5-star rating, which previously was a pure average of all reviews, will also become weighted using those same criteria, and so may change more often.

I mean, I get why this is changing.

PC Mag say... "... Amazon's new weighted review system will use machine learning to ensure that the best reviews—as defined by Amazon—are prominently featured on a product's page. Presumably, this will also help Amazon reduce the number of crappy and/or bogus reviews that can sometimes be found on a product listing. And we're not just talking about customers who can't write; Amazon itself has gone after websites who previously promoted services designed to game Amazon's system by flooding products with not-so-authentic reviews."

Star ratings are no longer going to be a base average of all the reviews. Now certain reviews are going to weigh more heavily, based on:
  • Verified Amazon purchase
  • How many people found the review helpful 
  • The date of the review (more recent is a stronger weighting)
So...If you buy books from Amazon, and you want to help out the writers you like, it would be very cool if you reviewed the books on Amazon. I know I am not the only author that will be VERY grateful.

And we will write more books as a thank you :)


  1. But what about if you received your book elsewhere (Netgalley, ARC etc.) and still want to add your review on Amazon?

    1. Good question. I assume the review will go on as an *unverified* purchase... all that means is that it loses a little bit of weighting... at the end of the day it is a review and people can click and say they like it ... (I assume this is how it will work)


  2. I buy a lot (but not all) of my books from Amazon UK & have seen some really bad reviews for what were viewed elsewhere as very good books. Perhaps this new system will benefit Authors. I truly hope so.