Did you know that reviews help an author’s book become visible?

According to Amazon, “General consumer data on how popular your item is will influence search result relevance.” In other words, the more reviews there are, the further up in the search results the title will be.

For example, if you search Young Adult Romance, there are over three MILLION titles. That’s a lot of books! A book with 15 reviews will probably rank somewhere around the three millionth book on the list. In other words, it’s invisible. A book with 50 or 100 reviews will move up dramatically. Not to mention, reviews drive sales.

You might be thinking, “Wait a minute. I see books on the first page of my search results with only three reviews.” You are correct. There are exceptions to the rule. If the author has had best sellers in the past, they get a bye on new releases. But if sales tank and reviews don’t come in, they’ll drop further in the search. Maybe not to the three millionth level, but certainly off the coveted first page.

So how do you write a review?

It’s easy. It doesn’t have to be more than a sentence or two. Pretend your friend has asked what you thought of the book and answer just as you would to them. It’s okay if it’s not a five-star review. It’s okay to mention weak spots in the book. Just BE NICE!

Is Amazon the only place you should leave reviews?

No. I chose Amazon because they have more than the lion’s share of the market—as in 75% of it. Apple iBooks is number two at 12%. If you purchased a book from another source, iBooks or Nook for example, leave a review there. If you’re a member of Goodreads, that is another fantastic place to leave a review. If you loved the book, tell the world via word of mouth, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or any other social media platform you frequent. You can’t imagine how much this helps an author.

One more thing—if there is an author you love, join their mailing list. Go to their website. I don’t know a single author who doesn’t enjoy connecting with their readers. Some will even give away free stuff. Some may invite you to be a part of an exclusive readers’ group, where you can talk with other readers about the books you love.

So that’s the skinny. Keep reading and please post reviews!