THE UNOFFICAL RESULTS OF MY EDITORIAL REVIEW SURVEY
First off, I want to thank my awesome followers of my newsletter and blog for their eye-opening feedback. I ended up with 42 responses, more than I expected.
So, do readers really read the editorial review section on our book pages? Are they worth our hard earned money? The answer is a resounding . . . NO!
Below I have shared a few responses I received back, but they all pretty much had the same message. It’s book covers, the blurb, other reader’s reviews, and sample chapters that make a person buy a book. Especially from an author they don’t know.
“I would not recommend paying for those reviews based on my experience and the experience of my friends who are big readers.”
“I look at the description of the story and then through the customer reviews to see if there is a general pattern to the support of the book. I might check out the first chapter too if I am in doubt. One person’s editorial review is just their opinion and we all have different tastes so I prefer to see more than one review. I like reviews that are clear as to why they like or dislike the book so I can see if I have a similar issue.”
“I read them. They have influenced me, but I also read the book description and reader reviews – which I prefer.”
“I only read editorial reviews or the about the author section if the book description has very little or nothing in it. I prefer to make my own judgment’s about the book and if I want to know more about the author I visit their webpage. I will read the reader reviews but even those I only read sparingly. I think that the book blurb and the cover should be your focus. Unlike the old saying, I do judge books by their covers. It isn’t the only factor but if the cover draws me in I’m more likely to buy the book. The cover can be trumped by the blurb if it is well written and pulls me into story. “
“I don’t usually read ANY reviews before I read a book. I go by the blurb and the cover page to see if it interests me. Sometimes it is simply the author. If I have read and liked previous books. Occasionally a cover will catch my eye, but I then read the blurb to see if it is what I am interested in. Subject matter is important, so is the length of the book. I like books with 250 or less pages so I am not sitting all day with the same book, although I do make exceptions to that if I really enjoy the author.
And I never read the editorial reviews. I do read the reviews left by other readers but pretty much depend on reading the samples to decide if it’s a book I want to buy.”
“I wanted to let you know that I have been reading for about 30 years and have never read a editorial review of any book and only half the time read more than a few regular reviews but only when I am on the fence about buying a book. The book preview is about all I read and it does help if the cover is eye catching in the first place, at least for me.”
In the day before Amazon, ebooks, and online reviews, the only source a potential reader had, other than book recommendations from friends (which is still a huge factor), were the editorial reviews the big publishing houses paid for and featured on the back cover of the hardback or paper book copies.
In my estimation, the review sites like Kirkus Reviews, Self Publishing Reviews, and Readers’ Favorite are only there to make money for themselves. They DO NOT help a book get noticed by readers. They have gone the way of the dinosaurs and dodo bird. They just don‘t know it yet.
Of course, if author’s keep throwing their money at them for unread reviews, what do they care? Let’s just line their coffers some more. So, for me, more paying or expensive reviews. I’ll still keep doing Readers’ Favorite, as they are the cheapest of the lot, and hey, who doesn’t love the shiny bling on our covers?
Now for the all important announcement of WHO won the $25 Amazon Gift Card.
And the winner is . . . using Random.org . . . D. Wetterling. Congratulations. Your gift card is on the way!!!