What a stupid question, I hear you all saying at the sight of this title. And I agree, it is a stupid question. That’s the whole point of this post to talk about what a stupid statement it really is and the relevance and importance of book reviews. A good year or so ago now, I saw a comment on Facebook I won’t forget and it took everything in me not to start a complete ruckus with this stupid person. The comment, left on another Facebook friends status was, “I don’t see the point of book reviews, they’re irrelevant“. I don’t see the point of book reviews. They are irrelevant. And the person who said this? An author.
I shit you not, it was an author who made that comment. If it wasn’t going to be bad enough anyway, the fact an author, who’s whole writing career basically survives on book reviews, has such a shallow and quite frankly, absurd opinion is well, beyond me really. This author was a self-published author, who’s career I had loosely been following from afar. I say following, that’s not really the way to put it more like, having shoved down my throat. So maybe the fact she (or he, oops) was self-published made them wary of the reviews they were getting, maybe they thought they weren’t genuine or something, I don’t know but that doesn’t excuse the point I’m trying to make.
Book reviews are not just important, they are vital.
I’m not an author. I doubt I ever will be but I have been reviewing books since I started this blog (in fact, you can find all of them here if you fancy!) and my entire business revolves around promoting authors and getting good reviews for them in order to promote further. I see, every day, the impact and importance of book reviews. It is a naïve notion to think they don’t matter. I myself have bought multiple books from reading a fellow blogger’s review of it. In fact, I think I’m more likely to purchase a book based on a blogger’s review of it than if it was on the top spot at Tesco. Bloggers and reviews go hand in hand. Not just books, but everything. If you don’t care about the reviews, then the people writing the reviews won’t care about you.
There are so many authors around now from all these fantastic publishers (and self-published ones, I’m not dismissing them as I have read some absolutely incredible self-published books) all of whom are competing against each other. Not directly, as I’m sure they mostly get on and support each other but in terms of sales and popularity, it’s always going to be a race to the top. And what is the one thing that can influence that? Book reviews. Good, honest and fair book reviews. Whether that review be a 5 star or a 1 star, it’s still a review. It still matters and it still shapes the outcome in a small way of how a book is going to be perceived by the public. An individual book review may not change the world or your writing career but it is an important part of the much more grander puzzle.
One tiny little book review can lead to another blogger buying the book and leaving a review. Who then recommends the book to their mum. Who then reads it and recommends it to a work colleague. You see where I’m going with this?
So whether you’re a newbie book blogger or a more experienced book blogger, a professional book reviewer or you just leave a quick review on Amazon every so often, your reviews matter. They shape the literary world, one word at a time.