Shalanna (shalanna) wrote,

Amazon reviewing can be a jungle--here are a few tips from someone knowledgeable!

I found these wonderful guidelines for Amazon reviews on Anne K. Allen's blog. She also gives helpful advice for those who are promoting books. What's not to like?

Summarizing a section of her advice:

Amazon reviews are guides to help other customers, not essays for the New Yorker. You don’t need to ask yourself, “Is this _War and Peace_?” A better question is, “does the book deliver as advertised?”

Here’s what an Amazon review isn’t:
• A school book report. It’s informal, so don’t worry about writing perfect prose or giving a complete synopsis of the book. Talk about the things you liked/disliked. Others will do the synopsis, and it isn't what readers need to know. (I {Shalanna} have given tips on writing reviews over on my Official Denise Weeks Author BlogSpot Blog.)
• A show-offy piece for the New Yorker. Don’t get your Pauline Kael snark on.
• All about your personal tastes. It’s not about you. Don’t give a cozy mystery a negative review because you personally prefer thrillers. Giving a bad review to a good book in a genre you don't particularly like isn't helpful to the reader.
• A critique to help the author “improve.” (If you think an author has made an error, it’s more useful to contact her through her blog or website than pan her book. Almost all authors are accessible to readers these days, and most of us would love to hear from you.)

Anything less than 4 stars means “NOT RECOMMENDED” to the AMAZON ALGORITHMS. 2 or 3 star reviews are going to hurt the author's sales, no matter how much you rave in the text. And you know what a 1-star does (pulls down the average, among other things.) I personally believe that until you've gotten a 1-star review, your reviews look like they're all from your friends . . . but that's not always bad.

Read the rest at Anne Allen's blog. Also see her post about the pitfalls of promotion, not including Penelope Pitstop (again I paraphrase!)

Thanks, Anne!
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