I Want You To Give My Book A Bad Review. Honestly.

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 0.603% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

So I got my first one-star review on Amazon for my book The Sol Majestic, which called the gay teen romance “pedophilia.” (I think the guy was deeply confused about the characters, but what the hey.)

And I noted that that was the first review under five stars that The Sol Majestic has gotten, which should tell you one thing: It doesn’t have enough reviews. (Any book with enough reviews should rack up a mixture.)

To which someone replied, “Shit, dude. If you wanted bad reviews, you only had to say so!”

I do. I want all your honest bad reviews.

You know why?

1. Amazon Ranks Books On The Number Of Reviews They Get.
Right now, The Sol Majestic has 23 reviews. Once a book gets 50 reviews, Amazon starts treating your book better; it’s far more likely to recommend it to other people, it jumps in the search results, etc. etc.

(Some claim this is an urban legend, but in my experience, the big reviews gets the nod.)

Now, here’s the trick: Amazon does not care whether those magic 50 consist of good reviews or bad reviews. They just want sufficient feedback to determine that yeah, we have enough data to determine that people who liked this book also liked this other book.

So every time you leave a review, even if it’s “1 star dnf,” you are actually helping the author. This applies to other sites, too – GoodReads, Barnes and Noble, Powell’s, your blog, etc.

2. I Want People To Have An Honest Idea About My Book.
Here’s a weird truth about the publishing industry: Most authors have a good friend whose books they don’t particularly care for.

It’s not that their friend writes bad books, but rather that we all have different tastes. My books tend to have protagonists who are uncertain and anxious; if you want strong protagonists who bull their way through every situation, you’re probably not gonna like what I do.

And that’s fine.

As an author, I’m not here to have my butt kissed – I’m here to deliver a book that you’re gonna enjoy! So if you read my book and say, “Hey, I thought he spent too much time describing the food in The Sol Majestic,” you know what leaving a three-star review mentioning that does?

It tells people what they’re gonna get in the book.

And that, my friends, is awesome. I’m often driven to see things by “negative” reviews – I remember when Mad Max: Fury Road came out and a bunch of MRAs were complaining bitterly that it was stupid how a woman’s character arc eclipsed Max’s, that sounded awesome to me. And it was! Because one person’s meat is another person’s poison.

So please. Leave reviews – honest ones. Don’t flatter me with five-star reviews you don’t stand by, don’t leave “funny” one-star reviews for unread books.

But if you have read one of my books – or any author’s! – you will be doing everyone a favor by heading over to a website and leaving your opinion. It helps everyone. Even if your opinion is negative.

(And if you’ve read The Sol Majestic and wanna help me boost that Amazon count up to 50, I would be very very grateful. Thankew!)

1 Comment

  1. Ingvild
    Aug 19, 2019

    I wish I could, but Amazon won’t let me. Because I haven’t spent enough money there these last 12 months. :/ Sorry.

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