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Monday, November 23, 2015

3 R's: Rank, Ratings, and Reviews

When you publish your first book it can be easy to get sucked into the 3 R’s: Rank, Ratings, and Reviews.

1. Rank

All books published on Amazon have a ranking. The higher the number, the lower your book is, which means no one has bought your book in weeks or months. Don’t worry. I have been there. Most authors just starting out and with smaller fan bases have been there. It’s normal. Unless you’re a big-time author or have a big publishing house pushing your book, someone buying your book every hour of every day. And the rank changes hourly.

Watching rank numbers can be depressing. I know it is. Especially if you’re doing everything you can to get your name and book out there and your rank is only dropping.

So what do I recommend? Don’t stress about it. If you’re doing everything you can, then there’s nothing else you can do. Just remember: rankings fluctuate.
TIP #1: One thing you can do to raise your ranking? Put your eBook for sale. 99cents is best. Then promote it EVERYWHERE. Your rank will rise. But be warned that it usually drops again when the sale ends.
Image from Flickr.

2. Ratings

We all want 5 stars for our books. None of us want 1 star. That’s just the way it goes. No one wants to hear that someone hated something they slaved over. We’d rather get praise. But not everyone is going to like our work. The quicker we learn that and realize that ratings are just one person’s opinion, the better we will be.

3. Reviews

Reviews are great...if they are favorable. If they are brutal, we want to hide and cry and eat a gallon of ice cream. But then again...even bad ones can bring sales. Many readers are actually intrigued by bad reviews and buy the book to see if they agree or not. That’s probably why so many people read 50 Shades of Grey. Or at least that’s my theory. Curiosity was the other driving force for the success of that book.
TIP #2: Remember what I said about ratings being one person’s opinion? The same goes for reviews. If you get a nasty one, just tell yourself that you didn’t write your book for that person. And that’s fine because we can’t make everyone happy.
Now if you solicit reviews from reviewers, you could get golden reviews from them or reviews with low ratings. The fact is a reviewer from a review blog/site may not be as interested in your book as a reader who buys your book would be. So solicit carefully.
TIP #3: Do your research to make sure the reviewer takes your genre, and check the reviews they’ve given recently to books similar to yours. This can give you an idea of how they might treat yours.

Want to get more reviews? Try Amazon’s Top Reviewers.

QUESTION: What do you do when your ranking is low? How do you deal with bad ratings and reviews?

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