My Mission For You:

Don't let #Doubt extinguish your #Sparks. Find the #Sparks you need to ignite your stories, dreams, and life.

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 Pixabay

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?


56 comments:

  1. That's the right attitude toward reviews - your book just wasn't for that person.
    I try not to check rankings often. It can be depressing.
    My publisher is putting one of my books on sale in two weeks, so hopefully that will make a difference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have to have the right attitude. Otherwise, you'll crash and burn as an author.

      Sales do help. I've had a sale keep my ebook in a good place for awhile afterwards but also have had them plunge. It's a toss up.

      Delete
  2. Hi Chrys - we've done what we can with our book/s and exactly not everyone will like what we write, or the way we present it .. such is life ...

    So I say Don't Rant, or worry about Ratings, or Reviews - just get on with more writing and thus more books ... cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Don't rant! Authors need to find another way to get over it than by ranting.

      Delete
    2. Did someone say rant? (I really have to stop doing that. LOL)

      Delete
    3. Some authors rant and cause huge fights over bad reviews. It's not pretty.

      Delete
  3. I don't look at my ranking numbers, since I haven't sold anything in an entire year. With no one buying my books, there likewise won't be any reviews or ratings, either negative or positive. I'm not sure releasing something next month will have any real impact on sales, but I might see a handful of sales in the beginning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If that's true, you really need to look at your marketing plan. You may need to make some serious changes to get the results you desire.

      Delete
  4. I try to only check rankings etc now and then, and keep my focus more on improving the craft than on anything else. It works. Sometimes. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I don't need to check on my ranking on Amazon since I finally uploaded my manuscript on Amazon (been only on Smashwords) and long overdue too. Right now I'm trying to make my poetry chapbook easier to find by interested readers. Sigh, categories, metadata and keywords...
    Also posted a request on fiverr.com for a new/revamped cover (POD and ebook) for another promotional campaign, since next month would be the 1yr anniversary I published it. Hoping an interested graphic designer bites in time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like you're busy! God luck with your poetry chapbook and the promo campaign!

      Delete
  6. I didn't realize that the ranking changed so frequently but then I haven't had any books on Amazon... As for reviews, I often read the low reviews, but many times discard the reviewer (often it is a review of the service, such as the book arrived all banged up). But the critical ones that are about the book tell us more and in many cases i still buy the book. We never like to hear bad reviews, but they also make us better if we learn from them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! Some bad reviews may just be because the book wasn't a reader's cup of tea but others point out glaring issues.

      Delete
  7. I don't think there is any for sure way to get those rankings up except for writing the next book. That always raises all the other rankings of my books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True. No for sure way. But I have 4 ebooks out and all are crashing and burning. lol

      Delete
  8. That's why you shouldn't read your reviews.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know many don't but it is good to see what people are saying.

      Delete
  9. Sometimes I get on kicks where I watch my ranking. Usually when I have a promo and it goes up and down. That's fun. But otherwise, I try not to worry about it. Reviews, I'm the same. I try not to worry about what people say. I'm just happy they left a review, and I know not everyone will like the book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I only worry when my rank stats down, down, down. That's when I know I need to try something new.

      Delete
  10. Most interesting to read considering I have just started my fourth poetry book,
    Must take all the tips out there for when it is eventually published.
    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll have plenty of tips here to help you with your poetry book, Yvonne. :)

      Delete
  11. Oh it can be like standing at a corner bakery; waiting for the tantalizing scents of ranking, reviews and money to come wafting out, only to discover the baker has moved elsewhere! So I just don't wait anymore - or worry. I agree with Susan; each new book you write also draws attention to already published work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess it only works for novels or print books because I have 4 ebooks out and all of them are low. Well, except for 30 Seconds right now because of the sale.

      Delete
  12. I'm ignoring all of the above - it will make me insane if I pay attention.

    ReplyDelete
  13. lol yep, rankings can be depressing. I just shrug if there are any bad reviews, you can't please everyone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shrug away! :p I had recently left you a good review though. :)

      Delete
  14. Oh gosh, I could see me get really down and out on myself if I found everyone thought my books stinks but I have to write one first! I think what you wrote is eloquent. There have been books that become bestsellers (50 shades of blechhh) only to disappear a few years later and end up at a campsite to start a fire. There are other books that go unnoticed only to gain a huge following and never be out of print. I guess, not looking at the reviews or the ranking is one way to deal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope one of my books is one that goes unnoticed only to become a classic. :)

      Delete
  15. Reviews can be subjective indeed. I might think it is a great book because I like the subject, another might give it a bad review because they don't like the subject being written, but I can also imagine a review is good because at least people get an idea of people's thoughts about it. I write them, but rarely read others reviews :)

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point! Everyone is different, and not all subjects that matters are liked by everyone.

      Delete
  16. That is great advice! This has been one of my fears of reviews of my future writing, or any critique for that matter, lol. I remember when I was student teaching and my college professor pointed out everything I did wrong, ouch! I just had to learn from it and, like you said, accept the fact that not everyone is going to like how I conduct my teaching (or writing).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! We have to learn to take critiques. It can be tough but it often helps us. Unless they are given to be mean as some are.

      Delete
  17. I try not to think about a bad review. Like you said, everyone will not like my work. That's fine. It's out of my hands. So I cry a bit and then smile. And read a good review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cry a bit, smile, and read a good review is a great remedy for bad reviews.

      Delete
  18. Ah, yes the ranking obsession! I take screenshots when mine are particularly good. :)

    That's a great idea to check out past reviews before sending reviewers your book. I just sent requests to tons of people I knew review horror, and took what I could get. Thankfully, it worked out well.

    One of my favourite reviews is actually a bad one. Twenty minutes after my book was released on Amazon, someone wrote, "I would not recommend this book to anyone at any time for any reason." It made me laugh!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Twenty minutes after your book went up? Did they even buy it and read it? At least you have a sense of humor about it. That's good. If that happened to me, I would've ignored it as nonsense as you did.

      Delete
  19. Thanks, Chrys. It's hard to be judged out there. Perspective helps.

    Anna from Elements of Writing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's never fun to be judged but that's what people do, especially with books.

      Delete
  20. I try not to look at my rankings too much. It can become obsessive if I do. I just focus on doing what I can to get the word out about my books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do the same. If I keep looking, and especially if I see the ranks are still down, it becomes depressing.

      Delete
  21. I have low sales, so my number is pretty high. But hey, I write because I want to tell these stories, not because I want to sell books. I get people verbally telling me they enjoyed my book (people I didn't even know had read my book) and that seems to boost me up more than numbers on the screen ever could.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a wonderful attitude. We all have to remember that we write and publish to tell stories not to get sales.

      Delete
  22. I hope your recent 99c sale went well.
    They do say even bad publicity can be good. I have to admit, I've always been curious when a hear how bad something is, I want to go and see how bad it is for myself. Not that I'd recommend having a bad review obviously. I'd rather read something everyone is raving about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It did go well. I'll post the results soon. :)

      I'm curious when people say something is bad too and I often find that I like it, or its not as awful as some made it out to be.

      Delete
  23. Hey Chrys,

    You can stop twiddling your thumbs now! Yep, I have arrived with one of my eagerly anticipated comments. Or something like that....

    Super tips for aspiring and established writers. Glad to note that your 99c sale seemed to have gone well.

    I've never had a low ranking or a bad review. Well, never when the dog takes over and shows me how to write.

    Gary :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great! I'm sure the dog hates low ranks and bad reviews.

      Delete
  24. Happy Thanksgiving, Chrys! Thank you for all the experience and insight you provide all year 'round. Be safe, enjoy your day and God bless!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy Thanksgiving, Cherdo! Thank you! I hope you have a blessed day.

      Delete
  25. I try not to pay attention to rankings. I do notice they go up after a promotion or sale. Bad reviews used to scorch me, but I'm better at handling them now.

    ReplyDelete
  26. A review means someone took the time to leave you their thoughts. Sometimes they are good but other times...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. That's just what reviews are.

      Delete
  27. I've read low rated, ranty reviews that hit on things they didn't like that I knew I would like and ended up buying the book anyway and loving it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See? That's a perfect example for bad reviews creating sales.

      Delete

Please tell me what you think. I love to chat! :)

Popular Posts!

Join!

Follow!