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Worried About That 3-Star Review? Don't Be. It Might Not Be All Bad.

Updated: Feb 10

I see a lot of authors saying those low star reviews stall their sales, especially on Amazon. That might be true. As of the writing of this post, I’m still waiting for the publication date for my debut novel, so I have no frame of reference. But here’s what I know. Though a lower star review may sting, Amazon’s goal is to make money. Yes, they’re going to push those higher star books to the top of your search. The problem with that strategy is statistics reveal readers don’t trust all 4- and 5-star reviews. It doesn’t seem genuine. Don’t get me wrong. No author wants a string of bad reviews, but people read reviews to make decisions about a genre that interests them. They also want a genuine reaction. For example, if a reviewer is truthful and admits they didn’t care for a book because it has too much fantasy, that’s genuine. And in the scheme of things, it isn’t really negative. Thing is, that type of review may motivate ten fantasy lovers to purchase the book. It also may trigger reader discussion to offer varying viewpoints. Besides, a negative review with no real feedback raises a red flag about the reviewer, and it likely won't dissuade the next reader.


open book, reviews
3-star reviews

With that said, I’m not suggesting readers go out there and post a bunch of three-star reviews. I’m suggesting being honest and offering an explanation for the lower star. Don’t believe me? Check out this article posted on Goodreads where they explain how honest three star reviews actually boosted sales for the The Silent Patient.


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