In short: YES, absolutely, undeniably! Readers often ask me why? My answer…The Matrix!
I’m not kidding, the Amazon matrix to be more specific. Highly secretive, no one is certain what all the inputs are, but it is common knowledge that reviews are a key part. Amazon has won the war and is the King Kong of the book jungle, especially e-books. The matrix determines where your book is presented, when it pops up in searches AND if it gets pushed by Amazon. Certainly, sales are a key tenant, but the reviews lead to sales and it becomes a self sustaining force. If strong enough, it can make your book go viral and lead to a permanent residence on the beach…cocktail in hand (for my airline pilot buds, that means you can have my seniority number!).
Reviews, in fact, are so important that a black market of scam/spam reviews has become so prevalent that if you have too many 5 stars, the matrix calls BS. My latest (Code Name: Infamy) has all 5s, some one give me a four, quick! Anyway, it has reached the point that Amazon is suing the “review providers”. More than you wanted to know about the travails of writing in a digital world.
PS: That is why my Publisher (Amphorae) and I were not happy when kindle advertisements censored our cover, not good…we offended the matrix. So stand-by for a new cover contest! With out any reference to a certain German movement that almost conquered the world…..because its symbol is “potentially offensive”.
That symbol BTW is actually an American Indian symbol, but I digress. So we will kick off, the anti-“Potentially Offensive”-cover campaign, next week.