I stole this from Peter Grant over at his blog. I really need to learn how to link other blogs. He does a great job of explaining how book reviews drive sales and why new and independent authors shamelessly ask readers for them.
“No reviews, no revenue”
No reviews, no revenue.
That’s the key takeaway from a new study published in Psychological Science, which finds that if two similar products have the same rating, online shoppers will buy the one with more reviews.
. . .
The study concluded that consumers see products with more reviews as being more popular, and they’re more comfortable having what everyone else is having, regardless of quality.
“[When] faced with a choice between two low-scoring products, one with many reviews and one with few, the statistics say we should actually go for the product with few reviews, since there’s more of a chance it’s not really so bad,” wrote researcher Derek Powell of Stanford University, lead author of the report. In other words, when there’s only a handful of reviews, a few bad ones break the curve and bring down the overall rating.
“But participants in our studies did just the opposite: They went for the more popular product, despite the fact that they should’ve been even more certain it was of low quality,” he wrote.
Matt Moog, CEO of PowerReviews, previously conducted a study with Northwestern University that drew from an even larger data pool of 400 million consumers, which also found that the more reviews there are of a product, the more likely it is that a customer will purchase that product. “Around 20 [and running up to 50] is the optimal number of reviews for a product to have to give consumers the confidence that this product has been tried enough by enough people,” he told Moneyish.
. . .
Most online shoppers (97 percent to be exact) say reviews influence their buying decisions, according to Fan & Fuel Digital Marketing Group, which also found that 92 percent of consumers will hesitate to buy something if it has no customer reviews at all.
And 73 percent of shoppers say written reviews make more of an impression on them than the star or number ratings, according to Deloitte.
There’s more at the link.
I guess that shows why writers beg, plead and grovel for reviews! I always tell people to leave an honest review, too. If you didn’t like my book(s), feel free to say so, and why; but if you did like them, please say that, too (and why). It not only helps me write better in future (and I do take such feedback seriously), but it also helps potential readers assess my books and decide for themselves whether or not they’d like to ‘take a chance’ on a new-to-them author.
Interestingly, even negative reviews can help sell products to people who know what they’re looking for. For example, one of my wife’s favorite cookbooks was bought because of a one-star review. The reviewer complained that it was nothing but a selection of the best recipes from four previous cookbooks by the same author. She felt cheated, because she owned the other books, and would not have bought this one if she’d known that. My wife, on the other hand, read the review, and realized that by buying one book, she’d get the best parts of four others. Sold! Another example; several readers, of varying political persuasions, have told me that they’ve sometimes bought a book in that field because of negative comments from reviewers of an opposing point of view. If a left-wing reviewer attacks a right-wing book, a right-wing reader might buy it because of that, and vice versa. I’ve never done that myself, but it makes sense to me.
So, dear readers; if you’ve read my book(s), and haven’t yet left a review of it/them on Amazon.com, please do so. Thanks!
32,000 words and counting on book 2. Needed a little bump so I walked over to the Starbucks that also just so happens to be in Barnes and Noble. The Barnes and Noble people would say that I walked over to the bookstore that happened to have a Starbucks inside. Either way, I Win. I got the mango black iced tea sweetened with lemonade. A most excellent choice for a hot summer day.
Thanks to all who bought the book so far, especially to Gary and Eric who also left a review. If you read it and like it, please leave a review, it helps drive positioning on Amazon.
For those of you with good monitors, you can see that Ashron and Laura are in book two and at least survive to page 85. Dr. Griid may or may not be wearing a red shirt. I haven’t decided yet. That may or may not have been a Star Trek reference. If you don’t know who Ashron or Laura are… Buy the first book. You won’t be disappointed. You’ll have to buy book to to see who Dr. Griid and Sam are.
Back at it Gary… Shaking the tree boss.
After driving back roads from Arches to Colorado, I came to a small town called Marcos. I saw what looked like a cool little restaurant with outdoor seating. After leaving 100+ temperatures, the 83 degrees in Colorado was a welcome change. The restaurant was Millwood Junction and I had their Ruben with macaroni salad.
Yes it was as good as it looked. I also drank about 800 gallons of tea. I suppose maybe I was a little dehydrated. So I asked the waitress what I should see while I was here. Without hesitation she said that Mesa Verde was a must see. And it was only 8 miles up the road. Awesome. Finished lunch and headed that way. I had no idea what Mesa Verde was. Dumb tourist.
By the way, the park pass I bought for $80 more than paid for itself on this trip.
The only campground in the park is Morefield Campground. It had plenty of availability so I took site 56 in the Zuni loop at $31.44 a night. The sites are average and not very well maintained. The staff up at Knife Edge were very nice. Knife Edge is the camp store etc. they have a nice store, gasoline pumps, showers, laundry facilities and a little grill with wifi. I asked one of the staff there what she felt was the must see part of the park. She recommended the Balcony House tour, but said I would need to get a ticket as it is a Ranger guided tour. I’m not much on tours but she said that was the only way to see this particular place. Tickets were only $5 so I picked one up for the earliest tour the next day. I was not disappointed.
I got there early and waited for the tour. I knew we would get to see the ruins but I still didn’t know we were going to be able to walk and climb through them. By the way, if you have a fear of heights or cramped places don’t take this tour. There are several others that have much easier access.
This is the view from above Balcony House.
The ladder up from below.
Same ladder from above.
This is the first room. Taking the first tour of the day assures that you are the only group there and provides a much better experience.
This is one of the “balcony’s” that the house is named for. Still the original materials.
View of the next room through a window.
The next room we entered.
The floor was amazingly smooth and flat.
This is one of the reasons they built here. This is a cistern where water would collect because of the differences in rock structure.
Fire pit and vent. They would cover this area with a roof of poles and brush to provide shelter in the winter. This is called a Kiva.
Our ranger. Notice that there are no guard rails. Darwin approves.
Ladders up and back to the top. That’s Bill and his family from Pennsylvania. He is a General Contractor on vacation. They were just an awesome family.
Ladder from the midway point. To get to that landing you had to crawl through an 18 inch opening for about 10 feet. Bill had to crawl through at an angle. I took a picture but it was so dark that it didn’t turn out. Again, heights and small spaces. Take another tour if you don’t like them.
Second ladder up.
Back up top. If you are in to history and ancient civilizations, I highly recommend Mesa Verde. And take the tour, you will not be disappointed.
Some more pictures of the area.
My first novel has finally been published. I wrote it with a long time friend of mine, Paul Barrett. He has several books out, one of which is in the sidebar. As you can likely tell from the cover of Knight Errant, the genre is Science Fiction/Space Opera. It is now available in eBook and paperback. So choose your preferred format or platform below and…
Buy The Book! Search your favorite platform using the listed ISBN number or click on one of the icons below and they will take you straight to it.
ISBN: 978-1-946143-29-7 ~ Paperback ~ $18.99 ~ Available Now
ISBN: 978-1-946143-28-0 ~ eBook ~ $7.99 ~ Orders on eBook Available Now
All books today are driven by reviews online. So if you like it, please leave a review. This pushes the book up into “suggested for you” or “others who bought this book also bought…” status. I hope you enjoy it and let me know what you think.
Up early (5:30 am) to beat the heat. I wanted to get inside the park and to Delicate Arch by 6:30 am. Ate a granola bar and drank plenty of water on the way there.
This is what part of the trail looks like on the hike up to Delicate Arch. The camera doesn’t do the drop-off on the right justice. The trail is about 3 miles round trip, with of course the first part being very much an up hill slog.
Here is Delicate Arch in the morning light. There is a person standing on the bottom left to give you a perspective on the size. Apparently quite a few others had the same idea I did about getting up early…
Here is the crowd that beat me up to the arch. So much for originality, being the early bird and all that.
This is a view of the parking lot from about half way up the hike.
And the obligatory selfie.
This cabin was part of a homestead from the early 1800’s. This cabin was built in 1906.
Some of the original fencing still remains.
This is the entrance to Sandy Arch. It was surprisingly cool inside.
A narrow entrance, but the way it sits, there was a nice breeze the entire time.
Sandy Arch, aptly named. The kids in the photo were having a great time. There was a Ranger here who said I should go up above and take a look around. So I bouldered (sp) up a little higher to get a few shots of the area.
In case you are wondering, there is only a 10 second timer on my camera, so sometimes these shots can be challenging.
This is the area above Sandy Arch. Neat terrain and out of the sun.
There was a trail across the desert floor to Broken Arch, you can see it in the distance. Back out in the sun it was hot and I didn’t see anyone on the trail, so why not, off I went.
I didn’t see anyone coming or going, just the way I like it.
So when I finally made it to Broken Arch, I was the only one there. Sweet.
From the other side with the sun.
This guy was unafraid along the trail back. I tried to get a couple of lizards but they were too quick.
Lots of cactus along the way; this is where the reptiles were darting around but I couldn’t get any of them.
I can’t remember what this formation is called but I would call it precarious.
All in all, Arches NP is a must see if you are travelling to Utah. Of the places I visited, this was my favorite. Go early, drink lots of water and you won’t be disappointed. Next stop: Colorado.
Took back roads from Brice to Moab Utah. The views along the way are awesome. These roads, like a lot of roads out west, wind their way through the middle of nowhere. The majority of which, are in open range country.
Now these cows really don’t care.
Same cows, just further along.
Different cows, different road, closer to Moab.
This is the road in to Moab. As I said, lots of open country.
Here is the Colorado river that runs along Arches and Moab. It was 108 degrees in the shade here so sleeping in the back of the truck was out of the question. (Keep your comments to yourselves). So I stayed in a hotel, the Inca Inn. Drove around Moab to get my bearings, then went to a TexMex place to grab some chow.
Chips, salsa, guacamole, chilies and a local Moab brewery beer. The AC was going full blast but it was still warm inside the restaurant. After dinner I went back to take a shower and get ready for Arches in the morning.
This was a surprise; not really sure what to say, my mind strays down to the gutter and I’ll leave it at that.
Tomorrow – Arches NP
I have stayed mostly on East coast time this trip so I am usually up at dawn and on location by sunrise or shortly thereafter. This is Brice Canyon. Another stunning location in Utah. However I will say that Zion and Red Canyon are visually better. It would depend on the time you have set aside for your trip. If you can see all three, they are very close together and worth checking out. If you set aside enough time for only one I would take the whole day and spend it in Zion; taking the shuttles and spending time at each stop.
Can you tell it’s still early? Not my best side… As I said I got up early, so there was nobody in the park. This is the main parking lot overlooking the arch, and I had the whole place to my self. I’m not big on crowds so this was awesome.
This is the view from the above mentioned parking lot.
Another shot with a different filter; not much difference really. Still worth looking at a second time.
This is the top and end of the road in Brice Canyon. There was one other car up here when I arrived.
Makes you wonder if other countries post the obvious or are they so worried about law suits that this is necessary? Easily half the people I encountered out in the parks were from overseas, I should have asked.
Speaking of signs, I forgot to put this one in an earlier post. This will give you a warm fuzzy feeling at night. This was in the campground at Mt. Rainier. The “more information” basically said to run if there was any sign of geothermic activity…very helpful.
Another shot of Brice Canyon as the sun hit the cliffs. The camera just doesn’t do it justice.
The other side. The haze you see in some of the pictures are actually from the wild fires out west. There were several big fires out here during my travels.
This guy was making his way across the road while I stood near by quietly.
He also had several does with him. Utah is mostly geological but there is still plenty of nature to see.
Just outside of Brice Canyon, down towards Zion is an area called Red Canyon. It is a real sleeper.
I passed this place with the intention of carrying on to Brice but I spotted a campground that looked like it had some space in it, so I turned aground to check it out.
This place is awesome. Very clean, spread out and simply beautiful. I took site 23 and set up camp. Sites here are $18 a night with no hookups. It was 4 pm when I got here so I fixed a quick dinner – sausage dogs, chip and water – and went on a hike.
The trail leaves from the camp ground and is about a mile up to a ridge line.
This is at the split about 3/4 of the way to the top. There is another trail that splits off from here that takes you further into the canyon.
I wanted to go up to the ridge so I stayed on Buck Horn Trail.
Thistle along the trail.
That area up there is the destination.
These yellow wild flowers were also prevalent along the way. Life making its way in the desert.
Made it. There is a birds nest on top of the spire, I couldn’t get an angle on it but you could sure hear them when I got close. You can also see it was overcast up here, so the heat wasn’t bad at all. They say that it rains a lot up in this area but the rain doesn’t reach the ground, unfortunately the lightning does and that’s how wildfires start. The rain doesn’t have an opportunity to dampen the fire.
The obligatory selfie from the top.
A so so attempt at a panoramic shot.
Here are some cool colors from one of the burned out trees.
Another one. I think it is interesting how they grow in a spiral.
Pick dump till the end…
This is the exit from Red Canyon on the way to Brice Canyon. The old truck is still hanging in there. Over 260,000 miles on it now. Next stop, Brice Canyon.
I know it says leaving, sue me, I got the back side of the sign.
The start of the day I had breakfast at the Abby Inn. Typical hotel fare but a lot of it and a wide variety. It is in a little house behind the hotel. Again, the staff there were friendly and accommodating. You 4 and 5 star people, this place is not for you. You budget minded folks – this is your place.
After leaving the hotel I went to The Grind Coffeehouse to get a good cup of coffee and mooch some wifi. This is a very nice place with your normal coffeehouse fare, but with real food also, not just pastries.
This is the interior of The Grind Coffeehouse. Very cool and inviting atmosphere. An easy place to sit and get caught up.
Zion is about an hour away through a small town called Springdale. This town is set up for tourists visiting Zion. Very nice hotels,shops and restaurants. If you get the chance, I would spend the money and stay here. There are shuttles that run up through the park every ten minutes. Simply catch one, get off at a stop; take pictures, hike, whatever, then hop back on the next one that comes along. Taking the shuttle is the only way to see the most popular sites in the park. Didn’t know that until I already winged my way through, oh well.
Pretty cool rock formation. It looks like a monster rising up out of the valley. It’s hot here today, the thermometer is reading 102. I worked my way through the park, stopping at various pull-outs, hiking and taking pictures.
One of the pull-outs along the road.
One of the hikes took you along a dry creek bed, then up to a cool rock formation.
This is the hike up.
The shot back down.
The obligatory selfie from the top.
Taking a break in the shade.
A little perspective on the climb up. Everything out here is up.
One of the hikes in Zion you work your way through a stream bed that still has water in it and the walls are on all sides. You’ll have to look it up or do the hike yourself, I don’t have a picture of it.
All you get is one of me in a very dry, hot stream bed.
Here is the picture of the exit again, even though I took it on the way in. All of the campgrounds in Zion are full, so I am headed to Brice Canyon in hopes of finding a spot along the way.