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Book Reviews

Book Reviews

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”

I know some readers find it frustrating when independent authors, such as myself, ask readers of their books to leave reviews on Amazon.com.  They don’t like to be bombarded with such pleas.  I try very hard not to issue such appeals too often:  but reviews are important, as the New York Post explains.

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!

Peter

Brice Canyon

Brice Canyon

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.

 

Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier National Park.

Had a great hike with some beautiful scenery. On the way up I met four women headed to base to have lunch. They were trying to take a selfie when I offered to take a picture for them. They were super nice and appreciative.

Here is a picture of them coming up the trail. I met them again on the way back down and we had a great conversation. Melinda-hiker-kayaker was awesome. I told them about my trip and upcoming book and they became fans. They were a lot of fun.

Here is a picture from their picnic spot.

After my hike I went back to camp and saw the fellow in the camp site next to me struggling to get his moped back on his very nice Mercedes RV. I offered my help and we eventually got it back up on its stand. Normally he uses a ramp but because of the angles at our sites it was more difficult than he thought it would be. Afterwards, he offered a cold beer for payment. How could I say no. His name is Kaz and he is a Mechanical Engineer from Olympia Washington. We hit it off and later we had wine and talked into the night around his campfire.

He immigrated from communist Poland via Austria back in 1983. It was interesting that his political views almost mirror mine. Especially that his perspective is filtered from having come from a communist country. He is also a huge outdoors man, having hiked and camped all over the North West. He suggested that I head down to Crater Lake in Oregon and then to Brice and Zion in Utah.  I think I will take him up on his suggestion. All in all an excellent day.

John Adams

John Adams

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.

John Adams

Perhaps we have failed to recognize this…and are working to destroy it.