Why do we respond to people who leave comments on our blogs, and yet we ignore comments from our readers on Amazon? Isn’t this exactly the opposite of what social media is all about?
- It’s all about connections and forming relationships.
So why do we ignore our readers, those who spend precious hours, days and months reading and reviewing our books? This makes no sense to me.
Some of the reviews I’ve received on Amazon are better than any synopsis I could have written myself. The language, descriptions and summaries target the message and essence of my memoir in such a way that I’m envious of the reviewer.
- “Why couldn’t I write that?” I ask myself.
I’ve heard editors say that it’s easier to have someone else write your synopsis for you, and after reading most of my reviews, I agree.
- Why aren’t we putting in the effort to connect with our readers?
- Should we simply ignore them?
Bonnie Kassel a “My Gutsy Story®,” contributor introduced me to Ionia Martin, one of the top 500 Amazon reviewers. I contacted her and she not only gave me an amazing 5 star review on Amazon, but also wrote about Freeways to Flip-Flops on her blog which I am so grateful for.
Ionia Martin is a book reviewer, mother of four and a Ph.D. student in the field of brain and cognitive Science. She has a passion for books, music and photography. When she doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, she likes to spend time working on her charity, dedicated to animal welfare, which should be in full operation late this year. You can find her at http://readfulthingsblog.com or at Twitter via @readfulthings
I asked her a few questions about whether or not to respond to reviewers and she mentioned there are varied opinions about whether or not an author should respond to comments at all.
The main reason why authors don’t respond is that they’re afraid:
- I might look too “indie” if I respond to my Amazon reviewers.
But Ionia said that many big name authors respond to her reviews, and that simple variations on comments such as : ” thank you so much for taking the time to read my work,” show that you value the readers’ time.
- Be polite, even to those who leave negative comments, and don’t say too much.
I think it boils down to “connecting” with your readers and as we know with blogging, the more comments, the better.
So from now on, I’ve decided to respond to my reviewers on Amazon. How far back should I go? Not sure, but I shall start slowly and see what happens.
What about you?
(I added this after writing the original post.)
Guess what I did? I called Amazon Author Central and asked them if it’s OK to respond to reviewers’ comments, and to thank them, or if they consider this “spam” or self-promotion, as Suzy mentioned on my blog post. They said, “Sure you can respond to reviewers’ comments.” I asked if they had stats on how many authors respond to comments; they don’t.
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