In a word, yes!!!
To survive, books need reviews like you need to breath. In their case reviews are necessary to bring them to the notice of potential readers out there. Without several reviews they will rapidly disappear into the slush pile along with the millions of unread books out there. One review, no matter how praiseworthy, is not enough to ensure a book’s future. But one negative review will soon attract others, ending a book’s chances of surviving!!
Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t make a scrap of difference how eyecatching a book’s cover may be. What helps readers to make up their mind about any book are its reviews. Without them books simply don’t generate curiosity among the millions of jaded readers.
To give you an example, here are the numbers so far for each of my nine books:
The Adventures of Ursus the Bear (a story for tiny tots) – 1 five star
Cataclysm (a Science Fiction novella) – 4 five star, 3 four star
The Guardian (my latest Science Fiction novella) – 2 four star (with two more reviews promised in the immediate future, which I’m looking forward to it receiving)
The Forgotten Age (an Archaeological adventure) – 5 five star, 7 four star, 1 two star, 3 one star
The Seventh Age (an Archaeological adventure) – 7 five star, 8 four star, 8 three star, 10 two star, 20 one star
The Next Age (a Science Fiction novella) – 3 five star, 1 four star, 1 two star, 1 one star
Goblin Tales (a Fantasy anthology) – 1 five star
Turning Point (a Science Fiction adventure) – 8 five star, 5 four star, 2 three star, 3 two star, 3 one star
Onet’s Tale ( a Science Fiction Space Opera) – 5 five star, 1 four star
No prizes for guessing which of the above titles consistently sells and which don’t. Believe it or not if potential readers see nothing but five and four star reviews, they are immediately suspicious and won’t buy.
As the old saying goes, “there’s nowt as queer as folk,” especially when it comes to buying a book. The other thing to remember is that these days, anyone with an axe to grind will automatically give any book a one star review, hoping to put off potential readers.
To counter their attack, if you enjoyed it, review that book you’re reading as soon as you finished it. But before you do, take the time to think about what you are going to say. As much as you may be tempted at times, always leave objectionable reviews to those who are insanely jealous of the particular author’s success.
Plus, don’t forget to tell your friends about the book and where they can get a copy of it if you enjoyed it.