First We Take Amazon

On the weekend, I read Dennis Tafoya‘s incredible debut novel, DOPE THIEF. (I had no choice — THE WOLVES OF FAIRMOUNT PARK, his second novel, comes out on June 22nd and I wanted to check out his debut first.) It’s a stunning book that managed to mix adrenalin-pumping action with a meditative, poignant heart. Quite a rare feat. Afterwards, I looked at the book’s Amazon listing, to see what other people said. The reviews were universally outstanding, but what got me was that there were only 12 of them.

We all know that authors obsess about their Amazon listings. I’m already doing this, and THE DAMAGE DONE doesn’t come out until September 28th. (Also, it’s currently #4,718,129 in Books. Woot?) Getting lots of terrific reviews won’t guarantee that a book will sell well, but it’s certainly not going to hurt. When I see that a novel is getting raves, it makes me want to read it, too, to see what the fuss is about.

There are several books that I’ve read in the past year and loved. Yet I’ve never gotten around to reviewing them on Amazon. Including the review I just wrote for DOPE THIEF, I’ve only done eight. Until yesterday, the last one was on September 22, 2009, and it was for A BAD DAY FOR SORRY by Sophie Littlefield (which everyone has to read if they haven’t already. The sequel, A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY, just came out!). Somehow, even though I absolutely loved Megan Abbott‘s BURY ME DEEP and Ken Bruen’s LONDON BOULEVARD and Dave Zeltserman‘s PARIAH, I didn’t review them, and I regret that.

So, I’ve got an idea. I’m dubbing July my own personal Amazon Review Month. Each day, I will write one review of a book I truly enjoyed. My only criteria is this: would I recommend the book to a friend? If so, it’s worthy of a review on Amazon. I’m not planning to write epic reviews detailing the book’s content, just three or four lines about what I found so engaging about it.

What I’d like to suggest is that you make July your own personal Amazon Review Month, too. Most of the people I hang out with on Twitter and Facebook are incredibly well-read, and I suspect that if enough of us review books we loved, we can entice others to read them, too. Who’s in?

9 Responses to “First We Take Amazon”

  • Chris Says:

    I think it’s a great idea. I usually do short little reviews when I update my Goodreads page, there’s no reason I can’t paste the same thing over to Amazon.

  • Eric Beetner Says:

    Great idea Hilary. I always feel like an insurance salesman at a dinner party when I solicit Amazon reviews. I agree with you that they need not be long recaps of the plot but just short reasons why you love it.
    I’m in. Right off the top I’m thinking The Deputy, Severance Package and a few others.
    And don’t obsess on that Amazon rank. It’ll drive you bonkers!

  • Hilary Says:

    Chris, that’s a great point. I’ve read your reviews on Goodreads, and I’d love to see them on Amazon, too.

  • Hilary Says:

    Eric, your “insurance salesman” comment made me smile, but you’re right. What could be better than getting a group of people who are already voracious readers to give some love to the books and authors they admire via Amazon? I haven’t read The Deputy yet, but I absolutely loved Severance Package. I’ll add that to my review list.

  • Stephanie Craig Says:

    What a great idea – the reviews always help me determine whether I should buy a book, but I never have actually left one. Will mend my ways this July!

  • Dennis Tafoya Says:

    Thanks so much, Hilary. And yes, I’m guilty of the same thing. I love your idea – you should spread the word on facebook.

  • Patti Abbott Says:

    Great idea because I am quite convinced there are people (and they always have dubious names) who post nasty reviews on Amazon. I haven’t done one in years but I will now.

  • Kathleen A. Ryan Says:

    This is a wonderful idea you have proposed, Hilary. I know that reviews (especially positive ones) are appreciated by authors. If a reader has invested time in a book and enjoyed it, what a great way to spread the news to other potential readers by posting a review. I look forward to reading The Damage Done and posting a review ~ I already know how much I will enjoy it!

  • Chris F. Holm Says:

    I think this is a tremendous idea. I, too, am guilty of not reviewing the books I’ve loved, even though I scan reviews before I purchase.

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