As per the title, without reviews independent and even more so, self-published books, wither away and disappear. Without a giant media machine letting you know you should buy something, or buying reviews in Locus or other major review organizations the only way most readers know if they are truly interested in your work is in reviews. The two most important for this are Amazon Product review and Goodreads. Without these things, your book is lost amongst the glut of self-published fiction, with nothing but maybe your cover and product description to distinguish yourself.
In some ways the Amazon Product Reviews are the most important. A prospective reader can tell if someone actually bought the product, and Amazon does a good job filtering out sock puppet accounts and false reviews. There is also an immediacy to it, especially if you book is a Kindle only one, for they can scroll down and see the whole review right away. If something happens to make it so that they are already reading your description (such as your cover catching their eye, a free promo day kicking you up in the rankings, hearing about your work on twitter) this is probably the best type of review to have. However this does not normally help someone learn about your book and something had to already draw them to that product description page for it to do any good.
Therefore Goodreads reviews can be excellent to have also. Many people like to use Goodreads, especially if their friends with someone, or someone has similar reading tastes to them. The way a reader tags your book is good too, for it can show up in searches more frequently. From my own personal experience my Goodreads reviews seem to be by people giving more in depth reactions to my book than my amazon reviewers, but that is only anecdotal evidence.
Other ways available for your book to be review include personal and professional blogs. The more widely read the blog is the better it is for you. However this sets up an issue that the very wide read blogs are often booked up and so it can either take forever for someone to review your book this way, or they may not even try if there are not enough reviews on your book already. This is where it helps to have reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, to show that other people found the novel worth their time.
If you really want to thank an independent/self-published author for writing a book you enjoyed then write a review on one of the above places. Even if it’s not perfect, any word of mouth and honest opinion does help, and it’s more genuine that way. You do not have to give a glowing 5 star review to make an author very pleased that someone took their time enough not only to read what they wrote, but to give an opinion about it later. All of this is of course because my newest book Mandatory Paradise is very new, and looking very lonely with no reviews anywhere.
If you read Reviews, where do you get them from? (you can choose more than one)
3)Small Personal Blogs
4)Large Review Blogs
7)Other, put in the comments below
World Tidbit – Allmother’s Fire
The Grand Laws of the Universe are often said just like that in one large unwieldy phrase. The Grand Laws are not put in just one specific book, but are all the combined observations of scholars and philosophers throughout the Centuries of how the world normally runs. Families with Domain over a certain aspect can Loophole them, but they still follow some sort of internal logic with a cost for what they do.
Many philosophers have thought of codifying what the Laws are so that they can be read in all of one book. The Allmother’s church however has a distaste for the written word, and discourages such movements whenever they occur. It is whispered that this may be because the Church is afraid that people will look to the Grand Laws instead of the Allmother to solve their answers if this was ever to occur.
In the darkest of locations it is rumored such a book does exists, and the Church has either destroyed it or acquired it long ago, never to be seen again.