Let’s talk about reviews. Are they helpful? If you mean, can good reviews help you sell more books, it’s possible. Especially if you’re lucky, and talented, enough to receive some kind words from a credible source like Kirkus or Publisher’s Weekly.
How about Amazon reviews? I think so, although no one knows for sure. Amazon, as I’ve written before, is a bigger mystery than the books they sell. I believe, but can’t prove, that positive reviews get you bundled with similar books that can help boost your numbers.
Beyond sales, a glowing review can make your day. And a rotten one can ruin it. But should this be the case? Of course not. Good or bad, it’s just one person’s opinion. Granted, some reviewers are more skilled and educated than others. And you might even be able to learn from those folks if they do a good job of making their case. But most are simply a matter of taste, not much more than “I liked it” or “I hated it.” Those you should ignore entirely.
As someone smart once told me, if you take the good reviews seriously, you have to take the bad ones seriously. So don’t. Easier said than done, I know. I’m old and growing more curmudgeonly by the minute, so I claim to not give a shit. However, that’s not entirely accurate. Let’s just say I give less of a shit than I used to. But that doesn’t mean my skin is rhino-thick. A well-crafted zinger can still draw blood. But just a drop.