Author Topic: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?  (Read 2626 times)  

Offline chrisstevenson

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How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
« on: May 25, 2020, 12:40:51 am »
Over the past month I've read some articles about Amazon reviews. They all seemed to mention that reviews were important, or at least help with exposure and sales. I guess better to have than to have not. It isn't really a barometer on how well your book does pull in cash clicks.....however.....

The three sources gave me different numbers when it came to the amount of reviews that would make Amazon sit up and take notice. I believe they said they would showcase the book more once it hit a certain amount of reviews. I know that paid purchases certainly does the same thing, and probably a lot better.

I'v heard that 40 reviews is a target spot. Another source said 50, and still another article exclaimed it would take 60 before Amazon began to give it a little push.
Does anyone really know the exact/magic review number to hit that might tweak the big Zon? 40, 50, 60?
My apologies if this has been ridden over the road before.

Blessed wishes, and y'all stay safe and healthy.
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    Offline Amanda M. Lee

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #1 on: May 25, 2020, 05:26:28 am »
    Amazon does not care about reviews. Anyone who spouted that fifty-review nonsense is a moron. Reviews are only good for readers and advertising. They're not important for anything else.

    Amanda M. Lee

    Offline Accord64

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #2 on: May 25, 2020, 05:52:44 am »
    I've read many blogs & articles over the years on this as well. The "magic" threshold used to be 25 reviews.

    Honestly, I don't think reviews factor in at all. Sales are the main driver of sales ranking & subsequent Zon exposure. Reviews are just a byproduct of that.

    Offline swcleveland

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #3 on: May 25, 2020, 07:07:48 am »
    Well, it's definitely not 40! ;D

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    Offline Marti talbott

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #4 on: May 25, 2020, 11:29:27 am »
    Amazon loves money. The more you sell, the more they love you. Period!
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    Offline markpauloleksiw

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #5 on: May 25, 2020, 11:45:23 am »
    My experience over 2+ years tells me this:

    The following 3 factors impact visibility:

    1) Sales: it is catch 22. sell more...more visible...more sales
    2) Reviews
    3) AMS ads and their relevance

    There is no magic formula and all three factors and interdependent.

    Mark

    Offline Lydniz

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #6 on: May 25, 2020, 12:29:52 pm »
    Amazon loves money. The more you sell, the more they love you. Period!

    This.

    Online Carol (was Dara)

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #7 on: May 25, 2020, 12:47:41 pm »
    The magic fifty has been a persistent rumor since I first started self-pubbing back in 2011, with most indies agreeing it's a myth.

    I can't swear that it is or isn't, but I can say that I've had several books with over fifty reviews flop and many others with far fewer reviews do well. The popular ones eventually gathered lots of reviews but the selling and on-site visibility boost came first, the reviews accumulated after.

    To me, that means reviews aren't anything to worry about after the first dozen or so. I do believe that early handful is good to have as social proof, so prospective buyers aren't scared away by a book with 0 reviews, but I don't believe it causes Amazon to automatically give the book extra "juice". 

    Offline CassieL

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #8 on: May 25, 2020, 01:44:24 pm »
    I think it's a cause and effect thing. Amazon cares about money which means Amazon cares about books that sell. Most books that sell get reviews. People assume they got attention because of the reviews when in fact it was that they got enough sales to attract the reviews and Amazon was reacting to the sales not the reviews. I have a friend who made a concerted effort to get 100 reviews on their debut novel and the novel went nowhere and had no Amazon love. That's because the reviews didn't come with sales. Sales are what matter.

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    Offline chrisstevenson

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #9 on: May 25, 2020, 06:45:52 pm »
    Thank y'all! You make perfect sense. I thought something was a bit fishy when one of the article's author claimed to be an insider and having worked for Amazon (it was his secret little tip). Yeah right. I'm in agreement that it just makes more sense that the dollars that come in from verified purchases are what the Zon focuses on. I suppose you have to hit a best-seller list and stay on it for a long time before Amazon even bats an eye. 
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    Online Kathy Dee

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #10 on: May 26, 2020, 08:16:28 am »
    Well, I have no idea, but I do know that one of my books has just taken off and I don't know why. I had not thought that the number of reviews might be a factor, but anyway, it has 258 reviews at the moment.

    Offline Trioxin 245

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #11 on: May 26, 2020, 01:18:41 pm »
    After they tell you that it takes 50 reviews, the next article is how the sell reviews LOL

    I'm no expert but there are loads of variables in getting rank, having it stick and amazon taking over. I had a book that four months after release, Amazon emailed out and it went nuts. Another book was picked up by prime a year after hitting publish.

    To state the obvious, you need exposure, clicks and buys/borrows. Getting there of course is hard but not as impossible as one might think. But the "this one trick launched me into the bestseller list" are just a waste of time.

    Offline chrisstevenson

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #12 on: May 26, 2020, 05:28:32 pm »
    Well, I have no idea, but I do know that one of my books has just taken off and I don't know why. I had not thought that the number of reviews might be a factor, but anyway, it has 258 reviews at the moment.

    Dang, Kathy. That's superhero #s. Was that a world--of--mouth rush? Or maybe a successful ad? Forgive me for asking--It's probably just a damn good book! Blessed wishes and keep it up.
    Guerrilla Warfare For Writers (special weapons and tactics)
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    Christy's Young Adult Fabuliers https://christysyoungadultimagineers.com/

    Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Harold-Stevenson/e/B001K8UUBK

    Online Kathy Dee

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #13 on: May 27, 2020, 01:59:02 am »
    Dang, Kathy. That's superhero #s. Was that a world--of--mouth rush? Or maybe a successful ad? Forgive me for asking--It's probably just a damn good book! Blessed wishes and keep it up.

    Genuinely don't know! It's been bobbling along for years, doing okay, but suddenly, this month, it is my top seller. It has to be something that has awakened the Zon's algo, but I am at a loss.

    Offline unkownwriter

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #14 on: May 28, 2020, 05:21:51 pm »
    Amazon does not care about reviews. Anyone who spouted that fifty-review nonsense is a moron. Reviews are only good for readers and advertising. They're not important for anything else.

    Well, yeah. This. Especially that moron part. Can't seem to kill that bit of crazy.

    Offline Patty Jansen

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #15 on: May 28, 2020, 07:14:45 pm »
    Yes, the moron part. This nonsense meme seems especially hard to kill in the trad circles.

    It's like the poor suckers want to believe that there is a tick box number of reviews that if you get that (tick) your book will sell. Like some suckers genuinely believe that an editor will buy your book as long as you kill all instances of the word "was". Seriously, you just cannot save people from themselves.

    Offline claycasey

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #16 on: May 28, 2020, 07:40:26 pm »
    I have read the same stuff and studied my products over the past few years. I don't know if there is any official # that helps your rank better. But my observation has been that there are numbers of reviews and avg stars that matter in regards to conversion rate. Based on my advertising numbers, I can see the conversion rates jump at 10 reviews and 100 reviews. I haven't noticed a difference anywhere else. I think adding the visual of having two digits and then three digits gives the customer a little more trust. Obviously, 5 stars is the best followed by 4.5 and 4. However, at 3.5 is where I've noticed a big drop off in conversion rate.

    Offline Usedtoposthere

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #17 on: May 28, 2020, 07:42:13 pm »
    I believe the reason for the persistence of this idea is that there is some truth to it. The merchandising department at Amazon does like to see a large number of early reviews on books when they are deciding what to give a boost to. And a high review average. (This is not stuff pushed by algorithms, but decisions like what to put into Prime Reading, on a KDD, into emails for new releases, etc.)

    The get more early reviews thing was said to me over lunch with my KDP rep and with the head of Createspace. It was a number of years ago (5?), but I know Merchandising still cares about reviews. Per a much more recent conversation.

    Does not mean X number of reviews alone will do anything.



    « Last Edit: May 28, 2020, 07:44:46 pm by Usedtoposthere »

    Offline markpauloleksiw

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #18 on: May 29, 2020, 04:49:57 am »
    I was scrolling through KDP's own literature and a few expert sites. It is clear to me that reviews matter in general in visibility and relevance of how your book is presented. I also picked up on the use of "keywords" in reviews actually has some effect on your book's relevance within your genre or subgenre listing.

    End of the day, I saw no reference to a magic number for reviews BUT they do have an impact.

    Also, when trying to get promotional deal listings elsewhere, there are "magic" numbers that do matter.

    Mark

    Offline anotherpage

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #19 on: May 29, 2020, 06:53:20 am »
    Over the past month I've read some articles about Amazon reviews. They all seemed to mention that reviews were important, or at least help with exposure and sales. I guess better to have than to have not. It isn't really a barometer on how well your book does pull in cash clicks.....however.....

    The three sources gave me different numbers when it came to the amount of reviews that would make Amazon sit up and take notice. I believe they said they would showcase the book more once it hit a certain amount of reviews. I know that paid purchases certainly does the same thing, and probably a lot better.

    I'v heard that 40 reviews is a target spot. Another source said 50, and still another article exclaimed it would take 60 before Amazon began to give it a little push.
    Does anyone really know the exact/magic review number to hit that might tweak the big Zon? 40, 50, 60?
    My apologies if this has been ridden over the road before.

    Blessed wishes, and y'all stay safe and healthy.


    Whoever told you that about 50 was probably trying to sell you a course lol. So many wannabe gurus online.

    Offline Marti talbott

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #20 on: May 29, 2020, 07:26:05 am »
    I was scrolling through KDP's own literature and a few expert sites. It is clear to me that reviews matter in general in visibility and relevance of how your book is presented. I also picked up on the use of "keywords" in reviews actually has some effect on your book's relevance within your genre or subgenre listing.

    End of the day, I saw no reference to a magic number for reviews BUT they do have an impact.

    Also, when trying to get promotional deal listings elsewhere, there are "magic" numbers that do matter.

    Mark

    I agree. The magic number of reviews that helps you buy promotions seems to be 20. As for Amazon, there are real people there and they are paying attention, but to sales not reviews. The rest of it is done by bots. I don't remember if I got a phone call or an email from Amazon congratulating me when I hit 50k sales a few years back. I don't really keep track of it, but I believe my books go into the 'hot new releases' even without reviews. With 50 books, I don't keep track of a lot of things. 
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    Offline Amanda M. Lee

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #21 on: May 29, 2020, 07:57:19 am »
    I was scrolling through KDP's own literature and a few expert sites. It is clear to me that reviews matter in general in visibility and relevance of how your book is presented. I also picked up on the use of "keywords" in reviews actually has some effect on your book's relevance within your genre or subgenre listing.

    End of the day, I saw no reference to a magic number for reviews BUT they do have an impact.

    Also, when trying to get promotional deal listings elsewhere, there are "magic" numbers that do matter.

    Mark
    Except they don't. What matters is numbers of units moved, via sales or KU. Period. That's what feeds the Amazon algorithm. Ask any of the Amazon reps and they'll tell you the same. Reviews are important for securing advertising and social proof to readers and nothing more. I've been doing this since 2010 and have more than 200 books. I guarantee reviews don't mean squat to the Amazon recommendation engine. Authors want this to be true because it's something they feel they can control but it doesn't matter. It's sales/borrows and even price when looking at the pop list. It is not reviews.

    Amanda M. Lee

    Offline David VanDyke

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #22 on: May 29, 2020, 10:49:30 am »
    Amazon does not care about reviews. Anyone who spouted that fifty-review nonsense is a moron. Reviews are only good for readers and advertising. They're not important for anything else.

    Amen. Preach it, sister.


    Offline markpauloleksiw

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #23 on: May 30, 2020, 05:46:18 am »
    Amazon cares about reviews. They want not have spent so much time tweaking their process of how they vet reviews.

    Reviews do lead to sales. Amazon does care about sales but it is a chicken and egg thing. Reviews help sales so they do care.

    But not always reviews carried the same weight and that is the trick in all this...how exactly are they weighted in the overall scheme.




    Mark

    Offline Amanda M. Lee

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #24 on: May 30, 2020, 10:39:08 am »
    Amazon cares about reviews. They want not have spent so much time tweaking their process of how they vet reviews.

    Reviews do lead to sales. Amazon does care about sales but it is a chicken and egg thing. Reviews help sales so they do care.

    But not always reviews carried the same weight and that is the trick in all this...how exactly are they weighted in the overall scheme.




    Mark
    They're not weighted. Amazon cares about sales, units moved, and that's it. Reviews are for customers. Period.

    Amanda M. Lee

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