I’m waiting for a package.

The built-in soap dispenser in my kitchen broke the other day and rather than making a special trip to the local hardware store, I decided to look online for a replacement. I typed in “Soap Dispensers for the Kitchen” and was overwhelmed by the choices. 

My computer displayed 27 PAGES of sites like Amazon, Home Depot, Kohler, Target, Wayfair, Delta, and Walmart, who all sell soap dispensers. A brief sampling showed each one of those sites had an average of five pages with over 100 dispensers listed on each page! Needless to say, by the time I got to page 3, I stopped looking and made a decision. 

Shopping online has become this generation’s Mall of America. It saves time and gas—and you can shop in your pajamas! How great is that? Even with the occasional inconvenience of having to return something, online shopping has become the norm for most Americans.

According to the ecommerce website, Selz, 1.92 billion people will buy something online this year. (Molly Corless, May 2019) That’s almost two BILLION shoppers! And by 2021, over 72% of all online purchases will be done on a mobile device. Nowadays, if you can think of something, you can get it online.

That brings me back to my problem. With so many options out there, how do you choose which one to buy?

Online reviews. 

According to Business.com, 87% of shoppers today use ecommerce reviews to decide whether or not to make a purchase, and 77% of those shoppers buy online. Reviews are important.

As a self-published author of two books, I have had to learn much more about marketing and sales than I ever wanted to know—including online sales. (And I thought writing books was simply about creativity and the hard work of putting the right words on a page—Silly me.)

So here are two more facts that blew my mind:

Amazon currently lists 32.4 MILLION books

As of a few hours ago, 1,571,115 NEW books have been published this year, and that number is increasing by about 5-10 new books a minute! By the time you read this article, the figure could be over 2 million.

With so much competition, how does an author make their book stand out? Once again, it’s the reviews. The more reviews a book receives, the higher it moves on the Amazon, Goodreads and Google page listings. The closer it gets to the top of the list, the more people see it (after all, who wants to scroll through 80,000 dog books to find, Life Lessons from a Rescue Dog?).

If you like a book, or if you don’t, please take a few minutes to write a review. (You can use some of that time you saved by not having to drive to the store.) Your review will help potential readers make a more informed decision about whether or not to buy that book. According to a 2014 survey by Bright.Local, consumers are 84% as likely to trust an online review as a personal recommendation.

In addition to sales, your reviews give us authors the feedback we need to know if our writing meets your needs. That information helps us to write better books in the future. We understand how precious your time is so, we don’t want to waste your time (or ours) by writing something you won’t read.

On a personal note, if you have read one (or both) of my books and haven’t posted a review, would you take a moment to let me (and others) know what you think? You can click on the links below:

Life Lessons from a Rescue Dog

Life Lessons from the Hive

After, all your opinion really does matter.