The subject arose because this morning I received my 7th 5 star review (sorry - had to get that in!). But unlike the previous ones which have been works of literature in their own right, this reader simply stated that they couldn't write reviews but enjoyed the book and wanted to tell people about it.
Now, I appreciate all reviews - though, obviously, I prefer it if they say good things :). I appreciate someone going to a lot of time and trouble to tell others their impression of the book, and equally, I'm really pleased to hear a reader has enjoyed it.
But I wondered what other readers felt. Especially as kindle has an almost entirely US readership.
It turns out opinions vary enormously. Some readers won't even look at a new author unless they have a fair number of reviews. Some won't look unless the reviews are good. And some won't look unless some of them are bad! Others make their mind up based on the free sample download (on kindle you get 10% of the book). Certainly readers who look at reviews are very savvy about who's written them.
What is noticeable is that, on kindle it seems to be the norm to write a carefully constructed essay, while on smashwords a couple of sentences suffice.
But the main thing to emerge from today's kindle thread is not about reviews as such; it's about what readers want from a book description.
I'll deal with that another time!