Friday, 6 November 2015

The length of a meter is... Amazon?

As a reader, I don't use Amazon. This is because I'm in Australia. Until  v e r y  recently, Amazon hasn't been terribly Oz-friendly. (They have created, but that's a digital-only marketplace. If I want a hard copy of a 99c on-sale novel, I still have to pay $20 shipping. Ouch.)
Google Maps understands geographical isolation.

I don't buy physical stuff because shipping is too expensive. I don't buy digital stuff because their format is for the Kindle and I'm a Kobo girl. Amazon doesn't have much with which it can entice me as a customer.

But a significant part of the English-speaking world does use Amazon, and its rating system for novels tends to be the go-to standard because of sheer volume. Success often is measured by Amazon stars and sales rankings.

Want an accurate rating of a book? Go to Amazon. People post their reviews there left, right and centre center. Wanna know how well a book is selling? Check out the sales rank.

As an author I understand the value of Amazon ratings, especially when it comes to marketing. I've read several books by authors I would love to promote by Word-of-Mouth. The place I feel my opinion would have the most bang would be on Amazon. But I can't. I don't buy from Amazon. Amazon won't let me post any reviews because I haven't bought anything from them.

Oh, I'd love to buy my digital books from Amazon just so I could post an honest review. In theory, I could and read them on my laptop with a Kindle app. My only issue is the emissive nature of my laptop screen (ie it glows under its own power).

I love my Kobo ebook reader because of its e-ink display. It's reflective, not emissive. The light by which I view it is due to the ambient light of the room. I find an emissive display hard on the eyes after a few hours. When I read a book, I often find myself immersed for hours, if not days on end. I want to read books in a format that's easy on my eyes. A laptop can't do that. An ereader can.

(I did consider a Kindle once, but it was more expensive than my Kobo, didn't have quite the bells and whistles that my Kobo HD Aura has and, at the time, had poor customer support because I'm Aussie, oy, oy, oy.)

So where do I get my books? The KoboStore. Quick, easy, and new purchases are on my ereader ready to go in a matter of seconds.  The only thing I don't like about the KoboStore is that its users rarely use their star ranking system. I will, but I am only one of a very few handful. Because there are so few ratings, my opinion becomes mostly useless.

Now, I will go to GoodReads and post reviews. That has some clout.

Not as much as Amazon, which seems to have been adopted as the gold standard when it comes to overall opinions on what's good and what's bad. If I could get books in .epub format from Amazon, I'd certainly buy more books over there, especially books I intend on reviewing.

Until then, if you are interested in my opinion, I am on GoodReads from time to time.

Do an author a favour; go review someone's book.

Her Grace will give her honest, supported opinion for a book. She will say what did and didn't work for her. She wishes more reviewers were the same. "This book sucks!" doesn't do her much good, nor does, "I love this book!"  At least explain why.

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