Thoughts On Also Boughts

also_boughts2Like many self-published writers, I’ve been unhappy/dismayed/puzzled at Amazon’s removal of ratings and stars from Also Boughts’ listings, but I might be having a change of heart–I was just looking at the Also Boughts for my most recent novel, One Right Thing, and realized something very refreshing: every title looked as interesting as any other.

I don’t know what the current trend of thinking on this is, but I might be coming around to the idea if it was meant to encourage something like this:

  1. Reader likes Author, looks for book
  2. Reader buys book based on name recognition, reviews, and stars
  3. Reader needs more books, goes to Also Boughts
  4. Not swayed by quantified info, she picks the book that simply looks most interesting, or an author she’s heard about through some other source
  5. She goes to that book’s page and makes a decision to buy THERE based on the blurb, reviews, and rating, instead of a snap “I only buy 40 review/5 star books.”

This occurred to me mostly because ORT, while doing well with 12 reviews, doesn’t stand a chance–quantitatively speaking–against some of the Also Boughts on its page that have 50+ reviews. This may level the playing field on that all-important first click, and reward writers who get out there with social media, blogging, and personal contact to reach readers that are looking for a good read down the road.

And the hard work many of us put into soliciting reviews isn’t entirely wasted. A reader will now make their decision probably where it should be: on the book’s actual page, and not in a nano-second glance that doesn’t give the book a chance to tell its story.

Of course, there’s the added benefit of dealing a crushing blow to writers who use sock puppets and shills to pump up their book’s review profile like a bicycle tire. That’s a bonus we can all live with.

(the Subject was not meant to be a Dr. Seuss rhyme, BTW)


Writer of crime fiction, psychological drama, and dark humor.

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Posted in Epublishing News
2 comments on “Thoughts On Also Boughts
  1. Wo3lf says:

    I’ve been struggling with this issue too, mostly because I wanted to determine customer behavior, hoping that maybe it would give me an idea in what direction I should lean, marketing wise. Problem is, it is never the same books, and not necessarily in my genre. All of this impacts my exposure, or lack thereof. So, I’m still out there fretting, messing with settings and experimenting to see what works.

  2. To be honest I never look at Also Boughts. I’m not sure exactly why, but it may be because I have so many books to read now that I just ignore them.

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