Many of us have come to trust reviews as a way of finding out whether we might enjoy a book from Amazon before downloading or ordering it.. And the marketplace for a book is no longer confined to one nation, waiting for export to another market that reads the same language. People in the U.K. can download any Amazon digital title easily to their digital reading device.
There’s just one little problem. Software at Amazon.com does not connect in some areas of information. Reviews on the U.S. Amazon site will not show up on the U.K. site or in any of the other countries through which Amazon sells – Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan. So a reader will really have to want a book to buy with absolutely no endorsements from other readers.
I recently put an ad for our novel, The Leopard Tree, on a UK Kindle Forum site and expected some sales, but no purchases resulted from a month-long ad. An ad of the same kind on any American site would have sold some books. After weeks of no sales, it suddenly occurred to me to look at the reviews on the U.K. site. We have 72 reviews with a 4.8 average on the U.S. site. We had none – 0 – zilch on the Amazon site in the U.K. Now we have four by asking some of our loyal readers to post both places.
Amazon is absolutely amazing as a vendor in that they empower authors and publishers to sell books through their sites easily. We sell both our digital titles and print books through Amazon and we handle shipment of the printed books to customers. It is all easy to do with their user-friendly software. When you have a question of Customer Support for sellers, it happens quickly in my experience, so I asked them if they could link our U.S. reviews to the U.K. Amazon site.
Two hours later I had answers – not NO, but we will work on it! They are always polite and helpful through a great feedback system. I made the suggestion that they figure out how to do that. It’s hurting sales of books in the U.K. for Amazon and American authors. Our books with great reviews simply do not show up there. The Amazon support staff assured me they will work on it but it’s a software issue and will not happen quickly. Three days later I checked our non-fiction book, Put the HEART Back In Your Community at Amazon.UK and they had four of our 12 reviews from the U.S. site and a small “Beta” test marker. They have already found a potential work around and it links to the twelve 5.0 star reviews for the book on Amazon.com.
If you review on Amazon because you want to support good books and tell others of clunkers so they don’t buy them, keep reviewing. Those of us who write or read appreciate thoughtful reviews. But after you post your review on the U.S. Amazon site, use Google to locate UK Amazon and search for the book you are reviewing there. They have the same books for the most part, but you will see much smaller review numbers unless it is a book by a British author, who posted there first.
You can do a cut and paste from your review on the Amazon site easily and put the very same review on the British site, no matter where you purchased or downloaded the title. This gives your reviews greater exposure all over the English-speaking world and authors/publishers/readers will appreciate your extra effort.
We hope you will keep reviewing, but expand your efforts in the U.K. for English readers all over Europe. If you have read The Leopard Tree, please review it at the U.S. Amazon site and UK Amazon. Thanks for reviewing.