It's not even that it's a time-consuming job. If I cross-post my reviews to Amazon once a month (which is often when I do it) it only takes 10 or 15 minutes to do. It's nice when I remember and I feel all accomplished.
But the reason I hate doing it is very simple. Right at this moment I have 202 helpful votes on my reviews. 202 out of 238. Which means that 36 anonymous people out there have read my reviews and they've decided to click that 'No' button under my review in response to the question, 'Was this review helpful to you?'
That's happened 36 times and every time that I do notice that this count has gone up in anyway, I have a major bout of doubt and my confidence drops and I'll go back to that review and I'll think 'what is it about this review that isn't helpful? and I'll feel really sorry for myself.
And usually, I'll read that review again and I don't find anything wrong with it. I don't write spoilers for the books I'm reviewing, if it's a book in a series I'll usually post a spoiler warning before the events of previous books are spoilt. Some books are difficult to discuss without giving away too many spoilers so they can reviews in which I talk more generally about the book but in a relevant way. Some reviews are overly positive, some are more negative but I always try to balance both the good and the bad. None of my reviews are the same, certain stories have different aspects that appeal to me more than others: the characters, the relationships, the setting and I'll write about those aspects in more detail.
All I can think when I'm reading these reviews in which somebody answered 'No' to 'Was this review helpful to you?' is that they just don't agree with my opinions. I can't think why else they might find them unhelpful. And I have to be honest, I find it really hurtful that 36 anonymous people have dismissed the time and effort that I have put into reading and reviewing these books.
Now, let me tell you why I continue to cross-post my reviews to Amazon.
It's helpful for authors.
No, that's the only reason. But I do sometimes have to remind myself of this fact. In fact, I usually repeat 'it's helpful to authors' during my monthly cross-posting sessions. 'It's helpful for authors, it's helpful for authors, it's helpful for authors.'
Having more ratings and reviews on places like Amazon is helpful to authors. I know quite a few people who rely on reading Amazon reviews to purchase books including my local book club members. An author on Twitter recently compared Amazon reviews to gold dust and while I thought that was extreme at the time, more authors agreed with her. I think this is especially true of debut authors and any author that's not already a household name and who continually tops the bestseller charts and even then it's still helpful to those authors.
So I guess while it does hurt my heart to do sometimes, I will still always do my best to cross-post my reviews to large retail sites like Amazon. It's nice to spread the word. And while it's easy for me to focus on those 36 unhelpful reviews, I also shouldn't forget about those other 202 votes. Maybe 202 times I've helped someone to find a new favourite book or was the deciding factor on buying a book they were unsure about. I sure hope so.
Do you cross-post your reviews to Amazon?