Positive or negative, reviews are important. Particularly on sites such as Amazon and Goodreads. Why? Well not only do they help other readers decide on whether or not a book is worth spending money on, but they also help the writer.
Reviews of books act as a way of communicating between writer and reader. The author can track how well (or badly) a book is received. Books that are adored and grow a fan following may then be turned into a series. However, if a storyline is considered to be bland, then the writer knows to leave those character where they are and move on.
Reviews can also help with getting that much-wanted contract! If a writer receives negative or no reviews, then publishers may be less inclined to sign their next book up, while someone who gets great or mixed reviews is more likely to get a contract.
Of course authors would love to have nothing but 5-star reviews, raving about how fantastic their book is, but honesty is more important. I know of several writers, myself included, who have had negative reviews from someone who is only out to spite the author (personal vendettas, jealousy etc.) or simply haven’t read the book but for whatever reason decided that the first chapter was enough to warrant some quite nasty and personal comments!
Unfortunately in some cases, these unwarranted reviews then drag the books reputation down and lead to lower sales. (We’re not all millionaires, those sales pay our bills!)
Not only that, but as a writer, I truly appreciate hearing the thoughts of my readers. If you didn’t enjoy the book, how could I have improved it? If you liked the book, which parts were your favourite? Why should other people read it?
And don’t forget, if you loved a book, your review may help another reader find their next favourite author!