Awards Versus Amazon Reviews

These are just a few of the awards my books have won. Obviously, I’m delighted with them. but my readers’ feedback is what really matters!

Three Against the World won this award two years in succession, and I have never found out who entered it for the contest.

It has 56 global reviews with an overall rating of 4.5. Not bad? It’s a ratio of less than 1 in 100 readers reviewing!

Two of my books carry this badge from Readers’ Favorite. Coincidentally, books one and two in the Richard and Maria Trilogy. Is it safe to conclude readers enjoy my Christian books? It’s impossible to say. Two Face the World has 24 reviews (4.5) and One Alone in the World, twelve (5-star).






Shattered Lives was my first venture into Police Procedural Thrillers. Published in 2021, it’s amassed a total of twenty “RATINGS”, which brings me another to problem. How am I supposed to act on a reader’s suggestion, should it be a good one, if they rate without saying why they didn’t award five stars?

Deadly Envy, another DCI Gerald Croft thriller, followed in 2022. 


To date, it has 10 global ratings, overall 4.7. And what pulled it down from 5? A 3-star rating without a review. Any reader is entitled to say what they liked, or didn’t like, about a book, but why leave the author guessing? Worse, Amazon invites readers to help potential buyers decide whether their purchase – a book or anything else – is for them, so merely rating is pointless.


I invite you to read any of my books, romance/sizzle thrillers. Christian romantic suspense, or a police procedural thriller, free with Kindle Unlimited. (Amazon offer a two-month free trial if you don’t already subscribe.)

Remember, your opinion matters. Don’t rate, leave a review – one that says, honestly, what you thought and does NOT give away the story. I have some reviews that do just that!

Author: authorsarahstuart

Sarah Stuart is an award-winning author whose books are based on her show business experience, her concern for animals, the challenges of her Christian faith, and her passions for history and travel. Sarah's hope is that readers will enjoy her novels as an escape from reality, but be left understanding that fame and fortune often comes at a high personal cost. Also, an increased perception of the threat to animals: those shot in the name of sport for trophy heads, endangered species, many poached for their fur and ivory, and tragically discarded pets.

17 thoughts on “Awards Versus Amazon Reviews”

  1. It is frustrating when readers don’t leave reviews. Authors need feedback. I had a one-star review for a book recently because of too many F-words in the first chapter – they didn’t read beyond chapter one for that reason. I reread my first chapter and concluded the reader was right, so I removed almost all of them. Had that been a one-star rating, I’d have had no idea what the reader had objected to, and the book wouldn’t have improved.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is exactly what I mean. Beta readers/editors cannot find everything and that includes errors. or misleading bits, in books with traditional publishers. My first experience of it was with my first book, and back in 2014 “ratings” alone didn’t, to my knowledge, exist. It was reviewers, often rating 4 or 5 stars who constantly made the point they often confused Lizzie with Lisette. I edited the lot and used Lizzie’s full name, Elspeth, throughout.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Harmony x
      That’s the way I usually try to look at it, but sometimes…
      I’ve seen “it arrived too late” on a frying pan. Too late for what? It doesn’t tell me if it really does cook without oil!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. A couple of good points are made there, Sarah. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of the written word (review) over an award, and as has been highlighted, actual feedback helps the author to improve their work. I find the ratings idea frustrating because it gives a title another nudge one way or the other but without reasons. On the upside of ratings, they reassure you that you’ve got sales, and that has to be positive.


    1. Hi Tom

      Amazon reviews are by far the most important. I wonder if anybody ever scrolls far enough to read editorial reviews. The only advantage of winning or being placed in a contest, other than a badge for the book cover, is to be able to claim “multi-award-winning author”.

      Re sales: I’d rather read my KDP record to find out how many books I’ve sold, though I do suspect ratings mean a reader has reached the end of the book. My Kindle always presents me with the chance to “rate” and the stars I award show immediately on Amazon and Goodreads. It begs the question why 1, 2, or 3 stars. If a book isn’t a 4 or a 5, i wouldn’t finish it.


      1. I wouldn’t finish it, either. Most books don’t pass the first paragraph test with me. Not content, unless it’s full of errors, so much as whether the writer’s style appeals to me, so not necessarily a fault of the book. I have reviews where readers have said they couldn’t finish the book, and I understand my tales are not for everyone, but you could argue that unless you’ve given the book a fair chance, you shouldn’t mark it down. Since I only read books I consider are going to be five-star, I only tend to give five-star reviews. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Most of mine are 5 star. I do occasionally write a nice review and award 4 stars, but I say why, and I try to do it without putting off a potential reader. EG. I don’t like books that end with blatant cliffhangers so you MUST read the next unless I’m really hooked, but if I say so, the only readers it might discourage are those who’d be disappointed anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think careful wording of the blurb can help prevent potential review issues. I now flag ‘strong language and scenes of a sexual nature’ and the ‘need to read on’ if a book isn’t a standalone. Of course, there are always those who don’t read the blurb, but you can only do your best.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. All true, though my warning of violence/graphic sex didn’t work on a crime thriller; I was told readers of the genre would expect it. Saying “you need to read on” is an excellent idea. As you say, how many people read the blurb? If I pay for a book, I read the “look inside”. If it’s free, I simply stop reading. (I don’t return it and affect the Amazon download score.) If I’ve borrowed it from Amazon Prime, I do return those I don’t like without reviewing. The blurb for them is pretty useless; almost always, it consists of quotes saying how wonderful it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I get nice emails, but then they never leave a review. Or I get the hit and run people who slam you with one star and you have no clue what is going on. Or they leave remarks that have nothing to do with the story line and leave me feeling like they didn’t even read the books.
    And I do know some people have vendetta’s because some whacko decided they didn’t like me and used a bot to leave over a hundred 1 star reviews on Goodreads while sending me vicious emails at the same time telling me how much they hate independent writers. I still don’t think they removed them all. It was a nightmare.
    Also Amazon suddenly decides to remove four reviews that had been up for months and it seems like always the good ones, yet leaves the one star ones with no comments which left the book below 4 stars.
    And the cherry on top is with my latest release. I finally got a 5 star review after over a month and the next day it was gone. If I had friends and relatives leaving me reviews I would have a ton by now since I have a huge family. So I am pretty sure it was a genuine reader. Not to mention, just because you talk to people on Facebook does not mean they are actual friends you asked to leave a review, but Big Brother is watching.
    End of rant

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I lost one five-star review because it was written by someone with the same, fairly unusual, surname of a gentleman I had thanked for his advice in the acknowledgements. I couldn’t have written the book without him, but he doesn’t read novels, never mind romance. I now rarely include thanks at all, unless it’s general.

      I haven’t had a problem with Goodreads, but I know a lot of authors who have.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s is not right for Amazon to do that.

        As far as Goodreads. Huffington Post did an article about how badly some authors get bullied on there. I also saw two women making fun of one of my covers saying you are only supposed to use one font style. But I release music too and it isn’t much different. I have been called the C word on Youtube and also had someone else threaten me I shouldn’t do any more shows because they are watching me. Too many crazies out there. Creative people do seem to draw them


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