While technology’s most significant gift to the sailor must be the GPS, there is something that, to my mind, is even more welcome – and that is the Kindle.
I have just counted up and find I have 329 books on mine (the latest, Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – an absolute delight).
Imagine how big a boat you would need for an onboard library like that?
But it is only since publishing my own book and being thrilled to find that Amazon counts it as a “Hot New Release” and deserving of a discount out of Mr Bezos’s (admittedly deep) pocket, that I have been paying close attention to how Amazon works.
While an appreciative review gives the author a warm glow of boosted ego, that’s not really what counts. This is just as well because I know that when I finish a book, I have every good intention of writing a review – and then rarely get around to it. Somehow there are always more pressing things to do than open up the Amazon account and click on “My Orders” and “write a review” – and even then you have to wait for the algorithm to approve it in case you said something that’s not allowed.
No, what counts are the “stars”. After the first half dozen reviews, it doesn’t matter how many there are – nobody is going to trawl through all of them. But the stars do matter. The stars really matter.
I know that if I am thinking of buying a book, I check to see it has four or five stars – and that hundreds and hundreds of different people awarded it those stars. After all, if there are only a couple of dozen, they could have come from the author’s family – all those doting aunties who like to tell their neighbours they have a “nauthor” in the family.
Also, please remember that your stars won’t go anywhere unless your device is online. If you bought the paperback edition, you will have to go into your Amazon account, onto the “My Orders” page and leave your stars there.