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I can breathe again!  “Heir Apparent” now has three reviews on Amazon (the UK version – I still don’t understand why reviews on one Amazon site don’t automatically appear on all Amazon sites) and they are all five-star.  Here are a couple of lovely extracts, which warm the cockles of my authorly heart:

  • “‘Heir Apparent’ is certainly the most complex case the experienced constable has had to tackle; it concerns the question of stolen identity and the law of succession in the early decades of the nineteenth century.”
  • “The biggest draw is enjoying the company of [Susan’s] characters, so well-drawn, realistically flawed yet hugely likeable (for the main characters), and although the villains are suitably villainous, they too are three-dimensional, with their reasons for erring clearly drawn”
  • “I love how many times pie is mentioned.”

All authors agree that Amazon reviews are important.  Sometimes we can forget that Amazon – no matter how big and no matter how global – is just a shop.  And all (most) shops care about is selling things to customers.  So Amazon tries to put its most tempting items in front of potential buyers – and the most tempting items are the ones that other buyers have bought and loved, and indeed loved enough to come back and rave about how much they loved them.  Hence the value of the review: if someone has read your book and thinks it’s terrific and tells Amazon how pleased they are, that will help your book rise up the rankings at Amazon, and it will be shown higher up the search results, so that more potential buyers can spot it.  Interestingly, you don’t have to buy a book – or anything, I suppose – at Amazon to leave a review for it on Amazon.  So if you have read any of my Sam titles, even if you’ve borrowed it from a friend or bought it somewhere else, and you liked it, please consider leaving a review for it on Amazon.  (The only restriction is that to be able to leave reviews on Amazon, you have to have spent at least £40 – US$50 on the US site – on Amazon in the past twelve months.)

And I am just putting the final touches to my free monthly research update, which will be sent out to subscribers on 1 November.  This month it’s about education in Sam’s time, so if you’re interested in the research behind the Sam books (I can’t shoehorn it all into the books – there’s far more in my files than I can ever use), why not sign up now?  I occasionally offer giveaways and competitions too – who could resist?