In short, YES!!!
In today's modern age of online shopping, consumer reviews hold an ever-growing importance on commerce of any kind. Rarely does anyone buy anything unfamiliar without checking for ratings and reviews. Whether you are buying a car, a new laptop, or even a coffee maker, people judge the quality of products based on the reviews of others. It isn't always about the brand name or the price any more but about what others have to say about it.
Well, books are no different. We live in an era where literally anybody can publish a book. Thanks to services like Amazon Direct that allow anybody to publish and distribute literary works without regard, the book market has become crowded with books of every genre. Amateur authors, first-time authors, serious authors, established authors, and even popular authors are all contending with one another for sales on popular retail sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
When each day sees a multitude of new books being released, how do readers decide which books are worth reading?
The simple answer is by checking out the ratings and reviews left by other readers!
Sure, some books might be bought simply because of pricing, some because the reader is a fan of a particular author, but a large majority of books are either bought or skipped based on reviews from other readers. When you read a book that you enjoy, your review may well inspire someone else to read that same book and experience a similar level of joy or excitement. But without your review, that reader may have skipped a book that might have become their all-time favorite otherwise.
Authors depend on reviews. Not only for sales but for exposure. Popular books with many reviews garner more attention than popular books with few reviews. Those reviews can help authors attract new opportunities with agents and/or publishers. Those reviews can help other areas in the entertainment industry recognize a book or a book series as a potential television show or movie. Could you imagine life without Game of Thrones on HBO or Lord of the Rings movies by Peter Jackson? Those productions were the direct result of the popularity of the books.
Authors like to see their books being purchased. But more than that, we like to see them reviewed. Books bought but never reviewed do not inspire the author to continue writing nearly as much as reviews left for their current works.
Not to mention, many online retail sites like Amazon use a product's rating and number of reviews in their algorithms to determine what products to highlight for shoppers. If there is a book that you liked and you leave a positive review for it, it will be more likely to appear as a suggestion to someone else, it will appear higher in search results for others, and it will increase the likelihood of someone else discovering the same pleasure from that book as you did.
Reviews aren't pointless. They serve a purpose. How many purchases have you made or avoided because of the reviews of others? Books are no different. If you've never left a review for a book you've bought, or even read, I encourage you to do it today. Even if it is already a popular book/series, it never hurts to leave a kind word about your experience for others to draw upon should they be conflicted about a purchase. Reviews don't have to be long, usually 40-50 words is all most algorithms require to weigh a review.
Leaving a review not only helps other potential buyers but is also an easy way to show your appreciation (or dislike) for a particular book or author. Authors crave reviews. Leave your favorite author a review to let them know you enjoy their work(s). To let others know how you enjoyed their work(s).