I can see your cringe and your wrinkled brow on the other side of the computer screen when you read today’s blog title. I hear the muttered protest, “I’ll read, but please don’t ask me to write a book review.” I guessing you have one or more of the concerns I read in a recent post by Joan Reeves about why readers don’t write reviews. • Readers may not know exactly what to say or how to say it • Readers are wary of attacks from other readers with different opinions • Readers don’t want to hurt the author’s feelings or invoke the wrath of a popular author’s loyal readers • Readers are concerned that they don’t have the writing skills necessary to write a review. All are legitimate reasons, but also reasons easily overcome if you truly want to support your favorite authors. You can write a book review. Really. A book review is simply a conversation about a book you’ve read. A good book review talks about the story and tells others why you did or didn’t like the book. There are only two no-no’s when you write and post a review: • Never include “spoilers” (elements of the book that should surprise) • Don’t allow personal prejudices or attitudes about the author or anything not related to the writing to intrude into your review. Now, consider the benefits of writing a book review. • A good book review helps readers decide if a book is for them. • A good book review helps authors improve their writing. Authors recognize not all readers will love their “baby” as much as they do. Even bad reviews are valuable, if they are constructive. Most important, when you write (and post) a book review to sites like Amazon and GoodReads, you help increase an author’s visibility. The more reviews a book has, the more likely the author and their book will be noticed in the great sea of available books. Now, go finish reading your book and then write a review. You can do it. I know you can.
Today’s book market is flooded. Don’t believe me check out the statistics…
According to Worldometers, so far this year 1,975,193 new book titles have been published.
In 2012, there were 3,500 books published each day in the US.
Btw, neither of these statistical sources include the number of eBooks published daily. Some sources estimate indie/self-publishing adds another 3,000 books per day.
That’s a lot of books. An author can get lost in such a vast sea no matter how much marketing they do. So what can be done to help your favorite author?
Buy their books.
Read their books.
Tell your friends about their books.
But most important, especially for Amazon books…
Other ways to help an Amazon author:
- Add their book to your Amazon wish list, even if you already purchased it.
- Like other people’s reviews. You’ll see the question – Was this review helpful to you? – at the bottom of each Amazon review. Click yes or no.
- Like their author’s page.
Amazon uses algorithms, which I do not understand. I don’t think anyone does.
It doesn’t matter. The fact remains that every review and like on the author’s page raises an author’s rank on the Amazon charts.
Rank increases the book’s visibility among the vast number of books out there. Visibility can lead to sales.
None of my suggestions take much time to do, so please support your favorite authors.
And, just in case you want to help raise my rankings, you’ll find my Amazon author page here.
I’m a reader.
Frankly, I’m not sure you can be one without the other.
When I finish reading a book, I write a review. Why do I take the time and go to all the trouble?
The popularity of eReaders combined with the ease of independent epublishing has generated a flooded marketplace of book choices.
That ocean of available works is so huge knowing which book to select is difficult and book-buying budgets are often limited.
Personally, I check reviews before I purchase a book. Consequently when I read a good one, I want to share the news.
As an author I also recognize that reviews posted on eRetailers like Amazon or Barnes & Noble or iBooks are critical for sales whether you’re a new or established author.
Yes, I know there are authors who defraud the on-line review systems and reviewers who use their power to target and destroy. Thank goodness, those types are in the minority.
I’m not saying don’t post a bad review if you don’t like a selection. Most authors welcome an honest evaluation of their work if it’s in the form of constructive criticism, not trashing.
Finding reviewers to post reviews presents a major conundrum for authors.
The validity of a review by family and friends can be questioned. Think about it are you going to tell the world Uncle Joe wrote a terrible book?
That’s why on-line retailers build checks and balances into their systems.
Within the publishing industry, there are review writing services — professional reviewers who are paid to write book or movie reviews. Those services can be very expensive.
Small publishing houses and indie authors can’t afford to use those services instead they rely on readers spreading the news.
I’m not exactly sure why coaxing a reader to write a review is so hard. Maybe it brings back painful memories of those dreaded book reports we had to do when we were in school.
Whatever the reason readers don’t write reviews, I wish more understood reviews help an author and the process to post a review is easy. Reviews don’t have to be lengthy or formal.
Next time you finish a book, can I suggest you post a review.
Should you want to give writing reviews a try, contact me I’ll be delighted to send an ARC (pre-publication) copy of my next release or a book from my bookshelf list
as long as
you promise to post an honest review and include a statement that I provided a complimentary copy of the book for you to review.
Monday I talked about readers writing book reviews. I only briefly mentioned critical reviews. Primarily because those who write negative reviews tend to be harsh rather than constructive.
Edie Melson came to my rescue with a perfect picture to demonstrate my point about criticism. So whether you are writing a book review or reprimanding someone verbally, be gentle.
Sandwich those tough words with praise.
I promise your criticism will be better received.