How to Feed Your Favorite Author – Reviews

Chances are if you are perusing this on my website, you have read at least one book so far this year, if not more. Did you enjoy any of them? If so, did you leave a review anywhere?
Nine times out of ten, the answer to that question is “no”. Understandable. Our time is limited. We need to be on to the next book, whether writing it or reading it!
But…we really need to stop and write those reviews. Why? Well, how about a bullet list?

  • Obviously, word of mouth. Many readers explore Amazon and Goodreads as well as other sites searching desperately for something new to read. A positive review, no matter the rating, will often encourage a reader to give it a try. If that reader enjoys it and leaves a review, then the word is out!
  • Reviews on Amazon, via their “secret algorithms”, result in the book showing up on the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” and “What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?” which results in more folks considering the book, purchasing, reading, reviewing, and so on!
  • As I discovered when I was trying to do some advertising for the 99 cent sale I did last year, some advertising companies will not sell you an ad unless you have a certain number of reviews, preferably positive. And an inability to advertise means folks won’t hear about sales and giveaways.
  • People who don’t like something tend to vent online while people who enjoy something don’t, oddly enough. Out of ten people who read a book, say eight love it and two hate it. Those two are invariably the ones who go out and tell the world while the folks who enjoyed it just move on to the next book. So even if a book is terrific, with those negative reviews outnumbering the positive, the book loses sales.
  • Authors need to eat too! (And buy books!)

But, how to write a review? First, you don’t have to be an author or a professional reviewer. Think of a review as a conversation with a friend about the book you just read. It really is that simple. Some easy tips will help:

  • On most sites, you only have to click on a rating and write a sentence or two if you like. “I really enjoyed this book. It’s a great beach read!” or “Kept me up all night. Can’t wait for the next one!” That’s not too hard!
  • Remember, on most sites, the “back of the book blurb” is already available. Unlike book reviews or reports you may have written for classes, you don’t have to recap the plot for the reader. (Whew! That’s a relief, huh?)
  • Share something you enjoyed about the book. This can be simple too. Perhaps a character you particularly liked, a scene you loved, an aspect of the book that you particularly relished. Examples: “David was my favorite kind of guy – gentle, but strong too” or “I loved the descriptions of the setting. It’s really another character in the book” or “There was a plot twist that I did NOT see coming!”
  • Put yourself in your review. Perhaps you identified with a particular character or you commiserated with a situation in the book. Perhaps a scene or scenes made you laugh or cry. By including that, you give the personal touch that both authors and other readers will love. Examples: “I had someone like Adam in my life. Tough person to get to know, but worth the effort!” or “I learned more than I ever thought I would about training service dogs!” or “I’ve visited that beach and it really is gorgeous.”
  • Mention what you didn’t enjoy in a constructive way. “In a couple of scenes the POV switches were confusing” or “I would have loved to have seen more of Vic and a bit less of Martin” or “The bad guys were a bit predictable.” Just remember to critique the book and not the author.
  • Don’t give away the ending! Please?
  • Summarize with a memorable line (that the author can quote on Twitter!) “Exciting, with a complex plot and beautiful writing – a very satisfying romance!” or “All in all an enjoyable contemporary romance.” or “A hot, exciting paranormal – don’t miss!”

Authors REALLY appreciate the time and effort that it takes for you to create your review. I would like to thank, once again, those of you who have taken the time to leave a review anywhere for one of my books and anyone who plans to leave one in the future.

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