“Your words are as important to an author as an author’s words are to you.”
I have to admit as a reader of MANY books, I have left very few written reviews of those books I’ve read. When I finish reading a good book, I’m quick to share my opinion of that book with my friends and family whether it is a good book, a great book, a life changing book, or one that stinks. I actually enjoy sharing my reasoning for liking or disliking a book. Why then do I not take a little time and effort to write an opinionated review of that book?
I know the answer to my own question. IGNORANCE!! Yes, I claim ignorance. Until I became an author, I had no idea how very important reviews are to the author. Truly, I thought the author wouldn’t really care to know my opinion of their book since many of the books I read were written by well-established, successful authors.
I WAS WRONG! All authors care.
It doesn’t matter if the author is successful and has thousands of reviews or is a beginning author begging for reviews, every author wants to know what their readers think of their books. Their readers’ opinions may be one of the most important things to an author. It is one of the reasons an authors writes. They are writing to bring their readers into a world they have created.
Authors want to know; actually they need to know:
Was my reader entertained?
Was my reader frightened?
Was my reader repulsed?
Was my reader brought to tears?
Was my reader inspired?
Was my reader bored?
The list of questions in an author’s mind when they publish goes on and on. The message I want to convey is that all authors want every reader to leave them a review. They need those reviews not only for themselves, but for others to know your opinion of their book.
There is another reason authors need your written reviews. That reason is the business of books. The more reviews that are left on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, etc, the more that author will be promoted and the more successful the author will become. Here’s a fact for you. The reason the originally self-published book The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins was noticed by book publishers and Hollywood was because of the number of reviews it got! So, for all authors, please write a review of their book. You can do it the minute you finish the book. 🙂
Below is from a post by author Katie Rose on the importance of leaving a book review.
Problem: I’m reading a series, zooming through it, and as I consume the books one after another, I don’t stop to review the books.
Solution: Read the series — Great! There’s nothing better than being sucked into a series. When you get to the end of the series, review the entire series at once. Write one review for the whole series, like this: “This is a review of the entire [name here] series: I found it amazing!” Then paste the review in each of the books’ review spaces, and leave your star ratings. Sure, that’s not the most detailed of review for each book, but you left a review, and that’s what matters most.
Problem: I got the book as a gift from my mom, so I can’t leave a review on Amazon.
Solution: Not true! Amazon actually doesn’t care whether you purchased the product from them or not when you write your review. And, of course, Goodreads doesn’t have this problem.
Problem: The author already has a million reviews (okay, 2000), and I feel like mine won’t matter at all.
Solution: Not true! Sure, the review won’t matter as much to that author as your review will matter to the author who only has 48 (e.g., me), but it will still matter.
Problem: The author is with a major publisher, so who cares if I leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads?
Solution: Also not true! For all the reasons that reviews matter to small-press and indie authors that Lauren discussed in her piece, they also matter to authors at major publishers. I have many friends who are midlist authors with big publishers, and they worry about getting dropped, about losing their relationship with the publisher, about not meeting sales quotas. These authors need reviews, too.
Problem: I forget. I’m in a hurry. I’m lazy. I’m eager to move on to the next book.
Solution: Just do it. Just don’t write a tome when you write your review. A few words will do — and you can cut-and-paste that exact same review to Goodreads. Do it, and move on.
In fact: Do you ever sit around at night wasting time on the internet? Like, during the “cat video” time of the day? That’s a great time to write a bunch of book reviews. Reminisce about the great books you’ve read lately. And make an author’s day.
Update: In case the problem is that you don’t know how to leave a book review on Amazon, here’s a tutorial just for you.