"I loved your book. When is
your next one coming out? I can't wait to read it." Comments like these
certainly help to keep me writing when I am struggling with a story or finding
excuses to stay away from the keyboard.
Authors love to hear readers' positive
comments but the less positive one can be equally helpful to a writer’s career.
"I loved the heroine
but the hero wasn't very likeable." Or,
"I gave it 3 ½ stars because
it took me awhile to get into the story. I like a little more action from the
Note I said less
positive not negative. Another way of saying it is, constructive criticism. I'm not talking about reviews that include
spoilers or destructive overtones. No
one appreciates sour grapes.
Positive reviews offer feel good
moments; less positive ones can help authors improve their craft. Sour grape reviews are like the sting of a venomous
spider.They spread poison right into
the veins of our self esteem. Authors and readers need to consider the source
and delete negative ones from their minds and their computers. Authors take a long, tedious, and often maddening
journey to write, edit, and complete a manuscript.We readers may not like every bookbut I would hope that we appreciate the
author’s efforts and find some merit in his or her achievement.If it’s a published book, someone felt its
content needed to reach the public.
Why not write a
Unfortunately, when I ask readers
who have enjoyed one of my books if they would write a review on the purchase
site, too often I hear:
not good at writing reviews."
meant to do that but I've been so busy."
read too many books. It takes too much time."
speaking of the average reader, not professional reviewers. I ask occasionally because
I’m still building my career as so many new authors are doing and reviews add
momentum, encouragement, and increase sales.
I don't write
reviews for every book I read. If I know that the author has a large following
and sells hundreds, if not thousands of books, I question whether my comments
will make a difference. Perhaps, that's not the best the way to think. On the
other hand, if I read a book by an author who I know is newly published and building
a readership, I do my best to find the time to comment. Amazon helps by sending out emails asking for
opinions after a purchase. I try to follow up on those requests. Other sites such as Goodreads and All Romance Books
encourage readers to write reviews.
Avoid letting one
review sway you from a purchase.
I often go on Amazon and read
reviews for a product I want to buy. I never read just one. I read many reviews
to gain a broader perspective. I am not turned off by less positive ones unless
the same issues are presented in a few customer comments. We all have different
tastes and expectations and not everyone appreciates the same qualities in a
Writing a review
takes little time out of your day.
do not have to be polished or lengthy. They just need to be thoughtful and
fair. As a teacher who has often had my students do peer editing, I encourage
them to say something positive before giving constructive criticism.
Reader reviews can be just a sentence or two.
couldn't put this book down. It gave me hours of pleasure."
book. Loved the suspense and despised the villain. I want to read more from
plot was intriguing and kept me reading but I prefer less description and more
Consider the influence
and power of a simple review.
thoughtful review is a blessing to an author and compelling to a reader. Authors
make a small amount on each book they sell. Often only pennies. They spend
hours upon hours writing, editing, and struggling with plot and characters to
create tension and cohesiveness. When a manuscript is complete, more hours are
spent finding a publisher or going through the grueling steps of self
publishing. When a book is finally on the market, it's the author's baby going
out into the world and they wait anxiously for those first reviews.
urge all readers to take the time to write thoughtful reviews. Your opinions
are valuable. Let the author and other readers know if you enjoyed a book and
why. If you find a book lacking, voice you opinions in a constructive way. Good
reviews not only help authors sell books but constructive criticism helps us
improve our craft and meet the expectations of our readers. We write because
it's in our hearts to tell a story. Knowing that readers find pleasure in our
work or think enough about it to point out a weakness is a gift to us.
take a few minutes and write a sentence, two, or three when you finish a book.
If you love it, try another from the same author. If you just liked it, read
reviews for the same author’s other books. Another by the same writer might be
more captivating.Regardless, keep
reading and write those reviews!
Speaking of reviews, what a pleasure it was this week to receive a review from
a well known review site, Jeep Diva. It was extra special since it was on my
very first published novel, Regal Reward that came out in 2007. The
first is always closest to a writer's heart.
thoroughly enjoyed the characters in this book. From the vile Lord Craymore to
delightfully interfering Aunt Cornelia. They were all well developed and added
to the joy of this story. The action was nicely paced and exciting. From the
kidnapping of Marielle to the exposure of Lord Craymore’s crimes.