You READ – but do you leave REVIEWS?

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If not, why not?

I don’t have time

The author probably spent a heck of a lot more time writing the story than you took to read it, no matter how slow you think you are, so why not take a few minutes to record your feelings about it.

I can’t write long fancy reviews like those I see on book review blogs

You don’t have to, Amazon, for example, only ask you to use a minimum of 25 non repeating words.

I can’t express myself very well

No-one is asking you to produce a literary masterpiece, start off with things you liked, didn’t like or a mix of both about the book, e.g.,

I liked this book because –

it reminded me of –

it made me think about –

it made me so scared I couldn’t sleep for –

it made me feel homesick for –

it made me more aware about –

etc.

and just express your feelings about it

take a look at MY reviews – no lengthy literalistic tomes, no divulging the story endings or highlights (these are called spoilers), you’ll get to them by clicking on the Amazon sites mentioned at the top of the Find Me At list to the right of this article, or even my Goodreads page further down the same list (when at Goodreads, check under my Chris’s Bookshelves and select Books Reviewed).

But all the other reviews are great long one’s. Everybody will laugh at mine

Let them laugh, you won’t be there to see them. Anyway, if they laugh AT you instead of WITH you, it demonstrates what kind of people THEY are.

In any case, an author will not laugh AT you I can assure you. They can see the difference between an honest comment and one that is professionally presented.

Honest reviews tell them an awful lot more and they pay more attention to them.

But what if I really, REALLY HATED the story.

As long as it was the story and not the author, then instead of posting a review comment, you can contact the author directly by email (usually found on their websites) and tell them why you really, REALLY hated the story.

If it was the AUTHOR you didn’t like, my advice is to keep it to yourself and avoid their books in future. Both of you will lead happier lives for it.

I can’t write to an author, they’re all too big and far above my status

You’d be surprised, authors come in all shapes, sizes and stations in life. The only difference between them and you is that they wrote a story and actually published it.

Why do authors need reviews anyway? They can write whatever they want and besides, they all make a lot of money so they don’t need ME doing reviews.

Only partly true.

Authors write whatever story is inside them that they feel needs to be told

However, not all authors are rolling in money, if it were that easy YOU’d be an author yourself wouldn’t you?

Authors are storytellers

Storytellers NEED an audience

YOU are part of that audience

They cannot SEE how you react to the story

They cannot see your tears, hear your laughter or feel your emotions in response to the story they are telling – it is not like they are on a stage in a live show.

THAT is why they need your review comments, they need you to tell them about your reactions, so they can work on improving the existing and future stories they are writing, thereby improving your enjoyment of them.

So, if I leave review comments about a story I’ve read, I’ll be helping them get better at telling them?

Yes!

MMMM but I don’t have time –

Please refer to the top of the page and read it as many times as necessary until the message finally gets through – thank you!

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221 thoughts on “You READ – but do you leave REVIEWS?

  1. Yes, I constantly write reviews – on my blog, on Amazon, on Goodreads – it is the best feedback you can give an author because it is public and, being public, most people actually think about what they are writing. I wish, though, that more would take the time with my books so that I can see what is working, what comes across well, what I could change or adapt for the future.

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  2. When seriously starting to blog and to write, I simultanously started to provide reviews as well. It is good to know that someone likes the result of your efforts. It is nerve-wrecking to wait for the first like/review/rating. I felt nauseous until the first like for my first story. *blushes*
    As readers we should honour the authors’ efforts, as writers we should honour the readers’ efforts in providing feedback.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I always like to leave a review. As a writer, I think it’s easy to realise how much energy went into creating a book, so I try to do my bit by leaving a review and helping 🙂

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  4. To be honest I do not make the effort to leave reviews of the big guys – like Stephen King. Their name is already so big that their books sell anyway. But for the not so well-known writers, I do. I get quite a tingling when Amazon sends me a notification that someone has found my review helpful. So yes, my words are read and considered. Every review I have done on my blog, I put up on Amazon too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m reviewing on Goodreads. I post on Amazon when I can, but it looks like Amazon has a new rule: only readers who buy directly from them can post a review.

      I understand the logic: it will cut back on paid-for reviews and increase credibility, but will also cut back on a lot of deserving reviews. Most of my second hand books are from Better World Books. It’s the only way I can afford to ship so many, and a book goes to charity for each I buy. (This doesn’t happen if you buy from Better World through Amazon. I checked.)

      My blog launches in the new year and will be in-part a book review blog. It’s out of gratitude to authors who have been my unwitting angels, but there’s also this motive: when you share the things you learn, you learn well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Smashwords and Barnes & Noble already have that rule in place, it is irritating to some degree for reviewers like me who post book reviews everywhere the book is available, but if it stops, or even just slows down Trolls and Reviews for Money scams, it’ll be worth it 🙂

        Don’t forget to let me know the blog details, so I can add it to my Book Reviewers Blog roll 😀

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      • Your comment makes me consider switching to posting on Goodreads. Not all the books I read have been bought by me: I swop with neighbours and friends, pick up a copy every now and then at Indigo or Scholastics, and also use the library.

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      • I recently posted a review for my good friend Patty van Delft on Amazon, never have bought anything in my life with them. this has been about two weeks ago. The review got placed.

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      • I believe, because my reviews go up, that the criteria for leaving a review on Amazon, if it is not a verified customer… if you put in the review where you got the book – I now buy Indies, read big names from the library shelves – but if I like the blurb because I’ve seen it somewhere push on facebook, I contact the author and ask if they sell signed paperback copies direct. If so, I buy. If I win it I say so, if I am fortunate to get an ARC, I say so. I only post reviews for books that I have finished and I have to like it to finish it. I seldom buy because of reviews. Now that Amazon has the option of getting inside the book, I know after reading that if it interests me, and is going to be fully read..

        So don’t let the fact that you bought it elsewhere deter you from leaving a review because many people rely on reviews with the book buying

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  5. “Respect their right to write” I love that! I only write reviews on books I like. My Mama told me “If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all.” On the flip side, when nobody reviews my books I always wonder if their Mamas told them the same thing, and they don’t like my book.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post SRA! Yes leaving a review really is that simple. One of my fave reviews for my first book was only a couple of lines long, but it came from the heart and made me smile. Most authors make very little money. In any case the feedback in a review is priceless. Personally, I always review a book written by an Indie author, unless I cant find anything positive in it, in which case I respect their right to write.

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