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. Writers are so generous in their work. Reviews are my way of saying thank you, but I try to read them a couple of times first. Only a few hundred to work through. ( :

    I rarely buy a book without checking reviews, so it’s also a way of returning that kindness. Then there are the few books I don’t want to admit to reading…

    See you on Goodreads.

    Jenny.

    Like

  2. Nice! I generally don’t consider myself “done” with a book until I have responded to it in some way, a review, a private message to the author, something. Sort of like doing the washing up after a feast, a tangible way of showing thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I always leave reviews, but my husband is an avid reader and never does. Now that I have him reading indies, I’ve been insisting. Try to encourage others also.

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  4. I love to have reviews. However short and pithy they are, feedback is feedback. The only thing I’d disagree with, here, is that if someone loathes my book I hope they’d always post a review saying why. Obviously “I loathed this book. It was crap and the author should be strung up for producing this drivel.” is not very helpful but “Unfortunately, I didn’t get on with this book because….” with a few of the things you didn’t like about it is very useful for readers. I often use the negative reviews when I’m deciding whether or not to buy. They’re usually more honest about the stuff they don’t like, which is sometimes stuff I DO like. Strangely they are just as helpful to me as a gushing five star. As an author, too, I can learn from them. So yeh, anyone who reads my books and doesn’t like them is welcome to say

    Cheers

    MTM

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  5. Yes I’ve started to leave reviews as it also helps me remember the striking points in a story, the highlights, what I liked and disliked about it. I would encourage everyone to leave a review of a book as it helps the author see the book through another’s eyes.

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  6. Great advice! Even though I’m not a published author, I treasure every review I receive. So, I always try to leave my thoughts on stories I’ve enjoyed. Only ones I’ve finished, though, because I don’t think it’s fair to leave a review on something I didn’t finish. I don’t know if that makes me a bad reviewer or not.

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  7. Excellent post and I hope people pay attention to it! I do like a thoughtful, insightful review, but I realize not everybody is a literary scholar, and reviews don’t have to be long and erudite. I don’t see much point in summarizing the plot – that’s right up there in the description of the book. I tend to write my reviews as if I was doing an analysis for a college paper, because I was trained to do that. I also try to say something positive in addition to any criticisms and will give quotations of passages that I thought were especially effective. And if I really think the book is inferior, I either won’t review it or, as you say, I will contact the author privately. I generally don’t review classics like The Great Gatsby on Amazon or Goodreads, but I will write about them on my blogs. And not all authors, even professionally published ones, are too busy to respond. Earlier this year, I contacted Helene Wecker (author of The Golem and the Jinni, which I loved) on Goodreads and we exchanged a couple of messages and friended each other.

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  8. Writing a review is a very simple task for me 🙂 just write what ever you feel, speak your heart 🙂 Do not bother about grammar, vocabulary or great sentences, because we are reader not a writer 🙂 we must tell the writer how we found it as a reader.

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