You READ – but do you leave REVIEWS? – by Chris Graham (aka The Story Reading Ape)

PLEASE

A stack of books and words Read - Review - Repeat

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 find them on Amazon and my Goodreads page.

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.

If you really like a book, then tell your friends about it. The success of a book in the marketplace has an impact on your favourite author’s ability to publish again. Speak up! It makes a difference.

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!

 

The best way to thank an author, is to write a review.

104 comments

  1. I mainly post a review of every book that I read on Goodreads you will find hundreds of reviews I have left. I often review others on my blog and sometimes even advertise those that I have found exceptional.
    There is a reason, however, that I do not review all the books I have read and that is simply that there are some that I do not enjoy for one reason or another.
    Someone remarked earlier in the comments that they are now an author and so see things from both sides of the tracks. Similarly I am aware of how much time and effort goes into writing a novel, a collection of short stories or a factual assessment and do not feel comfortable disparaging another author unless they already sell well and have written one bad book amid many good ones.
    They are then fair game in my opinion.
    But a new author needs encouragement rather than derision. They may not get everything right. My first book was a success by luck rather than talent. I worry about putting others off. I have read some pretty bad first books where the author with a little encouragement then thrives and creates something that I then wish to read.

    Liked by 1 person

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