As a writer, I am always interested in feedback on my work. Naturally, I want to hear glorious reaves about my prose but a well-made point about a character flaw or plot inconsistency is really appreciated, too –as long as it’s done tastefully!
Reviews can let a writer, like me, know what readers do and don’t like about their work. It can spur us on with a current writing project or make us change direction. The problem is we don’t get very many.
Think about all the products you buy in a week, a month, a year even. How often do you run to your computer and sit down to write a glowing review of the new dish soap you tried, the handy new kitchen tool you bought or the last boo you read? As a rule, the average person doesn’t have time to write reviews on everything he buys. If he did, he’s have no time to wash the dishes, putter in the kitchen or read that book.
Conversely, when we go to buy something these days, we very often turn to websites seeking review information on the item we want to buy. This seems prudent when reviewing new cars or refrigerators, doesn’t it? More and more though, we as consumers look for reviews on movies, CD’s and books before we plunk down our hard earned cash. In some parts of the country anew paperback book costs as much as some people make in wages for an hour, so why wouldn’t they be judicious about how they spend their money?
It’s true that there are thousands of book-reviewing websites in cyberspace where an author can try to have his book reviewed. The trouble is many of those sites come with strings attached. Some charge for reviews. Many are dedicated to one genre or another. Some only work with established authors. Some require that you already have reviews on book at other sites before they will even discuss doing a review on their site. And even if they do feature a book, what guarantee does the author have that his audience will see it? Virtually none because the competition is so steep.
So what is an author to do?
Places like Amazon and GoodReads allow readers to have profiles (you can supply just basic information to set one up) where they can leave reviews for books they’ve read. You can rate books on a scale of 1 to 5 stars and leave comments on Amazon while GoodReads allows you to leave comments and tell your friends about the books you’ve read.
The process takes only a few moments to set up and leaving a review can be as easy as just clicking the number of stars you think a book is worth or leaving a detailed review. It’s really up to you, the reader. I can tell you that we authors read every one – at least this one does. It is your way to communicate with the writer as well as the rest of the book-buying public.
Next time you read a book you absolutely love – or hate – will you leave a review?