...The Tech's Blog
A blog by Paul (Jack) Daniels, of all things technical being an independent publisher and some things not.
Sun, 17 Apr 2011 11:10:20 +1000 723 views

Did you enjoy the book you last read? Maybe you didn't? If it was by an independent author (like us) then it might be worth putting up a review for it, especially if it has less than 20 already, it's important.

Writers do not like to beg for reviews, especially since they're already very happy that you purchased and spent time reading their work, however the sad reality is that at the start of a book's life a writer desperately requires reviews to solidify their market position. Without sufficient reviews the book cannot be submitted to a lot of promotional sites, without sufficient reviews people considering the book might not feel comfortable investing their time into it, finally, without reviews, the writer doesn't always know how the unbiased audience is reacting to the book.

A review doesn't need to be an essay in literature, just a simple sentence or two (most people will skip over anything more than two paragraphs). As for choosing a star-rating, that's a difficult process, a lot of writers wished that there were multiple star ratings, so that a reader could rate the various attributes of the book (grammar, formatting, plot, characters etc) but as it stands it's usually just a 0-5 rating for now.

One point of strong contention - if you didn't like the book because it wasn't your genre of choice, it may be better to not leave a review at all, else it serves about as much purpose as complaining about the fact that the cake was chocolate when you knew all along it was chocolate but were yourself a vanilla person. Reviews are supposed to inform and guide people who like that sort of book, not as a warding to the rest of the world that doesn't.

Comment #1
Good article! I, too, love to see reader reviews of my books. If a reader doesn't like fantasy or science fiction but tries my book anyway, I'm still happy to get a review -- even if it's a negative review! Why? Because other readers who aren't into those genres may decide, based on that review, to skip a book they probably won't love. The last thing I want is a swarm of SF haters buying my book and not liking it, then being disappointed that the "I loved it" reviews from other SF-haters convinced them to try it! DIf a SF fan only likes spaceships and ray guns, they may not like my genetics-engineering story, and I can live with that. Reviews are for other readers, not for the author. I'd hesitate to guide readers on which books they shouldn't leave reviews for. If they read it, their opinion is valid whether they liked it or not, no matter the reason.
Posted by K.C. May at Sun, 17 Apr 2011 21:35:48 +1000.
Comment #2
I agree K.C. And Paul this was a great blog entry, as authors we need reviews or else we die.
Posted by elita at Mon, 18 Apr 2011 13:30:35 +1000.
Comment #3
Great post, Paul. I RT'd it, hoping that people will read it and think, "Hmmm, maybe I should go post a review of Courtney's book." )That points toward the heart of my own conundrum, though How do I encourage my readers to post their reviews -- without making a nuisance of myself?
Posted by Courtney Cantrell at Tue, 19 Apr 2011 06:07:31 +1000.