MORE to BROWSE - Pages that might be of Interest

Tuesday 2 August 2016

Are Reviews Important? Yes!

You bet they are! Well the good ones that is, although on occasion a 1 star review that is snide, rude and downright nasty can do the author a lot of good because fans of that author rally round and hit back. Though I am NOT suggesting that you all now go out and post nasty snide reviews!

Did you know that August 2016 is Write An Amazon Review Month? No I didn't either until a couple of days ago. Must admit this has come at a very timely time as I have two new books out at the moment, On The Account (the fifth Sea Witch Voyage) and 1066 Turned Upside Down (a collection of 'What If' short stories written by myself and eight other fabulous authors. More reviews would be very much appreciated for both these books - although I'd love some more positive reviews for all my books.

This reposted article* sums everything up very nicely: 
(I've highlighted in bold the bits I particularly agree with) 

On Monday 25th July, book blogger Rosie Amber wrote this post encouraging readers and writers alike to post a short review on Amazon for any book they've read and enjoyed ~ following this up, Terry Tyler is starting this initiative along with other writer-bloggers (me included)

The idea is that, from August 1st, everyone who reads this uses their Amazon account to post just one review on one book that they've read (but feel free to carry on if you get in the swing!).  You don't even have to have read it recently, it can be any book you've read, any time.  The book does not have to have been purchased from Amazon, though if it is you get the 'Verified Purchase' tag on it; however, if you download all your books via Kindle Unlimited, as many do these days, they don't show the VP tag, anyway.

Remember, this isn't the Times Literary Supplement, it's Amazon, where ordinary people go to choose their next £1.99 Kindle book.  No one expects you to write a thousand word, in-depth critique; I don't know about you, but I'm more likely to read one short paragraph or a couple of lines saying what an average reader thought of a book, than a long-winded essay about the pros and cons of the various literary techniques used.  Yes, those are welcome too (!), but no more so than a few words saying "I loved this book, I was up reading it until 3am", or "I loved Jesamiah (*I added that bit HH) and the dialogue was so realistic", or whatever!

Why should you write a review?
They help book buyers make decisions.  Don't you read the reviews on Trip Advisor before deciding on a hotel, or any site from which you might buy an item for practical use?  Book reviews are no different.
If the book is by a self-published author, or published by an independent press, the writers have to do all their promotion and marketing themselves ~ reviews from the reading public is their one free helping hand. (*sometimes our only helping hand HH)
The amount of reviews on Amazon helps a book's visibility (allegedly).  If you love a writer's work and want others to do so, too, this is the best possible way of making this happen.
It's your good deed for the day, and will only take five minutes!

Off we go, then!  A few more pointers:
A review can be as short as one word.
You don't have to put your name to the review, as your Amazon 'handle' can be anything you like.
No writer expects all their reviews to be 5* and say the book is the best thing ever written; there is a star rating guide below.
Would you like to tell the Twittersphere about your review?  If so, tweet the link to it with the hashtag #AugustReviews

Goodreads Star Ratings


Amazon star ratings


Four Quick Ways to Write a Review

  1. Go to Goodreads or your Amazon account. Start with a one liner. Can you include the genre? The lead characters? The setting? Say “I really enjoyed this book” or “The book didn’t work for me”.
  2. As above, this time write 4 sentences. Keep them honest and make them about your own thoughts from the book.
  3. If you wrote your review for Goodreads, copy and paste it to your Amazon account. Or vice-versa.
  4. Really, really stuck for something to say? Read some of the other reviews for the book, they might jog your memory about a point, but still make your own review honest and genuine.

what about reviews for friends?

There's no reason why you shouldn't post a review for a friend for a book you genuinely enjoyed (assuming Amazon doesn't block it.) But are you finding yourself in a loop of reviewing friend’s books, just so they review yours? Review swaps are never a good idea, they become shallow and very obvious to other readers and you will only end up feeling guilty if you can’t be honest.

Draw a line, perhaps explain that you don’t wish to review books for friends and you won’t ask them to review yours in turn unless either party truly wishes to read the book. But that no one should feel obliged to review as a swap. You can still support them by buying a copy of their work, (even just on Kindle).

There is NO SELL BY Date on writing a review – read a book a while a go that you ALWAYS MEANT TO WRITE A REVIEW FOR? Feeling guilty that you didn’t write a review at the time? No Problemo!
Write this in the opening line “I read this book a while ago.” An author will be SO pleased to get an honest review that they won’t mind if there was a time delay on your side.

Finally: on behalf of myself and all my characters...

If you have a blog and would like to spread the word about #AugustReviews, please feel free to copy and paste this blog post, provide the link to it, re-blog it, or whatever
 ~ many thanks, and I hope you will join in to make this idea a success 

review it now
review it now
blog reposted from original by Rosie Amber and  @TerryTyler4 #AugustReviews  & others



1 comment:

  1. Interesting and helpful blogpost. I will try and make an effort on the pile of books I mean to review. I find I'm better if I do it straightaway and then it doesn't get forgotten. It feels so wonderful when I read a new review on my books, so must remember this for someone else.


Thank you for leaving a comment - it should appear soon. If you are having problems, contact me on author AT helenhollick DOT net and I will post your comment for you. That said ...SPAMMERS or rudeness will be composted or turned into toads.