I woke up this morning to a new review on Goodreads for my latest book Visions of Pleasure. It makes my coffee a little sweeter when I hear that a person, I don’t know enjoyed something I put so much time and energy into. It means something to authors when readers take the time to leave supportive, educated, and constructive reviews.
Writing is, for the most part, a very solitary endeavor. It is the author, their notes and ideas, and the characters. Also, with the advent of Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, etc. a reader thousands of miles away can pick up that book and the author would never know if not for a review.
I have been very fortunate to have only constructive reviews, meaning they were not always 5-star reviews, but they gave educated, thoughtful reasons for a less than perfect experience. I just recently read a post from a reader who had gone on to choose a book and found a 1-star review, that actually said in the review that the author should crawl somewhere and die. That is anything but constructive, and borders on threatening. There is no place for such hate in reviews. These are just books people, ultimately twenty years from now it will not have mattered that a person read a book they didn’t enjoy.
The review I got this morning made me smile and gave me a boost. It made sitting down at my desk more rewarding because I knew someone out there was reading my work and appreciating it. But reviews are much more than an ego boost for your local starving writer.
Book reviews are also a way to get more coverage on big sites like Amazon. The more positive reviews the higher up the feeding chain you go. It also may allow authors to be eligible for certain advertising that may require a minimum of reviews. It also adds credibility to the work. When there are 10 reviews people are skeptical that they are the author's friends, but 103 reviews show that more than just the author’s inner circle has read and enjoyed the piece.
I know we are all busy. I admit to the big sigh when I get to the end of a kindle book, and it is asking me to take a moment and review the book. The 30 seconds it takes me to review a book, however, gives an author who is drinking her morning coffee a smile at the thought of one more reader "getting them". Please leave a review when you read a book.