#AugustReviews

Discovering a lovely review, written by a total stranger, of one of my books on Amazon fills me with a warm glow. That someone has found my book out of the many millions out there, read it, ‘got’ it, liked my characters – and taken the time to post a review – is hugely satisfying and uplifting. I want to hug this discerning reader but, as I don’t know them, I celebrate with a little happy dance at my desk.

best way to thank an author

I am sure most authors feel much the same level of delight when someone leaves a good review on Amazon – and probably the same level of pain when they suddenly come across a nasty little 2*.

I admit I’m not good at putting reviews on Amazon even though I want other readers to find and enjoy books I’ve read and loved. It’s partly because I don’t feel confident about writing a review, finding it difficult to precis a plot in a couple of sentences. I worry someone will look at what I’ve written and sneer at it or someone will buy the book I’ve raved about and hate it.

At the end of July, Rosie Amber, one of my favourite book review bloggers (though she and her team of reviewers cost me a fortune!) put up a post urging readers to post reviews on Goodreads or Amazon.  She gives short shrift to my excuses – seems I’m by no means the only reluctant reviewer – and gave tips on how to write a review.

A couple of days later, author and blogger Terry Tyler, came up with an idea to encourage readers – and surely all authors are readers? – to write a review on Amazon. Her blog post is here.

When someone  puts a review on Amazon this month they can tweet it and, if the hashtag #AugustReviews is used Terry then lists those on her blog.

As for my worries about not being good at writing reviews I found something Terry wrote reassuring. She says: “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.”

I like that ‘ordinary people’ and I’m further encouraging myself with the reminder that a review is my opinion – so it can’t be right or wrong.

I think reviews do help people decide whether or not to buy a book. I certainly have a quick read through before I make a decision and hit the buy button. If I have enjoyed a book, I do want to let other people know about so I’ve started to take part in #AugustReviews. I’ve only done three or four but it’s a start.

How about others? Do you put reviews on Amazon for books you’ve enjoyed reading?  If not, why not?

Does a good review for one of your books make you happy? If you have enjoyed a book, how about making another author feel as happy as you?

There are still a few days left in August – why not make an author smile (unless it’s a dead author, obviously) and tell other readers about a book you enjoyed? And don’t stop in September – carry on sharing the love.

 

PS This is NOT about giving your writer friends 5* reviews, which can make for uncomfortable feelings all round.

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12 thoughts on “#AugustReviews

  1. As authors, we love getting reviews (well, good ones anyway!). More importantly, they add credibility to your work – whether they are good or bad. In the UK, there isn’t a huge culture of writing reviews on Amazon – it would be great to have more people say if they liked a book or not. And yes, a few sentences is fine, so far as I am concerned.

    Thanks for highlighting, Mary!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jenny, I think you are right about there being less of a culture of writing reviews on Amazon in the UK. When No More Mulberries was on a free promo I received lots more reviews on Amazon US. I’m curious, though, about how many authors (who love getting good reviews) actually write reviews of the books they read. I’m going to try to do better – even if it’s only to write a couple of sentences!

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  2. Pingback: #AugustReviews – Take Five Authors – Jenny Harper Author

  3. Great post Mary. One of my resolutions is to write more reviews. Many people I know find it daunting, imagining they have to write some sort of synopsis of the plot. Agree a few lines just saying whether you like or dislike the book and perhaps why is good enough for me when I’m choosing what to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting. Since I put the post up I’ve been thinking more about the review business and what might stop us doing it. I think I’ll have to compose my review before I click on the book’s page so I am not daunted by seeing lots of beautifully written reviews.

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    • Thanks, Sue. I just read a post in which the blogger complained about these little quotes – like the one I’ve put on here – saying she didn’t see why readers should be expected to provide reviews so I guess there may be some divided views.

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  4. Love the ps! I do have another article in the wings about the perils of authors reviewing authors. I’ve been blanked by writers who have previously been friendly, because I haven’t given them a glowing review. If I read a friend’s book by choice and I don’t like it I just don’t say anything, but if you submit your book to a review blog (ie Rosie’s), then you have to take it as it comes; I’m not going to lie. I’d never trash or be too critical of a book by someone I know, but I’m not going to say I thought something was brilliant if I didn’t.

    As for your earlier comments, remember that a review doesn’t need to be a precis of the plot, it’s just your opinion. I actually don’t like reviews that are 90% plot precis – I can read that in the blurb. I want to know if the reader liked the book, and if not, why not!

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    • Thanks, Terry. I didn’t want people to think this was a plea for rounds of reciprocal reviewing. I look forward to reading your post on the topic.
      And I will write more reviews of books I’ve read and enjoyed. It would be good to think I was able to provide another author with the happy feeling I get when I read a good review.

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