It’s wonderful if you buy my book and tell me how good it is. It’s even better if you tell everyone at your book club that they just have to read my book and everyone runs out to buy a copy. If you stopped people in the street to tell them how much you loved my book, I’d be strutting like a peacock.
While all that is super, I would be eternally grateful and volunteer to bring in your groceries if you would write me a review.
It generally takes popping back online through whatever distributor you bought said book (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Nook, Kobo, smashwords, etc), clicking on the Write a Review option and sitting back to compose your thoughts. Four or five sentences is all it takes.
What did you like about the story?
Were the characters believable?
Was the ending satisfying?
Would you recommend it to your friends? If so, why?
Why are writers so crazy about reviews? It’s not that we love to peruse reviews to have praise heaped on us, although I must admit it makes my heart go pitty-pat to read a nice review. Not all reviews are good and developing a thick skin is not always easy. When you’ve spent months of hard work and due diligence to produce your baby, a bad review is similar to a punch in the gut. Even so, I’ve learned more from a review with good constructive criticism than a gusher about how fabulous a writer I am.
No, it’s all about the Amazon algorithm, the set of automated rules that determine how a retailer merchandizes and displays titles. It determines that “also bought” section on the book’s display. If a book has no or few reviews, neither Amazon nor Facebook will market your book in ad slots. A local bookseller once told me since I only had five online reviews for one of my books, it wasn’t worth her while to put it on the shelves. And more visibility can mean more sales.
Before you ask, let me volunteer that I don’t write my books just for the money. I’m a storyteller and after twenty-five western romances and mysteries, I still have lots of plots percolating in my fevered brain. A writer is who I am and writing is what I do.
However, and this is a biggie, it’s hard in our society not to equate success with dollars, pounds, yen or euros. Don’t get me wrong; I love to make money with my books, but what I love more is when you sit down at your computer and tell me what you liked or didn’t like about my story. Believe it or not, I’ll take that over a bottle of Chardonnay any time.
PS. Today is my birthday!
TOUCH OF MAGIC available 8/31/17