book reviews · Freelance Writing

Calling All Book Lovers

It’s been almost 6-months since we began our monthly Book Review Week. We’ve had great success and a ton of fun hearing from others as well, but thought this might mark the perfect opportunity to speak to those not in the writing industry. For those of you who just love a good book and perhaps suggest to your colleague or family member to read it; this post is for you.

We are so busy in today’s world, we can sometimes forget it’s just as important to let people know you enjoyed their work as to let them know your negative feelings on the matter. For authors, a book review – good or bad – is…good. But, here’s the thing…you are not required to leave a 4 or 5 star review. If you think the book needs work, speak up. There’s a reason you see first, second, tenth editions as authors are always honing their skills, learning, and working on their craft.

Amazon

A few rules have changed at Amazon, but ultimately the rule-of-thumb lies in these few lines.

Book authors and publishers may continue to provide free or discounted copies of their books to readers, as long as the author or publisher does not require a review in exchange or attempt to influence the review. – Amazon Community Guidelines

Though they do require a $50 spend (over a 12-month period) to leave reviews, you can leave a review whether the book is verified (bought through Amazon) or not (bought at a bookshop, gifted to you, etc). It still counts toward helping the author get noticed.

Goodreads

It’s a bit easier to leave a review here as ultimately, it is the Pandora or Spotify, of the writing world for authors. You leave a review, your friends see it. Your friends leave a review, you discover a new book.

Invite friends via your facebook page, email, or contacts and connect to see who’s reading what and whether or not it may be something you’d like to read, too.

How to Leave a Review

A review is your opinion. If you’ve been following this blog, I don’t like to do the star system, if I can avoid it. I’d rather share the emotion behind the book, why I bought it, what I learned, and a nod to the plot which made me buy or open it in the first place. But, that’s just me.

  1. Be honest. If you liked it or loved it. Great! If it wasn’t your thing, that’s okay, too.
  2. It doesn’t have to be long. Even these posts, I think, are only around 600 words. But, on Amazon or Goodreads, a few lines will do. Note: Amazon will take a few days to approve a post. Be patient.
  3. If you’d like to be a guest reviewer on this site, I have only 2 requests – submit a photo of your book and link to the author’s site and/or book site. This is our way of helping to support authors as others click on the links to be directed to learn more about the author and/or purchasse the book.

Now that you know how to leave a review and the differences between Amazon and Goodreads, here’s why authors need reviews.

Why Authors Need Reviews

  • Word of mouth advertising at its finest. Friends tell friends who tell their friends via book clubs, Amazon posts, Goodreads posts, book blogs, and the list goes on. Years ago, I read a book which struck such a chord, I wrote a letter to the author. Snail mail. Now, it’s just a few seconds of our time and the click of a button.
  • Get seen on major sites such as Amazon and Goodreads as well as on book blogger sites who might reach a  unique or different audience. A bonus of getting seen is for reviewers themselves – want a publisher to ask you to review one of their author’s books? Start writing reviews.
  • Grow readership. These are the people who have read the author’s books, like what they’ve read, and will most likely purchase the next title.

If you’d like to put your new found book review skills to the test, we’d love to hear your thoughts on our Amazon book, Reflections: The Girl in the Mirror & The Letter. Currently, it’s got one lonely review. And for less than a cup of coffee, it sure could use a friend or two or ten…. Oh, and we’re on Goodreads too!

A special thanks to those who submitted their reviews last month as a part of January’s book review week. We’re on the hunt for reviews again, so if you’d like to take part in one of our future Book Review Weeks, please do get in touch with us here.

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