I was talking to a couple of other authors recently about book reviews, specifically how an author goes about getting them. A book tends to sell better if it has a list of positive reviews—and increased sales of books mean increased potential for further reviews, further sales and so on. So as authors we LOVE to get good reviews, for this reason and also because it gives us a warm fuzzy feeling. All that time spent alone with our characters, all the critiquing and editing and proofreading, all of it has at last been acknowledged in the best way possible. Somebody liked my book! And they liked it so much they bothered to post a public review to tell everyone how much they liked it!
That acknowledgment is arguably the best part about being a writer.
So how do we obtain these shining pearls of happiness-inducing praise? I don’t really know. Stories abound about authors paying for reviews, getting their friends to post them or even creating fake accounts under different names and posting their own reviews. I’ve never done any of these things, but I can understand the desperation some writers feel which drives them to do so. To me though, a review wouldn’t mean anything if it wasn’t from a genuine reader who hadn’t been in any way coerced or remunerated for their opinion. Which means that when it comes to getting reviews for my work, all I can do is send my baby out into the world and hope for the best.
When Erica’s Choice was first released, I had a really lovely twofer review over at Guilty Pleasures, which absolutely made my release day. However it took weeks for anything to appear on Amazon, where it tends to make the most difference to sales on that site. At last they started trickling in, and I’m so happy to say all feedback there has been positive. Now I have a nice little collection of feel-good comments and the book has been selling fairly consistently which is so, so satisfying, and has restored my faith in my own story telling ability. Let me tell ya, when it’s 5am and it’s just you and the computer and the sparrows chirping their morning song, faith is all you’ve got (I mean, I don’t even have caffeine anymore—wwwaaaaaa!!!!).
So what’s the point of this post? I didn’t tell you all this to steer you toward my book and get you to buy it (but did that work????). My main point here is to say THANK YOU to every reader who has ever genuinely loved a book so much they leave an honest, glowing review on the site from which they bought it, or on a review blog or even on an author’s facebook timeline. This means the world to authors (yes, I have the power to speak for ALL WRITERS EVERYWHERE). So if you’re a review leaver, please keep doing what you’re doing.
And if you’ve never left a review before, consider giving it a shot. Click the ‘Like’ button or agree with the tags if they fit. All this helps get an author’s book in front of other readers, which enables us to continue doing what we do. Even the smallest thing can help restore that all important faith in our writers hearts.
And that’s what keeps us going.