Why Should Readers Review Books? : Lindar's Blog

Why Should Readers Review Books?

by Linda Louise Rigsbee on 01/09/16

Why Reviews Are Important To Writers

The purpose of a review is supposed to be to help readers, but many people don’t write reviews because they either don’t know how, or think their opinion isn’t important. It is true that if you love a book, the next person might hate it. The fact is, reviews are probably more important to the writer than they are to the reader.

For an undiscovered writer, getting reviews is a little like getting your first job. To get the job, you need experience, but to get experience, you need to get a job. It’s the same for writers. To get readers, writers need reviews, but to get the reviews, the writer has to have readers.

So, why are reviews so important? Other than the obvious reason that people are cautious about test driving new writers, lots of good reviews encourage publishers to promote the authors – especially Amazon.

I’ve made a resolution to read and review more books this year.

When to Write a Bad Review

I don’t write bad reviews. Writers put a lot of time and effort into writing a book. Who am I to say this book is not good? I can only know that I don’t like it. I don’t like to read reviews where people are ripping apart a writer, either. It makes me want to cringe, even if I’m not the writer.

If everyone reviewed only the books they liked, bad reviews would be unnecessary. No reviews would mean the book isn’t well received. Unfortunately, the author would have no way of knowing what was wrong.

So, if I don’t write bad reviews, how do I help the writer improve? I write a good review if I see potential. I can always highlight the good points. If a writer has potential, there are always good points. Then I can simply say that I would like to see more of or less of whatever it was that tempted me to write a bad review. I could also say that I saw potential and would be revisiting this author to see how they progressed. I could leave my name and a link to reach me. If they want more information, I’m available - just the facts and that done respectfully. Offending a writer has no purpose.

How to write a simple review:

Writing an editor’s review is a daunting task for the writer. They have to know their audience and how to reach them. They have to convert a mountain of information into a brief synopsis that intrigues the writer to buy the book.

The editor already did that in the process of publishing the book. All the reader needs to do is express their personal experience. There is nothing wrong with “I really enjoyed this book” or “well written. I couldn’t put it down.” The fact is, some of the shortest reviews are the most effective. I don’t know about everyone else, but I rarely read a long review.

Assuming a person would like to say a little more, but doesn’t know how, here is an outline that might help.

What did you like about the book?

Did you learn something from it? Was it hard to put down? Did you relate to one of the characters?

Why would you recommend this book?

Was it well researched and informative? Was it memorable – you kept thinking about it long after you finished it? Did it leave you feeling empowered, peaceful, inspired?

What was your personal take on it?

Regardless of the overall message the author intended, readers often see things that have a specific importance to them because of an individual perspective, or something that is happening in their life at the time. This should always be identified as personal opinion.

Would you look for more books by this author?

Give twelve writers the same plot and you will have twelve unique stories. While authors may write in multiple genres and from different perspectives and point of views, they tend to have the same style throughout their books. What is it that you liked about this writer’s style? It doesn’t have to be earth shattering. It can be something as simple as, because it was clean, or made you laugh.

The important thing is that you review the book – and that the review is respectful. There is no set length for a reader review. Every review is important.

Where and when do I write a review?

 You can write a review at any time, but PLEASE, not until AFTER you have read the book. (Yes, there are actually readers who skim through the book and write a review. That’s a little like having your mechanic replace only two spark plugs because they didn’t look at the rest. All the parts of the book work together, so reading a paragraph here and there might help you decide whether you want to read the book, but it isn’t enough information for a review.) If you buy the book online and read it in two hours, you can go ahead and review it. In fact, you don’t have to buy the book to review it. I’ve reviewed books people have given me. You DO need to have an Amazon account, though. Writers can review books (though probably not their own.) The fact is, all readers are not writers, but all writers are readers.

Here’s a simple 7 step method to submitting a review on Amazon.

 1.  Log into your Amazon Account and search for the book title and author you want to review.

2.  Click on the title and go to the page with the book description and opportunity to purchase.

3.  Beside the stars is a link that shows how many reviews there are. Click on it.

4.  Scroll down and click on the button that says “Write a Customer Review.”

5.  How is this author’s writing? (Poor, Okay, Good, Great)

6.  Answer all the questions, give it however many stars you think it deserves and then write your review.

7.  Click Submit button.

That’s it. Very simple and takes only a few minutes. It means so much to the writer, so give the writer a little boost.

Don’t forget the free read sites. Often new writers get started that way. There are places like www.publicbookshelf.com and www.freeonlinenovels.com that offer entire books to read free online. I have a free read site www.deartales.com where many of my books can be read free. All of these sites have places where readers can leave comments or reviews. Mine even have polls.

Free reads give readers the opportunity to check out new writers. On some of my stories, I have had over a hundred thousand visits. Often people read my books free online and then buy a copy of the books. If you like to read, give these undiscovered writers a chance, and be sure to leave a comment. Your thoughts can make an author’s day.

Comments (2)

1. Bob scott said on 7/6/17 - 05:35AM
Only mistake I noticed was a black powder revolver of his type does not have bullet loups on the Gun belt as it don't use cartridges , a very good book altogether
2. Linda Rigsbee said on 7/6/17 - 06:40AM
Bob Scott, thank you for taking the time to comment. Which book was that? I'd like to correct it.

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Linda Rigsbee
Multi-Genre Writer 
"I write for pleasure - yours and mine."

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