Okay. So, you’ve just read a great book by a new author and you find a note at the end of it from the author asking you to provide a review. You think about it, but, in the end, you don’t bother because you either don’t understand the positive impact that review can make on the author and book’s future or you are intimidated by the concept of writing a review. Maybe both?
First of all, it’s important for you to never underestimate the value of a good review. Not only is it something that other readers look to when they’re deciding about purchasing a book, but it’s used by many marketing venues when they are deciding whether or not that book is good enough to participate in the promotion they are running. Most venues have a minimum review requirement as well as a minimum rating requirement. New authors, in particular, struggle to acquire those reviews and ratings so that they can participate in campaigns that will help get the word out about that great book that you just read. Many translators enjoy royalties from the books that they translate into a new language so that others can enjoy a good read in their native language. Because of this, they use the reviews and ratings to assist them in deciding what titles are more apt to yield a nice reward for their time and effort. Are you beginning to see the value in that review you’re debating about writing?
But, you’ve read those long, wordy reviews and you aren’t up to creating something like that. In fact, the idea intimidates you. Not to worry. As an author, I like to see reviews that are clean and simple. Giving away too much of the plot can spoil it for the future readers [which is while they call them spoilers]. For me, what I like to know is if you found the story interesting. Were the characters believable? Did you like them or hate them? Did you get attached to a character(s) and are you sorry the story ended? Would you like to read more about that character(s) or plot? Would you recommend it to your friends?
Of course, these are just things I enjoy seeing, but they don’t necessarily all have to be individually listed in the review. You can keep it short and simple and still get your message across. Here is an actual 5 star review for my novel, “The Vampire, The Handler, and Me” that is posted on Amazon:
“I am reading this author’s work for the first time and I am very pleased with her style. I would recommend this book very highly and I look forward to reading other books she has written.” J. Bloom
As you can see, the reader relayed the message that she/he was pleased with the plot and characters enough to want to read more of my work. Simple, but effective. The book received that all-important rating as well as a review to add to the collection to help future readers and translators decide to select it. This simple and clean review also assisted with the book’s qualifying for marketing purposes and it is now being translated into Spanish. Best of all, the reader invested minimal time in providing this valuable review!
But, you’ve seen comments on editing in reviews and you’re not an editor. Again… not a problem. If you find errors in the novel, it’s actually not advisable to post them in your review. The review should be about the author’s ability to create a good story and not the editing. This is why most professional reviewers receive an ARC (Advanced Review Copy) which is never completely edited. They overlook the mistakes because their job is to review the story, not the editing. It is, however, appreciated by the author and most publishers if you send them a private message about the error that your “eagle eyes” caught for them. If the author is traditionally published, then the publisher can correct the error before the next run. If the book has been self-published (which is becoming more and more popular these days) then the author can immediately make the corrections. Sending a private message instead of posting about the errors in the review also saves your credibility. Most authors and publishers will quickly eliminate errors if they’re made aware of them. If readers of your review find no errors, they may question your motive for mentioning these “fictitious errors” in your review and/or discredit future reviews that you might zealously post after reading another great novel.
Whether you decide to write a long, flowing review about your latest favorite book or a short and simple one, I’m sure I speak for all authors when I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Eileen Sheehan primarily writes hot, steamy romances (mostly New Adult) with a sexy male and strong female. A few are steamier than others. The majority of her novels are paranormal, but some are just plain novels about people in love (contemporary or historical with the author name of Ailene Frances). ALL of her stories have a bit of naughtiness, some excitement, a few thrills, and maybe a touch of mystery mixed in with sometimes naughty, sometimes sweet lovin’.
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