Tuesday, 2 August 2016

#AugustReviews: Ready, Steady, Review!

If you  follow me on Twitter, you will be familiar with tweets like this:


❤ Read it?
❤ Loved it?  
❤ REVIEW it!  

#Writers make the world go round

I tweet it quite regularly to encourage readers to think about putting their thoughts (hopefully positive) onto a review site. One of my writer acquaintances @TerryTyler4 has now started #AugustReviews with the idea of encouraging readers to write reviews of books they have enjoyed on Amazon, and then tweet the link so that we can all share it.  

So what are reviews for? I think they fulfill various functions. Firstly, they help other readers decide whether a book is for them. A slew of interesting and varied reviews (by this I mean at least 3 cogent paragraphs of analysis, not just: 'Ooh, I sooo love this book'/'I didn't get further than page 5') help one to decide whether to download/buy. Or conversely, whether not to waste your time. We are all time-poor. Reviews are therefore an aid to connecting the reader to the right book.

As a writer, I find reviews of my own books useful as a gauge to measure whether or not I am hitting the reader satisfaction button. Are they enjoying the story? Do they get it? Can they follow the plot? If not, how can I improve the reading experience for them in the next book. Reviews are also a personal encouragement - the writer's lot is an isolated lot most of the time. It is good to receive a little praise for one's efforts, especially when the serendipitous happens: a reader finds a whole new layer of meaning that had never occurred to me. Reviews can be a writer's best learning tool, if you let them.

Reviews are also very important in boosting sales.That is why I welcome the way sites like Amazon and Goodreads allow ''ordinary'' people to post reviews, and I get annoyed when some writers are sniffy about ''non-professional'' people expressing their thoughts and ideas,because believe me, the chances of most of us small/self published authors getting our work reviewed in mainstream papers or magazines, which is what we'd all like, are pretty remote.

For me, a special and unexpected reviewing source has also come from all those followers on Twitter who tweet a few lines saying how much they have enjoyed one of my books. Or, as someone did recently, treat me (and all my and their followers) to an excellently succinct chunk by chunk commentary on Diamonds & Dust as they read it on a long train journey. Interactive reviewing 2016 style. I never experienced this when I wrote teenage fiction and it has been a revelation.

So over the next four weeks .. and beyond, may I encourage you to read and review  -  it needs only be a paragraph or two. Long essays not required. But it will make a HUGE difference to the writer.

Thank you.


  1. Very well said, Carol! As a reader, I like writing reviews as they give me the chance to formulate my own responses to a book I've enjoyed. I like reading reviews as well and I know they help me decide whether or not to buy a book!

  2. In your last paragraph you "mention" the problem. Quote"it needs only be a paragraph or two". So, what's the necessary length of a review to please an author? One, two paragraphs or a simple "I love every single word of it." ?

    1. I think minimum one paragraph ..though I have a couple that are one line,ong! The main pount is that the NUMBER of reviews is what moves a writer up the visibility chart. From you, I'd expect 2 pages!.

    2. Handwritten? I know a guy in a FP forum who writes all his blog posts by hand. Scans the page and sends the scan as post to the forum. I won't do that. But as soon as I have bought and read the Victorian crime novels. I will review all of them on my blog, Amazon (UK et .com) and Goodreads

    3. Handwritten sounds nice. On mss paper in black ink with a good nib. No - I am sincerely grateful for all and any reviews!!

  3. Paper: Clairefontaine Triomphe 90g/cm. Fountain pen either Waterman ExpertII or my chinese Montblanc fake. Ink: J.Herbin either 'vert empire' or 'poussière de lune' greyish purple. My black is too boring. But I have some other nice purple shades


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