Saturday, 15 October 2016
Ready, Steady > Review!
If you follow me on Twitter, you will be familiar with the above poster. Ot 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 @ started #AugustReviews over the summer 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. You can read her post here: http://terrytyler59.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/augustreviews-because-every-little-helps.html …
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 a cogent paragraph 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 with Christmas tiptoeing over the far horizon, may I encourage you to buy our books, read them, and then knock out a quick review for us ~ it needs only be a paragraph or two. Long essays not required. But it will make a HUGE difference.