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:

‏@carolJhedges
❤ 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 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:  

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.

Thank you.

12 comments:

  1. I almost always leave an Amazon review for the books I read. The exception is when I really can't get on with a book and suspect it could be my personal taste as much as a problem with the writing as I don't feel that would be helpful to anyone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ditto.... and many thanks. You are the sort of reader that WE like!!

      Delete
  2. I very often forget to leave a review. Thanks for the reminder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent...we need more good reviewers!

      Delete
  3. All the time, every time. One exception the likes of JK Rowling, etc. They don't need it any more. Thus I don't review their works on Amazon. Only on my blog and Goodreads

    ReplyDelete
  4. We've had this discussion before - and you know I'm crap at leaving reviews, and so need them myself. Guilty as charged. I struggle with the system, and yet know we are dependent on it - in the absence of anything better. Hypocritical of me, I know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jo *stern face* it is high time you began to post a few reviews. If you buy from Amazon, you can do it easily. I can email you a 'Reviewing for Beginners' techie post. As you say, you need them....so no excuses now!! xx

      Delete
    2. What Carol said, Jo! And it need only be a few lines. Doesn't have to be a deep analysis. It's the number of reviews that count towards a book's visibility on Amazon.

      Delete
  5. I write a lot of reviews because I know how much they mean to me too, CarolStar. If I don't, it's because the book has just not been my thing, and I don't like to leave a negative review if I haven't a) finished it for some reason; or b) enjoyed it due to personal taste.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ditto .... and now we need to persuade Jo to contemplate posting her first review!! (see above)

      Delete
  6. I think all indie published or self published writers should review any similar they read, because it's 'doing their bit' towards encouraging non-writer readers to do it, aside from anything else - the more it's seen as 'the done thing', the more readers will give it a go.

    As far as August Reviews went, it did encourage some writer-readers to start, and a few non-writers joined in, too, which was great. Not as many as I would have liked, but it's a start!

    ReplyDelete

So here's your chance! Talk to me. Comments will be visible after moderation.