At the moment I’ve probably got about a couple dozen or so free copies of my book out there. Thank you all so much for wanting to be a part of this journey!
As I’ve been working away on things here on my end, I’ve been reading up on reviews and reading reviews on other books. I’ve also been talking to people and learning that, understandably, writing a review can feel like a daunting task.
So I thought it might be appropriate to send out a general post to give readers some ideas. While the more sophisticated, analytical type reviews can be cool to receive too – they don’t all need to be like that. And frankly, most average readers either don’t have the time, the desire or even the know how to write those types of reviews. So here’s a few thoughts about what can help a book and author in various ways.
1) Ratings really do matter. If you’re a member of GoodReads or Amazon or anything similar that provides a “star rating” option – this is a super easy way to show your like or dislike of a book and it makes a difference for that book.
2) You can absolutely keep it simple. “I really enjoyed reading this book.” or “I wasn’t particularly fond of this book.” While these don’t really tell the author very much, they are at least saying “something”.
3) Take #2 a step further and provide a simple “why”. “I really enjoyed reading this book because I was able to relate to the characters.” (or: it was fun to read; I loved [NAME]’s character; it made me laugh or cry… anything that gives other readers (and the author) a bit of insight into “why”. The same for if you didn’t like it. Maybe there were too many typos, or you couldn’t pronounce the character names, or it simply wasn’t your cup of tea (too wishy washy, too much romance, not enough romance, not enough killing, too much killing etc) – again, just a simple glimpse helps.
4) Take #3 a step further and provide more than one “why”. Maybe there were things that you both liked and disliked – say what they were. Again, this doesn’t need to be fancy or long-winded – just say what’s on your mind, exactly the way you would if you were talking to your best friend about it. Keep it real and constructive – if the book needs work, explain (the best you can) why it needs work and what you feel would make it better.
No matter what angle you take, the only real suggestion I have is to stay away from extremes. “I loved this book, it was the best thing ever written in the entire universe!!!!!!!” or worse… “I absolutely hated this book from the depths of my soul. It was the biggest abomination to ever exist.” These are in no way helpful – the extreme on the positive comes across completely fake and frankly, is in no way likely true; the extreme on the negative is just plain mean – a real, live, breathing human being wrote this book. It’s a part of them, who they are and took a tremendous amount of effort and courage to get it into your hands – there is no reason to insult anyone like that, ever.
I hope this helps a few people to provide some feedback – whether it’s on my book or someone else’s.