In the world of Indie and small press publishing, one of the biggest obstacles to deal with is trying to get reviews. I’ve discussed the unseemly ways some people have gone about it in the past: Paying for 5 star reviews, reviewing competitors with low star ratings so your own looks better, etc.
There are always friends and family, but often, those reviews are chock full of all the good and none of the “not so good” (we won’t say bad because I know you folks aren’t putting bad stuff out there, right? ^_^). While that is lovely and of course we love them for it, I know I get a little suspicious where there are only glowing 5 star reviews and nothing else. You need a well rounded grouping of reviews. It’s guaranteed that not everyone is going to love your work. That’s just the way it goes. Art is subjective, right? So no doubt there are some out there who have read and didn’t really enjoy it. Don’t think you need to keep that info to yourself. While you don’t have to be mean or rude about it, your honest opinion is more helpful than you think. It’s not just good star ratings that draws attention to your books. Your book can be considered popular, even if it has a ton of bad reviews, because obviously people are buying it and reading it.
I understand, in this day and age, people find themselves lucky just to have the time to read, but you really don’t need to do an in depth review. Amazon only needs twenty short words to qualify as a review. How long would it take you to type up twenty words? Less than a minute? Obviously, a little more would help other prospective readers, but something is better than nothing.
If you really enjoy your authors and want to see them keep putting out books you love, support them by reviewing. Even if you get books from the library, you can review them on sites like Goodreads, which many readers use as well before deciding to buy/read something new.
It’s a small thing you can do that can help make a huge difference in an author’s success. Consider taking the time to share your thoughts, regardless of whether you loved it, hated it or were indifferent about it. The authors will thank you.
How often do you leave reviews for the books you read?