It’s not a big challenge to say why you love driving to Starbucks most mornings to get a Grande Caramel Macchiato. Maybe it’s because the stop is a quick twist off on your drive to work or maybe the cute smile you get from the barista every morning gives you enough motivation to kick it into gear every day. Whatever the reason is, you go there routinely. Do you ever tell your friends about the great service provided by your favorite coffee place? I bet you do! But how often do you tell your friends about the great book you finished in the middle of the night? Well, you probably tell them all about it. But did you tell all those other people reading the reviews?
I can’t tell you how excited I get when I receive a review from someone praising my work as an author. Whether it’s about the novel they read or their excitement for my upcoming release. It’s the best high I could ask for provided directly from my readers! It’s unbelievable how often I’m told about their opinion but they rarely type their words into a review online.
I bet when you finished reading the amazing book in the middle of the night a message popped open on your phone’s screen. (I mean, that’s assuming you were reading an electronic book. But paperback books deserve a review, too!) The message was requesting your review. Most people, including my old self, usually close out of the book only to never think about it again.
Do you think the next time you finish an amazing book you could take the 5 minutes to write your review? You should share your ennoyment with kind words for the author. True, your review is one in about one hundred, but it’s still another set of 5 stars to amp up the book’s status and warm the author’s heart.
Actions to Take When Writing a Review (in my opinion, obviously)
- Think about how you want your review to come across. Do you want to write a positive review about the novel/author or are your words going to be negative towards the novel/author? Remember this is about the novel and not about the person you know. Meaning, if you know the person in real life keep your personal opinions about them out of the book’s review.
- Be brief. You don’t want to spoil the novel’s story to the possible readers. If you think it was done well and enjoyable, say it in a couple sentences. If you hated the way the story went, say it in a couple sentences. No matter what you say, please, don’t ruin the plot for others.
- Use complete sentences when you type up your review. You are reviewing a novel, right? The use of full sentences is a big tick of mine. If you only write things like, “okay. great buy.” so much is left to wonder. Maybe you could write something like, “The entire story was cute with a lot of sweet moments. I enjoyed all the intense moments, too. Sally’s personality was extremely likable. Very happy with my purchase.” This is a very general review (featuring my own character) and isn’t too spoiling for future readers. Sure, it doesn’t give a lot of details, but at least it didn’t spoil the novel. I know if a novel had several reviews such as that then I might consider buying it.
- Compare. It may not seem fair to other authors to bring in their titles to talk about another novel, but it’s a good way to give a reference. I can’t say how many times my novel, Curse Under The Moon was compared to the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. A part of me hated it because I felt it was nothing like the vampires’ fantasy, but people understood what it would be like reading the series. (I came up with my idea before Twilight was ever a thing so don’t go there!)
- Be honest. It may seem like an obvious statement, but I know not all reviews are honest. Sometimes you love the author so you’re willing to sell your soul to give them all your attention. As creepy as that is, I’m glad you love the author. But sometimes your favorite author writes a bad tale. Also, this is a good time to warn people who actually take the time to read reviews. I can’t tell you how many times I have been told about an author who pays for someone to write up a review on their book. I’m sure some of these services write their reviews with total honesty, but if someone is getting a paycheck for writing up a review how can you trust their words? These types of reviews are easy to spot. They usually have paragraphs of information on their review and most likely they spill out details of the book.
Below are some images of reviews my own novels have received. I’ll share what makes these reviews work or what they might lack.
^^ These two reviews were for Curse Under The Moon by Shelby Beight. Both of these reviews are great because they aren’t very long and leave out major spoils in their description. Rachel’s review does give more detail, but not enough to ruin the story. It opens up enough wonder to look into the adventure the characters will be facing.
^^ These two reviews are for Curse Under The Moon, as well. These are also very short and straight to the point of expressing their enjoyment with their buy. The only catch is you can read their last names and with further research into the author you learn they are relatives. (I love you ladies and thank you! Their love and support is very welcomed!) It just so happens their usernames include their last name, but it might be something worth noting. This is a spot where future readers might be pushed away, and that’s honestly by a good choice. I mean, I certainly hope relatives would give their relatives a 5 star review no matter what! But that’s the catch: *No matter what.*
^^ These two reviews are for Jump Over The Sun by Shelby Boyde. The first review does praise the author and gives me a 5 star review. That says the reader enjoyed the novel, but there isn’t much to go on. No offense to the author of the comment, but their lack of information kind of leaves possible buyers wondering. Rachel’s comment is very nice because it once again praises the novel without spoiling. I also love when a reader comments on more than one book in a series. That shows how much they enjoyed the work.
^^ Thank you Kindle Customer for being the only one to review Hidden In The Stars by Shelby Boyde! This is a good point on why it’s good to state your review. How will future buyers know if the final book in the series is really worth buying. ONE person gave their opinion. Other readers don’t get to see how many the author has sold. They can make a rough guess based on the reviews, but I POMISE I have sold more than one book of the final in the Lyall Pack Series.
With all I have typed above about the reviews I shared on my own book I hope you are able to understand the point I’m trying to get across. Your words might only make a couple sentences about your opinion, but they mean the world to another person. Tell the author how much you loved them and their stories. It’s one of the best ways to give us motivation to continue to work. Please and thank you!