Monday, August 1, 2016

Leave a Review!

By Suze
In her post #Augustreviews ~ because every little helps author Terry Tyler writes about the importance of leaving reviews. I've asked many of our blog readers if they leave reviews. The replies were versatile, but the main reason for people not to leave a review is lack of confidence. The second reason not to do it is lack of time. Reviews are important to authors, they can make (or sometimes unfortunately even break) their careers.
Authors can gain more visibility on Amazon through their reviews. Amazon only shows books to visitors if they have a certain number of reviews. If you love a book and want the author to do well, it's important that you show your love by leaving a review. This doesn't have to be a professionally written review of several paragraphs, even one sentence does already suffice.
I have a few tips and tricks that might help you to get more confidence. When I first started book blogging I didn't even dare to tag the author and publisher on twitter when I reviewed their book, I was so insecure and thought my reviews wouldn't be good enough. By writing more reviews my confidence started to grow and now I'm just having fun writing them and never think about if they're good enough or not. I wish I would have enjoyed it more in the beginning as I found out that authors like reviews. Even if they aren't perfect they mean the world to them.
If you don't know where to start when you want to write a review try to focus on the part of the book that you liked the most and write about that. It's what made you enjoy the book and it's a perfect base for your review. At With Love for Books we use the same review template for all of our reviews. We first try to tell in our own words what the book is about. We always write something about the main characters, the writing style itself and the overall feeling the story gives us. We use what stands out about a story and take that as our main focus point. That way we know what to say and there's structure in the reviews. Try to find what works for you. By writing more reviews your confidence will grow. If you want your reviews to be several paragraphs long, but often have a writer's block, developing a template might help you to prevent it.
At With Love for Books we only publish the positive reviews. That doesn't mean we don't have to leave the negative ones anywhere. When we write them we usually work with bullet points. We start with what did we like about the book and then we describe what we didn't like and why. If you're going to be negative be objective and constructive. You can say things in many different ways and you can deliver your message in a friendly manner even if what you have to say is not positive. Writing books is a vulnerable profession. Authors put their whole heart and soul in their stories. Take that into account when you write about what you didn't like.
Don't be a parrot. I've seen it happen numerous times, an author is being slaughtered on every review site because one influential reviewer has said something bad and a large number of people repeat it while they don't agree or a book is being praised by people who didn't actually like it. It's often obvious in most of those cases that the readers feel differently, but aren't confident enough to write down their own opinion instead. If you know this can happen to you, write your review before you read reviews by others. Try to remain objective. If you don't know what to say about a book it's perfectly all right to read other reviews for inspiration, but try to stick to the feeling the book gave you and not phrase someone else's because you're afraid your opinion is wrong. Your opinion is always right.
Don't copy someone else's review without their permission. It isn't decent to do this and it can really hurt someone's feelings. There's copyright on reviews as well as on books. If someone has found the most perfect words to describe a book ask them if you can quote them. Most reviewers would feel flattered.
If you really don't know what to say or don't have the time to write a review try these one-liners:
I absolutely loved this gripping book.
... is such a heartwarming romantic story, I highly recommend it.
... is a story with interesting main characters and a beautiful setting.
...'s writing is amazing and I fell in love with this story straight away.
This book is an absolute must-read, it kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end.
I really loved this emotional rollercoaster.
...'s writing is realistic and I could easily sympathize with the main characters.
I loved the amazing chemistry between the main characters, ... has written a fantastic sexy book.
I'm a big fan of creepy stories and loved this surprisingly scary book.
I really liked this story filled with interesting twists and turns.
This story is filled with suspense, gorgeous main characters and unexpected surprises.
I highly recommend this compelling read.
... has a beautiful writing style and this book is very special.
 I love this series and highly recommend this second/third/fourth, etc. book.
... is a delightful story with fascinating main characters, many interesting emotional layers and brilliant writing.
I love this brilliant heartwarming story.
I highly recommend this wonderful book filled with mouthwatering descriptions of cake/food.
I had tears in my eyes while I was reading this sad, but beautiful story.
... is an absolute must-read, because of the gripping suspense/beautiful love/complex thought-provoking story, etc.
... is bittersweet, it moved me to tears, but it also put a big smile on my face.
I couldn't stop laughing while I was reading this fabulous humoristic story.
I love funny books and really liked ...'s sense of humor.
I loved this amazing book about a main character who knows how to stand up for himself/herself.
I highly recommend this book about a fierce girl/guy who always knows what to say.
I greatly admire ... because of his/her beautiful, unique writing style.
... has written about a fantastic topic that everyone should read about.
This is one of my books of the year and it's a story you shouldn't miss.
I love it when a book makes me feel many different things and really enjoyed ... because of this.
I loved this enchanting story.
... knows how to write a magical story and definitely managed to enchant me.
... never fails to cast a spell on me, his/her stories are brilliant.
I loved ...'s creative world building and highly recommend his/her book.
... always manages to surprise me, I love his/her thrilling/gripping stories.
I loved this fantastic book that ended with a spectacular cliff-hanger.
...'s main characters really stand out and because of them this story is absolutely wonderful.
I couldn't put down this fantastic gripping book and read it in one sitting.
... is an experienced and skillful writer and he/she has written another brilliant story that I highly recommend.
This beautiful heartbreaking story will move anyone to tears.
I loved this complex, chaotic story, it's a real challenge.
... knows exactly what he/she is writing about, I loved this well-researched story very much.
I really enjoyed reading this amazing fast-paced story.
Terry Tyler challenges you to leave a review in August. Post at least one today and make an author happy. Try to enjoy what you do and know that you help someone by doing it. A good review puts a smile on someone's face and constructive criticism will help them to get better. Good luck and have fun!


  1. This reminds me of lists of appropriate comments to put on school reports!!

  2. Brilliantly useful posts for us all. Thanks Suze

  3. Thanks for the advice. I never know what to write, but I try to make it personal, and unique to each book.