Friday, May 26, 2017

With Love for Reviews: Guest Post by Terry Tyler



With Love for Book Reviews

When you've reached the end of a good book, do you close it and move on to the next, or log on to Amazon or Goodreads and leave a few words to say what you thought? If it's the latter, and you're not a book blogger or writer, you're in a much appreciated minority. It's said that only 1% of the reading public review what they've read. If you're in that 1%, be assured that writers everywhere love you! Doesn't matter if it's not a 5*, glowing review, the fact that you took the time means so much. For the 99%, I'm hoping I can persuade you, the next time you finish a book, to put fingers to laptop keys or tablet keypad.

Why do book reviews matter?

- You're helping the reading public make up their minds. Do you look on TripAdvisor before deciding on a hotel? Or seek out recommendations for restaurants you might visit? Book reviews serve a similar function. I don't know about you, but I always read them before buying. Always. I read a selection. If a 5* says the book is outstanding, I'll browse the others to see if anyone else was similarly impressed; I've learned to tell the difference between great enthusiasm and kind diplomacy. Aside from personal preference, it’s certain that indications of bad language, or lazy proofreading, or violent scenes, or particularly long descriptive passages, give readers an idea of what to expect.

- If you've loved a book and think the author deserves a leg up in today's highly, highly competitive market, your review will help them. Amazon's algorithms work similar to those of Google; the more a book is downloaded on Kindle Unlimited, bought, clicked on or reviewed, the more visible it becomes on Amazon; more people will see the book in their 'recommended' lists. Even a less than positive review helps this visibility.

- If you really enjoyed what you've read, it's a lovely way of saying thank you to the author. I first started leaving reviews when I was so impressed by a book that I wanted to tell everyone about it. The first time I reviewed a well-known author, she sought me out on Facebook and thanked me. Gave me a bit of a kick!

- If you weren't so keen, saying what you didn't like can be helpful to the author. The wise writer will read his or her less positive reviews and learn from them. Of course it's not your responsibility to teach writers to improve, but this brings me to my final point:

- It's your good deed for the day. Remember, a review doesn't have to be a clever, literary critique. Just one short paragraph saying what you thought is every bit as welcome. And even though the writer may not know who you are, if it's a good review you will have made one person very, very happy indeed!

About Terry Tyler


I have thirteen books on Amazon ~ ten full length novels, two novellas and a short story collection. My latest publication is a psychological mystery/thriller/suspense drama ~ The Devil You Know is about five people who fear that a local serial killer might be a person close to them.

I write most contemporary fiction, about the issues that concern so many today; divorce, infidelity, addiction, obsession with celebrity, dysfunctional families, body/image issues, meeting people via social networking sites. Three of my books (Kings and Queens, Last Child and The House of York) are modern day retellings of historical periods in the Tudor and Plantagenet eras.

Twitter | Goodreads | Website | Blog | Amazon UK | Amazon USA

25 comments:

  1. This guest post series has been really instructive!

    --Trix

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  2. Through this post, came to know that reviews matter a lot to authors. Usually I don't share my reviews/ comments. But hereafter, will make it a point to share my reviews after reading books.

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  3. Wonderful interview and great achievements.

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  4. Great post! Reviews are a wonderful way to encourage an author.

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  6. I alway give a star rating, but I have a hard time writing a review most of the time. Particularly the books that I find just ok.

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    1. You can always put 'it was just okay', Steph! But it's great to hear that you leave a rating. :)

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  7. Thanks for reading and your comments, everyone! :)

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  8. I don't always leave a review as soon as I finish a book. I like to build a post and share it with my blogging friends. Then I cross post to as many sites as I can. I do usually keep track of my reading progress on Goodreads and mark a book read, though, adding the review when I have it ready.

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    1. Then you are valued amongst readers, Laura! Thank you x

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  9. It gladdens one's writerly heart to read a review ...I leave them as a writer, coz I know how much they mean..especially for self-published writers like Terry and myself. We don't (necessarily) have the publisher's mates, friends and relations to pile in for us!

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    1. Exactly. They're essential for us. Without them, our books don't sell - it's as simple as that.

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  10. This was really good to read and very informative. After I finish reading a book, I'm going to make sure I do a review on Goodreads!

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    1. That's terrific, thank you, Uhunoma! Goodreads reviews are wonderful for other readers, whereas Amazon reviews help the author, because that's where people buy the books. But all are so much appreciated!

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  11. I've been silent on reviewing lately. Thank you for giving me a push to get reviews written for what I've been reading!

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    1. I think the best plan is to get into the habit of reviewing after finishing a book, Caroline - or even if you just want to write a short review about why you DIDN'T finish! That way they don't pile up. And, as we always try to make clear, it doesn't need to be a blog review across many sites - there's not always the time. Sometimes, I just leave a paragraph on Amazon, and that's all.

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  12. Reading an enthusiastic review never fails to lift a writer's spirits, especially if it's been a hard writing slog of a day! And everyone likes to be appreciated, whoever they are, don't they?

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    1. For sure, Wendy! Thanks for reading :)

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  13. Leaving book reviews is a great way to make new friends and feel appreciated for reading a book, especially if you found a gem you wish to share with others.

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    1. It is indeed; no better way to tell the world!

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  14. Great post! I guess I'm part of the 1%. Reviews are so important. I firmly believe you can say about anything as long as it's professional, constructive and courteous. Writing a book is so difficult that whether or not you like it, you should respect the work put into it.

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    1. Good for you, and I am sure everyone you have reviewed appreciates that you are constructive and courteous, although I do think reviewers have a right to say what they want. I say this even as a writer - I don't think reviewers should feel obliged to be constructive, BUT it's lovely if they are, like you! You're one of the 0.05% - THANK YOU!

      Yes, writing a book is difficult, but (back to the Trip Advisor comparison!) so is running a hotel, or preparing 90 meals, but if people complain about a hotel, they don't feel they have to say "I know running a hotel must be really hard and I appreciate how hard they work." They just say, "The food was awful". I think sometimes writers need to be a bit less precious, and if a reviewer wants to say 'this book was boring', then they have the right to do so. Alas, it's the price we pay for putting our work on public sites that invite comment! And we don't complain when that one sentence just says 'I loved this book'.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting. :)

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  15. Thanks for this post, Terry. I always try to leave reviews and you're right, it doesn't need to be very elaborate. They also work as a great way to reflect upon our reading and when we revisit them we remember more things than if we didn't write anything about the book at all. And if we find a reviewer whose reviews we like and we share similar tastes, we'll never lack recommendations.

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  16. Agree completely - a book review is the least a reader can do after all those hours an author invests in a book.

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  17. Thank you for reminding us that reviews are valuable

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