We’ve all read books we liked at one time or another. And books we disliked. But how many of you bother to leave a review? I confess I’ve read thousands of books so far, but before I became an author myself, I didn’t even know much about reviews, how important they are to a writer and why.
I don’t know about other authors, but I learn very much from each review I receive. I learn what the readers like and dislike about my writing, I realize mistakes I wasn’t aware of making and learn to value the good points of my writing style. Simply put, reviews continuously help me grow as an author. Even the critic ones (I never call them bad) have helped me judge my writing and see it through someone else’s eyes.
I always try to make criticism constructive, but it’s important for an author to know which reviewers make a valid point. Some writers get depressed and discouraged when they get a negative review. I rarely do. Instead, I try to pick the bits and pieces that make sense, and separate them from the reviewer’s personal opinions. For instance, a reader who is a BDSM fan will never like my anti-BDSM comments. I can’t help that, nor can I let it change my own opinions. But when several readers have complained about some of my sentences being too long, I did try to rectify that, without changing my distinctive author voice.
And that’s why I began writing reviews myself for the books that have made an impression on me, whether it was good or bad. It’s not only to voice my opinion about the story, but also to help those authors improve and grow, just like I am doing all the time.
If my readers are happy, that makes me happy. So if you’ve already read my books or want to give them a chance, I would truly appreciate if you stopped by and let me know your thoughts. Each and every one of them matter. ❤ ❤ ❤
Melinda De Ross’s Amazon page: http://goo.gl/2nH9cC
6 thoughts on “Why bother?”
from another practical note, books on Amazon are apparently rated by the number of reviews they have [not the number of stars, the number of reviews].
I don’t know if that is true or not, or if it even makes a difference for readers how many reviews and stars a book has. I’ve seen books with 2 stars that people still buy, and 5 star books that sit there untouched.
Personally, I buy a book on its blurb. The instant I see a question asked in the blurb [eg will Elizabeth ever make up her differences with Darcy and find happiness?] I promptly discard it as a choice, because asking questions as part of the book description is amateurish and shows bad writing. I also discard any Regency romance which describes the heroine as ‘feisty’ since in the period this meant flatulent in cant, and usually referred to small dogs. I do think hard before I consider a book with only 2 stars, and it depends on how many reviews it has had. If not many, it may not have hit its target audience. I wouldn’t choose to buy a book just because it had a number of 5 star reviews. I generally read the reviews so I can list the reviewers mentally into the two categories ‘wanker’ or ‘knowledgeable’. I do have the advantage, as a writer, of having run into a lot of the other writers in the genres I like on various fora, which means I can form an opinion about how they write by reading their posts. However most people only have reviews and blurb to rely on. And this is why I have someone else write my blurb, having listed the points I want to make, because the blurb sells the book, IMO, more than any other single factor, and if you lose the reader’s attention after about a dozen words, they won’t buy. And I’m crap at writing blurb for myself. [I can do it for other people. I can’t blow my own trumpet either.]
I buy a book on recommendation, the blurb, and the cover. Not necessarily in that order. I always try to leave a review, even if I didn’t like the story or how it was told. A bad review should always be kind. Too many readers forget that what they have just read is a part of someone, someone’s hard work, and probably part of a dream. If the book is listed as ‘adult’ then don’t knock the language or sex. Pay attention to what you buy and how you review.
Totally agree on that, K.D! Writing, even bad writing, is hard work and should be respected.