I keep seeing these kinds of posts and it irks me.
I have nothing against people who are coaches giving advice or helping struggling authors. It’s the phrase that bugs me the most.
First of all, if authors catered to readers’ wants all the time stories would fall flat. There would be no original words or books they would all be the same.
I don’t think the legendary Steven King heard people complaining about how books weren’t scary enough and said “AH HA! I will write the scariest book out there!”
No, he didn’t do it that way. He had a basic idea, a love for horror, and a really good story outline. He probably received tons of fan mail asking him to write this and that. I doubt he said “Okay, you want this, this, and this. Great Idea!”
I can understand that people from the black community demanding more black writers be recognized, LGBTQ+ wanting more books with MM, FF, and such. This demand is perfectly fine because this is where the recognition for those communities are being met.
I think if this phrase is dedicated to that then it is fine. If this phrase is referring to all the readers sending in fan mail with ideas of how the stories or series should go then nuh-uh. Nope. That is not a good thing.
The other reason why this phrase rankles me is that writing should something that the writer enjoys doing. This helps creativity. If a writer feels that this is more of an underpaying job they burn out faster. Ideas don’t come as quick, or at all. All enjoyment leaves them and they are just a regular worker plugging away at the computer.
So I say that this phrase is hogwash. Writers write what you love and readers continue to provide adaptable feedback so that we continue to have fun and still write what you love to read.
Readers are always wanting to know why authors ask for reviews. Many readers may know how important a review is to an author, but many still don’t see why or know how to even begin writing a review. I decided to make this post because I was thinking about it lately and it was churning around and around in my head.
As an indie writer, I have come to realize that leaving reviews for authors has many merits for both authors and readers. Let’s get started
Why Leave a review?
Makes Authors Happy – A review of a author’s book let’s the author know what you thought about their hard work.
Helps with algorithm – The number of reviews that a book has can help the author’s book get noticed on most online stores. Aside from search results, this is a good way to help their books get spotted easier.
Encourages Other readers – Some readers rely on reviews to know whether they want to purchase a book from that particular author. Good reviews may encourage another person to pick up that book to read, while bad reviews may end up never having that book picked up by another reader.
Helps the author improve – A well written review can help an author understand why they are giving the rating that you have given them. This also helps them know where they can improve their writing style, and character developement.
How do you write a review?
Reviews can be short or long. Depending on how you felt about the book. It’s really your choice in the end how you leave a review. I would like to point out a few things though that can be improved or at least help those who have not given reviews before to understand the best way to leave a review.
Poorly written reviews
“It was good” – This kind of review is like when a woman asks a man what he thinks of her outfit and he says “It’s Nice”. Yes, it’s a positive review but it really doesn’t hold much merit. It’s almost saying that even though you liked the book it was bland and uninteresting.
“It was horrible” – Truthfully this is a dreaded statement that we authors absolutely don’t look forward to seeing on our book reviews. It’s a negative review. The reason I put this statement under the poorly written reviews is that a reader who puts this as their review isn’t leaving a clear reason as to why they think this way about the book. How do you expect a writer to write a book you would pick up if they don’t know what it was about the book you didn’t like?.
Better ways to write your review!
Your review is your unbiased opinion of an author’s work. Writing more than the above statements goes a long way for both readers and authors. Ratings and reviews are always a personal choice, but sometimes longer explanations or comments can be beneficial.
Here are a few tips on how to write your reviews…
Explain your rating – Explaining the reason why you gave the rating you have whether one star or five, helps other potential readers understand the reasons behind the review. (E.g. I chose two stars because the book lacked any exciting backstory.)
What did you like about the book? – No matter what your review rating is, if you write what you liked about the book this helps offset any negative comments you may have about the book. Basically, writing something good about the book helps lessen the sting of a bad review.
What didn’t you like about the book? – When leaving a negative or postive review explaining what you didn’t like can be crucial. An author can use the information to write a better book in the future that actually may interest you or better the way they write. Depending on what you have stated.
Which character did you relate to?– Did you have a favorite character? Why? What is it about that character that you liked? Was it the Main Character? Was it her friend? Was it the love interest?. As a reader leaving a comment about the characters is good. Whether you loved or hated them and why is crucial to authors so they can better their characters backstory, or attitude. This can also help future readers know what to expect from the characters themselves.
What do you hope for in future books by that author? – Commenting on what you hope to see happen in future books is engaging. It allows authors to know what you expect from them in the following books. This can be from wanting a book written for a side character to where you hope to see the series go.
What characters didn’t you like? – Why didn’t you like them? What did they say or do that made you not like them? Do you think they can be redeemed in future books if they are a main character?. Again when it comes to characters the ones you didn’t like whether its the villan or the hero can be quite impactful to the author and future readers. Knowing this helps improve character developement.
What did you think about the cover? – This question may seem a bit questionable.
We all know the statement ‘Never Judge a book by it’s cover’ . Does that stop us from choosing to pick up the book? sometimes!. This question can be very beneficial and engaging. Authors and publishing companies know that a good book cover is crucial to catch the eye of the reader. Indie authors (self published) are able to choose their book covers at will, while tradtional authors, like your big name authors, generally don’t have a choice. Commenting on what you thought of the book cover helps authors know if they selected the right one. It also helps us know if the cover is the reason why you chose the book.
What did you expect when you picked up the book? – This question is probably one not many readers think about answering when leaving a review. This is more of an optional, engagement. Sometimes readers see the title of a book and it captures their interest. Let’s face it, when you pick up a book you always have a first impression of what it might be about before reading the back cover or blurb.Did the book meet your expectations? Did it go above and beyone what you expected? Or was it a complete disappointment and why?
What made you buy the book? – This is another engaging question. What is it about the book that made you buy it? Was it the back cover? A book trailer? The cover? The title? Curiosity? Just because?. Authors love to hear how you came across their book and why you chose it. This question also helps authors understand more about what draws readers in.
Will you buy more books from that author? – Letting an author know your future spending on their books is good. We definitely love hearing yes that you will, but if not stating the reason why you will no longer buy our books can help.
Oy! As much as I would love to keep going I need to hit the sack. LOL. It’s late where I am. Thank you for reading and I hope this inspired you to write longer reviews.
Just remember leaving a review is your choice. Authors do hope that you will take the time to let them know what you think about their work. I hope to see what you think about my books too. Take care.