I know lots of fellow authors who can relate to the mixed feelings that come after a successful free promotion through Amazon’s KDP Select program. In my case, I moved about 3,000 e-book copies of “The Crimson League” last week.
And that’s really exciting. It’s also terrifying, because it means lots of people will be reading my book right now. Some won’t like it. And out of all those readers–like it or not–some will be leaving reviews. That’s every reader’s right in this day and age, even if the review is negative: as long as it’s respectfully written and truthful as to the aspects of the work that a reader didn’t like.
The thought of a new review coming in–good or bad–always makes me anxious. But that’s my problem. It’s an author’s duty to grow thick skin or to avoid reading the reviews. It’s that simple.
Anyway, this post isn’t about me. It’s about reviews in general.
So, you read a great book
Awesome! And you want to help the writer out with a positive review somewhere: Amazon, Goodreads, your blog. Please do!
First of all, please note this post is mainly for people like book bloggers, or those who have the time to leave quite extensive, quite detailed reviews.
That is NOT a requirement, or an obligation on your part. As a writer, I can promise you we are all deeply touched by honest, positive reviews, no matter how short they are.
If all you have time to do–or all you feel comfortable doing–is writing a sentence or two saying that a book really entertained you, and you enjoyed this or that character, and you thought it was really well done and very readable, that’s a wonderful gesture.
The simple knowledge that you enjoyed someone’s book, and took the time to say so, is enough to make an author’s day. There’s no better feeling.
So please, if you’ve read some good books lately–books that touched you, or drew you in–consider leaving a few words in a positive review for those authors.
Perhaps, though, you want to be more descriptive in your review than a few words will allow. I’ve been reading lots of reviews of lots of different books lately, and these are the aspects of the ones I really enjoyed/found helpful.
Writing an informative review: include these things
- I enjoy when reviewers mention their experience with the genre of the book. Do they read a lot in the book’s genre, or are they new to it? If they’ve read a few books–or many– how does this book stack up against what’s typical? What makes it stand out?
- Personally, I love reviews that include a short plot summary. One that avoids spoilers but describes the overall tone and the concept of the story in a way that’s a little different from the book’s official description.
- I also enjoy when reviews go into describing a favorite character or two. What are they like? Why did you like them? What about them will stick with you? For me as a reader, character is what it’s all about!
- A great review, of course, will also describe what a reader liked about the story. Was characterization great? Dialogue? Was the plot exceedingly engaging? Did descriptive passages blow you away? Some combination of these?
- Some info about what the weak points. What were they? Were they a real problem, or not? Did they ruin the experience, or barely interfere?
- Who do you think would enjoy this book? What kind of people? Fans of what other well-known works? What group of people would you especially recommend this book to as a must-read?
So, authors: what do you love to see in a review? What do you loathe?
Reviewers: am I forgetting anything that you routinely make sure to include in your reviews?
If you enjoyed this post, please consider signing up to follow my blog by email.