We all know that “word-of-mouth” is by far the best form of advertising. When you hear a friend or family member they respect go on about something they enjoy, you are usually far more inclined to give that item a chance than you would otherwise. As a writer, this form of advertising is absolutely crucial. However, I also understand that generally speaking people don’t talk about the books they’ve read with friends and family (though they should!).

So, then what’s the next best thing you can do to support someone’s work that you enjoy? Write a review.

Think about it, when you’re scrolling on Amazon or other retail websites and looking for a book what are some of the things you look for?
  • An eye-popping cover.
    • Does it grab your attention?
    • Does it look professional?
    • Does it evoke a strong emotion?
  • The book’s rating.
    • It needs to be at least 3 stars.
  • How many reviews the book has garnered.
    • The more the better. I’m much more inclined to read a sample if I see 50 reviews over just 2.
  • The sincerity of the reviews.
    • In other words, does it seem like the review was fake? Unfortunately, there have been authors who’ve been caught setting up fake Amazon accounts in order to rate their books higher in the hopes of selling more copies…because of this many serious book buyers will now click on the name of the person reviewing the book to see what else that person has reviewed. It’s kind of lame, but one idiot screws things up for others.
  • The product description.
    • Is it interesting?
    • Is it well-written?
  • The sample.
    • I’ve already talked about the quality of openings chapters here and here.
Reviews are an integral part in most people’s book buying process. Yet, how many buyers write a review on Amazon, Goodreads, B&N, LibraryThing, Smashwords, etc.? Not many. Most people aren’t sure what to say or they become self-conscious about what to say.

A review should say what the reader liked and/or disliked about the book and that’s it. Just be honest. And it only needs to be a few sentences to a couple of paragraphs. There isn’t any need to write a book in your review about a book.

Why do I bring this up?

I’m asking those of you who have bought and read a book recently (including either of my two books, Rise and Fall and/or Warleader) to please drop in to Amazon, Goodreads, B&N, LibraryThing, Smashwords, etc. and leave a quick review of your thoughts on the book. You don’t have to gush over it. Just be honest. If you want to leave an author a three-star review instead of a five-star, go for it. Besides, any feedback only helps any author improve as a writer.

The authors you read, including me, will appreciate it!

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