Have you ever wondered if you should pick up a certain book?
If so, you’re not alone. People turn to others to ask, “Is that book any good?”
Have you ever wondered why (or otherwise, been frustrated that) your favorite bookstore or neighborhood library doesn’t carry the book you want?
Many factors go into book buying decisions for these places. And it’s the reviews that count! Every single review, even the critical review stacked next to the 5-star reviews is a powerful and positive influence in the book buying industry. Ultimately, these reviews keep the author writing based on readers’ needs and gets books out into the world.
Have you ever read a book and then thought, “That was great!” or “Gee, I want to tell the author what I think.” (??)
There is a way. It’s called “Posting a Review.”
Writing a review for a book is not rocket science. (Trust me, it’s not.)
Tip 1: Say something about the story line without revealing spoilers.
For example, Author Richard DeVall says in his full-length review “Elle Mott is like Marilyn Monroe, men want to rescue her, and women want to be her friend.” (How is she like Marilyn? Rescue—how, why? Women? Who? Tell me more.)
Tip 2: Add your feelings. Could you resonate with the story, even if the details are different? If so, say how and why. Or did you experience that too? If so, say so. A library worker put this in her review: “Elle Mott’s chaotic journey makes one appreciate who we have in life and how we get through both trials and victories.”
Tip 3: Keep in mind that stories and memoirs are subjective, and just because it didn’t appeal to you doesn’t mean it won’t appeal to someone else. If it didn’t grab you, explain in your review why you didn’t like the story. That’s what reviews are for. (But) remember that the author put their heart and soul into this piece of work and a lot of time. If you did not like something in the book, be constructive.
An example from my reviews: “Difficult to read at times, but like a train wreck, just couldn’t walk away for long. I found myself back in the pages, rooting for this woman. As the title suggests, she really does make it out of chaos.”
Tip 4: Keep it sweet and simple. A paragraph—your definition of a paragraph—is great. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar. More so, think of it as sharing your input with someone. “Elle Mott doesn’t sugarcoat. Instead, she gives us an intimate, unflinching look….” (Emily Hitchcock).
Tip 5: An author-to-author comparison or the like can be a fun and easy way to give that review. When at my recent author presentation, one reader came up to me and said “It’s like the Ocean 11 movie, only it’s the Ocean 8 movie.” More than once I’ve heard it’s like Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.
In the replying comments found below this post, a comparison is made with Down And Out In Paris And London by George Orwell.
You may ask, “Where do I post my review?”
Amazon is the leader when it comes to answering that question. However, it is not the only place to shout out your review. Goodreads, which is a community of readers, is another great place. And more simply, where you purchased your book (Barnes & Noble.com or Walmart.com for Kobo and more) is like-wise perfect. If you got it at the library, tell your librarian.
You may say, “Is there another way?”
Comment: “I don’t want to open an account on Goodreads or anywhere else.”
Message me your review and I’ll handle it from there.
Comment: “I don’t want to give my name.”
No problem. If where you post your review lets you do so anonymously, go for it. Another option is to message me your review and let me know not to include your name. I’ll take it from there, respecting your privacy. It’s the review which counts.
Comment: “Amazon won’t let me.”
It’s true, our industry giant has rules and regulations and restrictions and oh my! If Amazon is a no-go, jump to Barnes and Noble.com or any of the other places mentioned.
Comment: “I’m really not that good at computer stuff.”
No worries—skip the logistics and shoot me a message. I’ll take it from there.
All-in-all, I hope I’ve shared well with you that reviews are ever so important and how to offer a review. For me, as an author, it will help leverage my current debut book and will help me as I write my next book.
Please review “Out of Chaos.”
I write to share not only my story but to hopefully touch you, making a difference in your life; a kindly one. As reviews filter in, you help me, and I help you. It’s a community thing. And I am so glad you are in my community.
With any book you read, please know that your review is paramount.
In the comments, as a reader, please let me know how have any of the above questions affected you and have any of my answers helped you? If so or if not, share with us, as a community of writers and readers who hope to change our world for the better.
Post your review on Amazon. (Link here.)
Post your review on Goodreads. (Link here.)
Post your review on Barnes and Noble. (Link here.)
See reviews for my debut book, a memoir, “Out of Chaos.”
*This post was revised on October 2, 2018.