We’ve all been there. An author you enjoy reading has asked “if anyone has time, please review my books”. You’ve probably seen these words at the end of a lot of indie authors books as well. Please review. If you can, Amazon and Goodreads are appreciated. The best way to support your authors is leaving reviews.
Sometimes it almost feels like begging. If you read like me, you devour a book and then move on to the next as quickly as possible. Reading is an escape into fantasy worlds that are so much fun. Who has time to review when you just want to get on to the next?
And frankly, a lot of the times people’s reaction to authors asking for reviews is… well.
I get it! But there’s a reason why we’re asking for these reviews.
1. Reviews are the reason why people buy books
Scenario for you.
You’re in your kitchen with an awesome slice of bread that you can’t wait to put on that amazing sandwich you’ve been thinking about for hours, but you want that slice of bread perfectly toasted. You walk around the counter, pop your bread in and… crap. The toaster is broken.
You, like the smart little cookie you are, rush over to your handy dandy computer onto the great Amazon. There are only two toasters for sale (bare with me) and one has four 5 star reviews, but the other has three hundred 4 star reviews. The second one might not be better, but only four people said that the other one was worth 5 stars. And you bet that had something to do with the company selling it.
So you buy the 4 star toaster and forget about the 5 star toaster.
See where I’m going with this? You will probably like the 4 star toaster, but that 5 star toaster may actually be better in the long run.
People buy books in the same way. You’re more likely to buy the book with a medium rating by a lot of people, than a high rating book with a small amount of ratings. Help spread the word about books you love, and help spread the word about books you don’t. Not leaving a review only hurts the author and potential buyers.
2. But the author might get mad
If they do, they’re a dick and deserve the world to know it.
Bad reviews are just as good as good reviews. Want to know why? It’s still a review. Even a 1 star review builds publicity and honestly doesn’t jerk our rankings out of the sky. Please don’t leave 1 star reviews on a regular basis, but also be aware that the author isn’t going to get mad.
We want to know what we’re doing wrong. We want to know what your opinions were even if they don’t agree with ours. You are the reader. You’re the important one. Authors write for themselves, sure, but we’re also writing for you. If we did something that cannot be fixed, let us know! We won’t do it again.
3. But I’m not a writer
So? Even the shortest review of “I liked this book and am reading the next” is perfect. It’s straight to the point. It makes sense to other readers. And it suggests that the next book is worth reading.
Good for you! And you know what the author is going to do?
4. I don’t have time
Yes you do.
I have zero pity for those who say this. I have time to write a 100,000 words of a book you just read and liked. I have spent 6 months writing every single day for you. I spent over two thousand dollars in editing, marketing, book cover design, formatting, and my own sweat and tears writing this for you.
So you can spare five minutes out of your day to say “I liked this book. You should read it” and move on.
Harsh opinion? Sure. Sorry not sorry.
5. Small amounts of reviews limit authors
Getting into the nitty gritty here, but I think it’s important for readers to understand a few things.
BookBub, the most prolific way to advertise for authors, requires 50 reviews. Book Bloggers have requirements on numbers of reviews. Amazon ads, requirements on reviews. Everything that you want to do with your book, means that reviews are required before you get to actually go anywhere.
If you don’t review, you’re helping that author never be found by other readers. You’re limiting what you enjoyed reading. And yes some of us like the dragon hoarding syndrome, but trust me.
Authors are human. We break under stress as well. We pay a lot money out of pocket to put these books out into the world and eventually if we aren’t making that money back, some will give up.
Don’t make authors give up. Review the book and let it thrive.
Now go out there, pick a book you liked, and review it.