Can we talk about...Reviews

I don't want to talk about reviews. I don't like to talk about reviews. But I feel the time has come that I must talk about reviews.

All authors have a love/hate relationship with reviews. We love the good ones and hate the bad ones. It's a pretty simple concept.

Okay, that's not the whole story. We don't necessarily hate bad reviews. If the person reviewing the book has a legitimate issue, if something was missed in editing, if they had a problem with the plot, the resolution, the characters actions, then they should feel free to share that with the world.

The grey area for authors comes when we start to get one star reviews based on things like, the cover art, the price or the length of the book. Things that are out of our control or not our fault. Or when the reader didn't like the subject matter. That one is particularly grating due to the fact that if they had read the blurb they would have known what the book was about. If you are not interested in romances set in outer space, maybe don't buy the book about alien love-fests.

But for me, the worst of all is the radio silence that follows a book release. You know that it is selling based on royalty statements, but not a single person has left a review for it. Good, bad or indifferent. Of course, no one is required to review books or goods that they've purchased. But consider how many good (or even bad) reviews have swayed purchasing decisions.

By leaving a good review for a book you enjoyed, you may be helping out an author that you like by being the tipping point for someone who is on the fence about whether or not to buy their book. This is especially true of new authors still waiting to be 'discovered' or new books by an established author that may be to the left of their usual genre.

People like to read reviews. They want to know if others enjoyed a product before they are willing to shell out their own hard earned money for something. Authors are no different. Sometimes the only feedback we ever get is a good or a bad review from one of our readers.

At the end of the day, yes, I wrote the book because it was a story that I wanted to tell. But that doesn't mean I don't want to know what you thought. Did you love it? Hate it? Want more books like it? The only way to know is if you take a few minutes out of your day and throw your opinion on the website you bought the book from. Your authors will thank you.


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