To review or not to review? There is no question. The best thing a reader can do for an author, is leave an honest review. It only takes a few minutes of the reader's time, yet means the world to the author.
As authors and creators of stories, we want reviews. The good, the bad, and the downright ugly. It is all feedback. I recently received my first negative one star review on Amazon. After the initial shock settled, and the overwhelming desire to polish off a tub of mint choc- chip ice-cream had subsided, I promptly removed the dagger wedged in my heart, and thought to myself, ‘Hey, I must be a real author now, right?’ Now, did I eat that tub of ice-cream? That’s for me to know, and you to wonder about.
Bad reviews happen to all of us at some point or another. Your book will not appeal to everybody, and that’s OK. If a negative review offers some form of constructive feedback, in a polite manner, I try to take it on-board. If the review offers no feedback and is downright nasty in its approach, I forget about it and move on. There is a small tantrum of course, and usually some processed sugar involved, but then I get over it, and plug away at my next project. Luckily for me, I have had far more positive reviews, than negative.
Here are some of the reasons leaving a review is so important to the author
· The more reviews a book has, the more visible it will be, helping the author find their audience
· The author can gain more of an understanding of what lovers of that genre want in a book
· A positive review is great PR for the book (for the author, it is like a warm hug by the fireplace, with a glass of high end whiskey in hand, on a cold winters night)
· Reviews can help the author build their brand, especially if a certain theme is repeated such as, ‘very funny’ or ‘relatable characters’
· If a reader leaves a five star review, the author feels valued, and knows all their hard work has paid off (knowing you made a reader happy, is the best feeling in the world)
· Reviews can increase reader engagement on the author's social media platforms
· Reviews help to boost an author’s profile
· Many readers will base their decision on whether or not to buy a book, on how many honest reviews it has
So, if you read a book, leave the author an honest review. It may be positive, it may be negative. You may or may not be responsible for the author gaining five kilos overnight, but either way, the author will appreciate you taking the time to leave valuable feedback on their blood sweat and tears.