For the first time in a while, I've had a month where I didn't get one review.
I sold over a hundred copies amongst my 9 titles...
There have been more than 25,000 page reads of those 9 books on Kindle Unlimited - more than 5,000 pages read on Win for Love and The New Neighbor (The Juniper Court Series) - which translates to being read roughly over 6 and 10 times respectively...
But no reviews. Not one. Why?
I'm sure you've heard authors post time and again to leave reviews.
You tell her and yourself you'll post one and then you go to Amazon (or wherever you bought the book) or GoodReads - and then: you freeze.
I think this is one reason for the lack of reviews.
"What do I say?" you may be asking yourself beyond the star rating.
Wait - How many stars do you leave?
Maybe the book wasn't a 5 for you. That's okay.
If you're wondering how many stars to leave, maybe this little rubric will help.
Okay, now what to say.
I've heard readers say, "I feel so weird writing a review. I'm not a writer."
You don't have to be.
Maybe you read some of the other reviews that include a reworded synopsis... And comparisons to other books... They'll talk about the author and whatever else comes to mind.
While those reviews are okay - they're actually book reports.
A review can (and should?) be sweet and simple.
Tell the person looking at reviews, what you thought of the book and maybe why.
"I loved this book. It was like the author had been telling MY story."
Maybe you had a favorite line. (Did you highlight it in your Kindle or Kindle App?) Those are great to include, but not necessary...
Frankly (and I've asked around about this), most readers prefer short and sweet reviews.
The only real rule I have about reviews?
DO. NOT. GIVE. THE. STORY. AWAY!!!!
Some of those "Book Reports" I mentioned earlier literally give the story away.
(for example) "Oh my god. When I read the part where so-and-so found out she was pregnant by so-and-so and then her boyfriend dumped her, i almost threw my kindle against the wall. fortunately it all worked out, but wow!"
Need I explain why the above would be bad? No. I didn't think so.
And in conclusion...
We really do need the feedback.
Just because you aren't leaving a 5-star review is okay.
Remember that rubric from above? That's for Amazing.
4 is for Like. We authors are okay with it if you Liked the book we wrote.
If it was a 3 and it was okay, that's cool.
Maybe the book 'wasn't for you.'
Maybe a friend recommended it and something in the book didn't sit right with you because maybe you don't like Gay Romances. Or poly-amorous romances. Or young heroines. Or older heroines. Or tattooed guys.
Well, first off, these things are often a part of the blurb and I would ask you to just not buy that book if you have serious objections to that kind of subject matter.
But if the book was 2 stars because of poor editing, that's okay to mention.
Or there were plot holes.
Not "legit' reasons - This author is from the same town as the New York Yankees who I hate. Or I heard this author did <whatever>. Personal attacks have no place in a review. NOT that YOU were going to do that, I'm just sayin' - since I feel like I'm covering everything else - LOL)
Even 1-star reviews that might say: "The author really needs to study some books in her genre. She's missed every mark," can help an author. I only suggest that if you need to write such a review, you do it with care for the Author. We really do spend HUNDREDS of hours, and often dollars, writing our novels to share with you.
MAYBE it's not about how many stars or what to say.
MAYBE you feel like, "There are already a handful of reviews that say what I would already have said. What's one more?
My reply to that is - We authors don't view it that way.
At least I don't.
And you know what? Amazon doesn't.
In fact, Amazon views that radio silence as "This book isn't good enough to share with other readers."
If an author can get many (let's just say HUNDREDS) of reviews on a book - especially after a new release, their behind-the-scenes algorithms kick in and they show the book to more people.
Oh. The book you just read and want to review isn't new?
That's cool, too.
Amazon evaluates your review with others and might suggest that book to another person.
And when you have more reviews, Amazon will help YOU find books that are similar to your 5-star rated books.
Talk about a win-win!
So, what are you waiting for? Go write a review, or five.
Hope I see yours on Amazon soon!
And if you post one, it just might be featured in my next month's Newsletter!
And do me a favor?
If this post has inspired you go and leave a review - comment below!
About Isabelle Peterson
Contemporary Women's author.