Reading and Reviewing
A Confused Life is out! I know you’ve probably seen the shouts and promos. My second book. This one is a collection of essays based off the Mess with a few new ones thrown in for good measure. I share the humorous moments of my life that taught me a lesson along the journey. I was excited to finally be able to say done and move onto the next work in progress.
Now comes the waiting. Waiting for people to purchase the book and waiting for people to review it. To be honest, until I started publishing books myself, I never realized how important this part of the process was to an author. I’ve never reviewed a book. I just bought, read, and then stuck it on my shelf and moved onto the next one. If I enjoyed the author, then I made it a point to purchase his other books. If I didn’t, I took the book to the used bookstore and traded it in for credit toward another book. Reviews were those things that appeared in newspapers by people who were paid to write them. These reviewers were sucked up to and sent gifts, invited to fancy shindigs and given free steak. I was never offered free steak, so I didn’t think about reviewing the books I read.
I’ve been making up for lost time lately. I now understand the need for reviews and what they can do to help an author, especially an indie author without the large budget of a mainstream publishing house behind him. I understand because now, I am that author.
Not only does it help other potential readers get a feel for the book to assist in the determination of purchasing or skipping, but it’s a great morale booster for the author. Every review someone took the time to post encouraged me to keep pressing onward. And while I appreciated the ones from family and friends, it was the ones from people I do not know that meant more because I didn’t have to wonder if they were doing it because they knew me. These unknown readers not only enjoyed my book, but took the time out of their busy schedules to tell others that they enjoyed it and recommended it.
So, as I said, I’ve started doing my own reviews. I list on Goodreads, showing the books I am reading, the ones I want to read, and the books I just finished. When I complete a novel, I quickly write the review. I don’t think I’m a great reviewer, but I am trying. I don’t want to give too much of the book away, because as a reader I enjoy the surprise of what comes next.
I also won’t give lower than a three star review. If the book is that bad, I skip the review. I’m not going to be the one to discourage someone or to rake them over the coals. I try to encourage, not tear down. However, I won’t lie. While I want to encourage, I do not wish to blow smoke. A false review hurts my reputation more than it helps the writer in question.
I’ve read some great books, fantastic plot, believable characters, fantastic prose, but terrible grammar or misspelled words. That I will include in the review by saying something along the lines, “Great story, but the author needed to spend some more time correcting mistakes. Another read through would have greatly improved this already fantastic story.”
Reviews are important. Honest reviews are even more important. Have you enjoyed a good book, whether from an indie author or one of those from traditional publishing houses? If so, then take the time to write a review. I promise, it will do more than you think it will for that author.
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