40 Comments

Posting Reviews for Your Indie Authors

You know that friend/author who’s always pleading harassing  asking you to leave them a book review on Amazon? The one whose book you read? Possibly you even got the book for free? Okay, so ME for some of you.

This is just a little tutorial/explanation of why it is so important and how to do it. One more encouragement to get you over there, leave the review, and drop the guilt. 🙂

First of all, is one more review really important? YES! Unless the book has over 100 reviews, it’s important. And the author checks every day on occasion to see if there is a new review. And it really makes the author’s day to see a new review (unless it is 2 stars or less and then they feel kind of bummed).

I. WHY REVIEWS ARE IMPORTANT

1) When a potential buyer goes to an author’s book’s Amazon page, one of the first things he or she does is look at the star rating and the number next to it (number of reviews). The higher the number, the more likely the trust in taking a chance on a new book he/she hasn’t heard much about. Social proof.

2) Most advertising sites that authors turn to require that a certain amount of reviews be posted before they will even accept the book for advertising. BookBub, the mother of all book advertisers, is very hard to get a listing on, even at over $200 for a listing. They actually will REFUSE TO TAKE YOUR MONEY if they don’t see enough reviews posted.

3) Reviews keep your authors going in times of despair. 🙂

II. WHY PEOPLE PUT OFF LEAVING REVIEWS

1) We are all just human (well, except for the aliens among us); we procrastinate. It’s our nature. We are busy. There is always so much else to do. Is it really that important?  *see section one above

2) We’ve never left a review on Amazon before and don’t know how to do it. *see sections three and four below

3) We are not writers! We cannot leave reviews! We hated book reports in school and blast it if we are going to write one now! *see sections one and three

4) We read the book too long ago and can’t remember enough now to write a decent review. *section three

5) We don’t want to leave our real name out there on the internet! (You don’t have to; *section four :))

III. TIPS TO GET THOSE REVIEWS WRITTEN AND MAKE SOMEONE HAPPY!

The first thing you should do is realize that your review does not have to be the be-all and end-all of reviews. Chances are that your author has already contacted several book bloggers and there are numerous lengthy reviews complete with synopses already posted. And remember, your 7th grade teacher will not be grading your review and neither will the author. TWO OR THREE SENTENCES ARE FINE!  TIP: Look over the reviews already posted; you will see that people focus on different things. It’s all good. (well, unless people are nasty; don’t be nasty)

What kind of things can you say if you liked the book?

You can say what your favorite part is. Did you like the plot? A particular character? The themes of the book. Did you think it was well-written? If you feel like you read it too long ago, just think back and if you remember you liked it, try to remember the general feeling. Did you read it all at once? Did it make you cry or laugh? When you were finished, did you want to read more? Who else might enjoy the book?

If you read the book but it wasn’t really your cup of tea, can you at least give the book 3 stars? You may certainly leave bad reviews, but remember to leave fair and constructive reviews if you go this route. If you dislike a book because that’s not the kind of book you enjoy, but it was well-written and you think a different audience might enjoy it, say that. “This book wasn’t that appealing to me, but it was well-written and ________ would probably enjoy it.” If the book is full of spelling errors but the story is good, say both.

 Take Away: Just two sentences is fine if that’s all you can think of or have time forEvery time the number goes up, it helps the book and the author. *section one above

IV. ACTUAL STEPS IN LEAVING A REVIEW ON AMAZON

1. (Make sure you are logged into your Amazon account.) Go to the book’s Amazon page. Scroll down to the bottom of the reviews. You will see a gray box that says “Write A Customer Review.” Click the box.

2. For those of you who want a secret identity (don’t we all?), the first thing to do on the new page is look in the upper right-hand corner. Here is where you can change your public name to something other than your real name.

3. Next, you fill out the star rating. Click on the number of stars you wish to give the book.

4. Then make a short headline for your review, such as “Love This Book,” or “Good Book for Kids and Adults,” whatever, be creative or not. See what others have done.

5. Now it’s time for your review. There are even some little questions in the box to help you if you can’t think of what to write. Remember, you can keep it short and sweet. “I really enjoyed this book. It was well-written and interesting. It made me feel like eating a big, fresh tomato from my garden.” Seriously, that’s enough. The author will be grateful.  *see section one

6. Click the submit button and you’re done! Wasn’t that easy? Now go and do it again for the other books by your favorite author. 🙂

Here are the links for my books. If you have read them, I’m expecting your reviews. TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY. MAKE ME HAPPY 🙂

Treasure

Lily

Heirloom

If you haven’t read any of my books but were so moved by this plea thoughtful essay that you want to write a review, Treasure is FREE! Download it now. Or better yet, get the box set and save a few bucks. 🙂

S. Smith is the author of the awesome and award-winning middle grade series, Seed SaversVisit her Facebook and Pinterest pages. Follow her on TwitterSign up for the newsletter!

 

 

 

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40 comments on “Posting Reviews for Your Indie Authors

  1. Psst! Error in take away section– if fine if.

  2. Very nice instructional post! I can imagine a nice You Tube video on this topic!

  3. Reblogged this on Prue Batten's Blog and commented:
    Exactly!

  4. Excellent post. I think that people don’t realise quite how important their input can be.

  5. Reblogged this on Carol M. Cram and commented:
    Author S. Smith writes a compelling and easy-to-follow summary of why reviews are so important to authors. So much media clamors for the attention of readers these days; reviews help readers find which books might suit them best.

  6. Brilliant. Thank you for summing it up for ALL of us!

  7. Very useful post.
    Reblogged this on World of Books & Travel

  8. Reblogged this on Suffolk Scribblings and commented:
    There is so much here to agree with. Once you have read a book, please leave a review. It will only take a couple of minutes but can make a big difference to the author.

  9. Reblogged this on Nicholas C. Rossis and commented:
    Dear reviewer, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

  10. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog….. An Author Promotions Enterprise! and commented:
    An Authors Plea (I mean REQUEST) to READERS 😀

  11. Reblogged this on aliisaacstoryteller and commented:
    For all those readers who think they might review, but then don’t. Reviews mean a lot to the Indie author, but always maintain your, and their integrity by being honest… every review counts, even if its only a couple of lines. On behalf of all Indi authors out there, a big THANK YOU to all our readers and reviewers!

  12. Really loved your post, so I re-blogged it! Cheers!

  13. Reblogged this on geraldineevansbooks and commented:
    Pleas from thestoryreadingapeblog to review that book.

    It needn’t take long. A few lines is fine. Try to play nice.

    Hey, we;’re impoverished authors (they got that right!). We all need every bit of help we can get.

  14. A timely reminder. Thanks for this.

    Shared and reblogged with comments on geraldineevansbooks

  15. Reblogged this on Sally Ember, Ed.D. and commented:
    Great idea, #THESPANNERSSERIES’ READERS: *please* continue, in these weeks before my 60th birthday on August 22, by leaving reviews for both the series’ ebooks EVERYWHERE, especially Amazon… GRATITUDE eternal!

  16. I know of three people who like my books and have told me so in person, but I can’t get them to review! One is so backed up in the number of books he has to review that I think I’ll have to give up on him. Two others are scholarly types, just the kind of people I want reviews from, but they take the job too seriously! I would love to receive an academic-quality essay about my books, but as you say, just a few sentences is just fine! It shows that somebody is reading the book and appreciating it. As for myself, I tend to write academic-type analyses if I think the book deserves that kind of treatment, because I studied English literature and loved writing papers on books. But I also write briefer comments or critiques sometimes, and sometimes I don’t review if I feel bad about not being able to say anything good.

    • I know, people tell me all the time they love my book. I often forget to ask for a review. But other times I do ask, and more often than not…no review. But it took me two months to leave a review on tripadvisor about a good motel experience, so I know how easy it is to just let it keep slippin’ on by.(But I have a few other folks who I never even have to ask.)

      The longer reviews are terrific, of course, but once you have gathered several of those from bloggers, you really just want the people who read it to add a few lines so that it looks like your book is being read (because it is!)

  17. Just awesome information! BLESS YOU!

  18. I enjoyed your post. I take my reviews very seriously. No, I haven’t read any of yours, but I’ll catch Lily on Smashwords. Best of success to you.

    • That Lily code was for on my birthday but if you want to read Treasure or Lily let me know and I can cook up a new code.

      • I saw that I was reading older posts! Nothing like getting around to something rather late. 😦 Happy belated birthday. Let me make a note of your suggestion. I don’t really want to take on any more commitments. Yikes! Too much reading. But I will keep you in mind. I’m always looking to find new authors and spread around the support my blog provides.

  19. A very belated Happy Birthday, Sandy. You share it with the Princelings 🙂 I’m a bit behind with my reading let alone my blog following… but your second book is nearing the top of my pile 🙂

  20. Thanks so much for this article, Sandy. Much appreciated. Shared.

  21. A great blog and oh so true! Trying to get reviews is SO difficult. When people tell me how much they enjoy my books I always ask them to review it but, despite promises, they rarely do.
    I received several bad reviews for a novel and rightly so – I’d mistaken put up un-proofed version on Kindle just before a free promotion. Disaster. Obviously I corrected it as soon as I realised but the damage was done and it’s been hard work trying to build up that book’s star rating.
    It does annoy me when people give 1* rating and leave comments such as couldn’t get past the first few pages. So why did they download it in the first place? Even before downloading a free book, I use the ‘look inside’ feature to see if it’s my sort of novel.
    By the same token, if a book has 8 or 9 reviews and they are all 5*, I begin to wonder if they are relatives or close friends or writer friends who arrange a like for like exchange of reviews. Am I getting suspicious in my old age. You betcha!

    • Yeah, not sure how some people get so many reviews. When I discover it I’ll have to write another post.

      Too bad about the false start and bad reviews. I see plenty of books out there though with lots of ones and twos but they also have tons of fours and fives! I’m with you on the people who download without looking at the first several pages. I alway check those out! Certain writing styles tend to annoy me so I read or download the sample just to make sure I’ll like it.

      My sister once left a negative review for someone based on the mistakes in the book and the author took her up on it and then paid her to edit…so it worked out in the end. 🙂

  22. Reblogging this in the hopes some of my readers might feel less scared…. 🙂

  23. Reblogged this on Ancient Guardians Novel Series and commented:
    We LOVE reviews :-)!!! Excellent write up on how to leave a review for a book you enjoyed and how it really does help the book and inspire that author!!!

  24. Reblogged this on Julia Rose.

  25. Oh Sandy! Would that I could convey this message to the people that have read my book. The verbal congratulations are great, but they just don’t get how important the reviews are. Will definitely be posting this on my FB page and on my publisher’s website. Thanks!

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