There are some really amazing benefits to reviewing books – not only for the reviewer, but also for the author of the reviewed book.
I published my first blog post on March 6th, 2012, and the next day took the somewhat scary plunge and wrote my first book review to post online. I’d grown up writing book reports for my parents each week, so the concept was familiar to me, but still, I had a the antsy feeling of letting my voice be heard the first time I hit submit on Amazon.
Reviews I’ve written this year, broken into categories
In preparation I had chosen one of my favorite books, taken several deep breaths, and then tried my best to clearly articulate what I felt about the book and why I recommended it. In the end I was pleased with my results, although now they’re a bit amusing. During the next (nearly) two years, I wrote 24 reviews, and felt like I was doing pretty well.
Then in 2015 I began to see how important reviews are, and so I stepped up my game. See, reviews help the book gather an audience. Not only do your reviews help other people get a better understanding of what the book is about, but when you post a review on Amazon, it ends up making a big difference. When someone is book shopping on Amazon there are books and product that the site recommends to them. And, where do those recommendations come from? They’re products that are similar or have been bought by other customers who are looking at the same book you’re looking at, and that have a lot of reviews.
This year I made the decision to review every single book I read. I did this for several reasons, but the main ones were:
1. I wanted to keep better track of what I read and be accountable for how I was spending my reading time
2. It is important for me, as a reader and writer, to really understand what I like or don’t like about a book, and writing a review helps me nail it down
3. I wanted to support other authors and publishers by reviewing their work
4. Being part of a reading community rocks, and writing reviews is a good way to get involved
So, maybe today is your day when you realize how important reviews are and step out and begin writing them. It might be a little bit nerve wracking at first, but in all reality a review doesn’t need to be a shinning masterpiece. A review is simply a place for you share your thoughts on a given subject.
I’m not necessarily advocating writing reviews for books that you didn’t like (and please, if you do, remember to be sensitive and nicely talk about what you didn’t enjoy about the book, instead of bashing the author), but even negative reviews can be helpful. But, I am most assuredly cheering for people who write reviews about books they did like. If you were inspired, amused, encouraged, or learned something from a book, why not pass on the information and give the author a hand up? Speaking from the author-side of a book, we really appreciate it.
Speaking of reviews: This wasn’t my intent at all with the post, but while looking up my Amazon information for this post, I realized to my dismay that my book Action Kids’ Club is still review-less, a sad sight to be sure. From feedback I’ve personally received I know there have been happy readers who have enjoyed the book, but sadly, that feedback didn’t make it to the review section.
So, if any of y’all are interested in reading and reviewing Action Kids’ Club, just email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will happily send you a copy to review (either physical or an e-book, it’s your choice). Action Kids’ Club is only 59 pages long (about 10,000 words), so it’s a breeze to read through. And, for real, any and all reviews will be highly appreciated.
And now it’s your turn to get out there and review some books! It doesn’t matter if it’s my book (which would be amazing, and you’d be getting a free book, plus supporting me, which would be totally wonderful), or someone else’s book… just please consider stepping out of your comfort zone and writing a review. Because really, it means a lot.