Bestseller authors have the support of multinational publishing houses with billions in revenue behind them – and who have connections, and often pay for reviews. Writing reviews for independent authors means: helping individuals who have gone it all alone and need all the support they can get.
In this article well-known Authors who are also book reviewers encourage readers and fellow writers to evaluate the books they are reading. There are many reasons, here are just some of them:
Bestselling Author Bil Howard
The more important reasons for a writer to become a book reviewer has nothing to do with money making, but have an intrinsic value to them that are a long-term investment. Here are just a few of the many benefits for authors to become a book reviewer:
Feeding Your Passions.
As writers, we tend to develop our skills in only one or two genres. Essentially we have and must limit ourselves to our specific genres in order to compete well in the market. However, it is very likely that you love reading books of other genres and often not only desire, but need to remain linked to those books that fed your passion to become a writer in the first place.
Helps avoid writer’s block.
Every writer has a different method for avoiding, preventing or overcoming writer’s block. The methods suggested are as numerous as there are authors, but two that often show up in nearly every author’s suggestions are inspiration and action. Inspiration can easily come from a well turned phrase or image that is gained from reading another book. The second, the action of writing out a review, often times, will get a writer’s mind flowing in the right direction and get them back on track.
Making Friends With Other Authors.
I have reviewed several hundred books and have therefore exposed myself to the opportunity of friendship with several hundred other authors. That does not mean that they have all become my friends, but there are a few with whom there is a special connection. Something within their writing or within my review sparks a special relationship.
Building Up Your Knowledge.
If you are wise, you will review books from which you might also learn new skills. In today’s world writers have also become business owners. By reviewing books that teach you the skills necessary to understand your role as a business owner, publisher, marketer and website manager, you can expand your knowledge and become a better informed business person. You might also review a book that happens to be a part of the research for your next novel; something that you were going to do anyway.
Improve Your Writing Skills.
Sometimes our dialogue can seem forced and dull or a particular, non-cliché words or phrases elude us. Often times, when I am reading, I come across a well turned phrase or a particular way of describing something that captures my attention. Just like I learned from the masters when I began reading the classics and studying their style, I often pick up contemporary tips and tricks from the books that I review and add them to my toolbox.
Increase your library of ideas and characters.
Besides running across well turned phrases which become a part of my tools, I sometimes create an image in my mind that develops into a new book. In the past year alone, I have added at least a dozen novel ideas or character sketches that lend themselves to, at some point in the future, become novels or be incorporated into other novels. The author does not even have to be writing in your genre to foster an idea in your mind that can grow into something bigger.
Bil Howard an indie publisher and novelist, a native of the small ranching community, Powderhorn, in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where he was raised on a cattle ranch. In 2013 he exchanged the Rockies for the Andes and took up residence in San Antonio de Prado, Colombia. He has a BA from West Texas A&M University.
Author Marcia Meara
Leave a Review – It’s How You Thank an Author. In fact, it’s the best way in the world to thank an author for his or her hard work. Not only does it make authors feel good, but it most definitely has an impact on the book’s ranking on Amazon, and where a plethora of good reviews can make a substantial difference in a book’s ranking and a writer’s pay check.
I’ve heard lots of opinions on exactly how much of a difference it might translate to, and I don’t claim to be an expert on Amazon’s system, but I can tell you from my own personal experience as a reader, I pay attention to reviews when I’m buying books there. I honestly believe that’s true of most readers. Here’s a query for you: When 90 out of 100 reviews rate one book at 4 or 5 stars, and 90 out of 100 reviews rate another book at 2 or 3 stars, which one are you more likely to spend your money on? Assuming that Book #2 is not a relative or personal friend? Yeah, I thought so. Me, too.
So, my word about reviews is that we should ALL remember to leave them, especially if we really enjoy a book. But I just realized that I have another word or two to say about reviews, as well. Specifically about negative reviews. I quit leaving those, period. Why? Several reasons.
No need for me to do so. Apparently many people would much rather leave negative reviews about books than positive ones. For sure, there are plenty of folks willing to do so, ad nauseum, and some actually seem to enjoy it.
If I think a book is really bad, I don’t finish it. My reading hours are very precious to me, so I prefer to spend them reading books I’m enjoying, and I’m certainly not going to review a book I didn’t even finish.
I can read a book that’s flawed, and still enjoy it overall, if I care about the characters enough. That means, I might not be able to give the book 5 stars, but I can probably find enough positives to rate it at 4, or at the very worst 3/3.5 or so. I can GENTLY point out that there were some problems, but that because of certain other factors, it was easy to overlook them, and I enjoyed the story anyway. And I can emphasize the positive aspects. This approach makes ME feel a lot better, too.
One last thing I want to say about Reviews: LEAVE THEM, please! Oh. Did I say that already? 😉 Well, it bears repeating, because those reviews can make or break a book. Or an author’s heart. Read the whole article why you should leave reviews here.
Book Reviewer Rosie Amber
In today’s world the book market is reaching saturation point. Self-publishing and e-book opportunities have opened the doors to publishing which were once held closed by publishing houses. More and more people are buying books online where they look at the book cover, the book description and they check out other reader’s reviews.
I write short reviews. I’ll explain the book genre up front, then if it’s not one a reader likes, they can move on. I’ll usually talk quickly about the main characters and where or when the book is set. I’ll then go on to give a bit of information about the storyline, so that readers can decide themselves if the book sounds enticing. I’ll finish with a summary of what I liked about the book and if necessary what didn’t work for me. If the book needed another run through editing I will mention that and it will reflect in my rating. It’s so important in this competitive market for writers to put out their VERY best piece of work and not rush to publish.
The best type of author wanting a review is one that has found my blog, spent a good time checking out the type of books we read, the style of reviews we write and actually getting involved with some of the posts via comments and sharing on social media. I hang out on Twitter a great deal.
Then when they have got a good feel for us I’m happy for them to make contact via the contact forms. There is a good set of instructions about the RIGHT way to go about it.”
Book Blogger Bridget Whelan
Reviewers have probably never been so important. They have always been the lifeblood of an author’s career, but they are no longer the sole preserve of the ‘professional’, the paid contributor to a newspapers literary pages. A new kind of democracy has grown up with the internet where the amateur (aka the reader) can play an important role whether on Amazon’s pages or on their own blog.
I read reviews if I’m going to buy a new vacuum cleaner or a new book from an author I haven’t read before. I read the best reviews and the worst and very often they help me to make up my mind. But sometimes it will say more about the person who wrote it than it does about the product under focus. I don’t like gush. It’s easy to say a book is awesomely wonderful, and much harder to give a reason why it deserves such positive comments.
Words can also wound and sometimes it seems that the reviewer forgets that there is a real person behind the novel or work of art.
I also read reviews of my own work. Of course, I do. Every. single. word. I don’t really believe writers or artists or musicians who say they don’t – well, I don’t suppose Mick Jagger bothers much anymore, but most people who create something want to know how others respond to it. It may hurt, but the only review worth having is an honest one.