How to write an on line review

Many people out there have reviewed my books on line by now, and I thank all of you for doing this.  Well, I thank all of you who have given my books good ratings (which is most of you).  If you’ve given my books a bad rating… well, the less said, the better.

However, you might still be thinking about reviewing one of my books on line. If so, I heartily encourage you to do it.  It’s very easy to do and takes very little time.  (Unless, of course, you’re planning to give one of my books a bad review, in which case it’s very difficult to do and takes hours.)  If you do plan on doing this, I have a few helpful hints:

1) There are several sites to review books, but the most popular are Amazon and Goodreads.  Since Belly Up was published, Goodreads appears to have usurped Amazon as the go-to place for book reviewing.  I think there are two reasons for this.  On Goodreads, you can link to all your friends to find out what they’ve reviewed, so you no longer have to go through the trouble of calling them to find out what books they’d recommend — and Goodreads lets you get away with only giving a rating without having to write a whole review.  (Actually, you can do this on Amazon too, but there seems to be some sort of stigma against it.)  Only about 1/5th of people on Goodreads actually write reviews.  The rest just take a few seconds to search for the book, assign it stars and move on.  Now that I think of it, you might have to be an Amazon member to review books there, but who isn’t an Amazon member these days?

2) If you’re not exactly sure what rating to give, be generous, rather than stingy.

Given, merely giving a book 1,2,3,4 or 5 stars lacks nuance.  However, these reviews matter.  Not just for me, but for all authors.  So if you’re saying to yourself, “I liked this book more than four stars worth, but not quite five,” just give it five.  I mean, it’s not like that extra star costs you anything.  And no one’s going to judge you on it either.  Trust me, if anyone is going through your Goodreads reviews to see if you’ve been a little too generous with handing out five stars, they’re the one with the problem, not you.

This may seem like a silly little quibble, but there are actually several four-star Goodreads reviews of my books where, in the text, the author says something like ‘I actually wanted to give the book four and a half stars, but I couldn’t.’  If that’s the case, people, then stop being so chintzy with your stars and round up!  Most people don’t actually read all the reviews of a book.  (In fact, I believe only the authors do.)  They don’t look at the fine print to see that your review is actually four and a half stars.  All they see is a four star review.

I’m not just speaking for myself here, by the way.  I’m doing it for all authors everywhere.

3) Other than that, honestly, just say whatever you want.  (As long as it’s good.)  In this day and age, on-line reviews are probably the best way to spread word about a book.  If you’ve given me one, thank you.  I really, truly appreciate it.

If you haven’t, here’s the links to my Goodreads page and my Amazon page.  Click on the book you want and review!

13 thoughts on “How to write an on line review

  1. When they chisel my 5-star books on my headstone, I want to make sure that list really represents me. (But otherwise, I’ll gladly round up 3.5 stars to 4 stars, or a 2.5 to 3 stars.)

  2. That’s all I ask. I’m not sure if Goodreads is making headstones yet, but they should probably look into it.

  3. You need to make a movie of Belly Up it would be the most funny movie ever.The black mamba part would be awesome!!

  4. You need to make a movie of Belly up. I know like a hundered people that would love to see a migit clown. i know it wold be a hit, or at lest a serise. please email me.

  5. I would truly love for Belly Up to become a movie. There’s a chance that this will happen, but the process is a long one. The faster way to get the studios excited is for Belly Up to sell a few million copies, so if everyone out there asks a few million of their friends to buy a copy, that ought to speed the process along nicely.

  6. Haha, ok I wasn’t exactly sure what rating to give, but I will be generous rather than stingy! I really liked your book Belly Up! I will leave a good review and try to help your journey to be a famous author!! I hope you rite more books! Good luck with your career. I hope you get successful!! 🙂

  7. Danny –

    It’s always better to be generous, especially since the stars in the reviews cost nothing. It is just as easy to give a five star review as a four star review.

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