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.