Sunday, January 5, 2014

Author reviews - part two! Should we or shouldn't we write them?? #amazon

On Dec 8th I wrote a blog about whether an author should write reviews on other books. In that blog I promised a follow-up on expectations.  Here it is.

Since I published that last blog, there were more opinions about the subject that I found interesting. What was also interesting is that the people who wrote these didn’t wish to be named. Understood and respected. Both of the authors are multi-published and have been for years.

***I think this is a tough decision that each person has to make for her/himself. It’s perhaps even tougher when you’re an author, not just a “normal” reader. I read a lot, and it’s for pleasure. I don’t want to be analytical and I don’t want to keep track of details. I don’t want to turn reading into part of the business side of my writing life – which, of course, it would be if I attached any of my writing names to the review. And it could be one of the unpleasant parts of the business side, and I have enough of those already. Having said that, I am eternally grateful for every reader who does take the time to post a good review!***

***I'm in the same camp, I'm afraid.  Plus for me it's a matter of finding the time.  I used to judge a lot of writing contests and would spend hours reading and rereading each entry and agonizing over comments so they would (I hope) sound positive and constructive and helpful.  Now I limit my judging to one or two contests a year. The same would be true if I started writing reviews.  I would ponder over what ranking to give and what to say about the book, and I would likely rewrite the review several times before posting it.  I know this probably isn't necessary and I'm sure it's not what most people do - but it's what I would do, and it would eat up huge chunks of my time. If it's any consolation, all of this really makes me cherish the reviews my books have received.  I generally don't seek out reviews but I sure do value the time and thought that readers put into them. ***

I sympathize with both these commenters. It does take time and energy to write a decent review. On the other hand, with each one I’ve written it’s become easier. I truly believe that undertaking this task has helped me in my book blurbs, writing my blogs and leaving comments on others. Most probably, it's made all my writing a bit tighter which is a good thing. Anytime you train your brain to function in a way that takes concentration and effort, you will be rewarded.

Not only in the learning you’re unconsciously experiencing, but in the knowing that you’ve given back in a positive way. I guess I consider it like the Golden Rule – do unto others. Maybe it can even be taken a step further and considered good Karma.

That - I like!!



  1. I never really thought about it that way but I think you're right. It does make your writing skills sharper, particularly when it comes to writing blurbs. And it's a way of giving back. If you've enjoyed a book I see nothing wrong with writing a review. For myself I consider reading part of writing so while I don't think it should turn into a job I think if you read a book and like it writing a review of a couple of lines is not that onerous.

  2. Hi Pat, See, I bet writing that comment took a while and had to be rewritten here and there. Once you write a 30 or 40 reviews, it sure gets easier LOL

  3. I write reviews, I just make sure I give objective reasons why. I don't generally give anything less than 3 stars, for the simple reason that I wouldn't usually finish a 1 or 2 star book and I won't write a review for a book I didn't finish. As long as a review is objective, points out the good and the bad, and doesn't involve mud-slinging, I don't see an issue.

  4. Hi Ciara, you made a good point that I never thought to say. Like you, I don't usually finish books that would earn less than 3 points either. And like you, I don't write bad reviews. One thing I have to mention is that I also appreciate when a reader points out an issue they have with the book - good or bad! It helps us to correct the bad and gives us a window into what the readers like when they mention the good :-)

  5. Now I feel guilty for being so lazy in writing reviews especially for really good books I downloaded on free days - really bad me.
    We all know that reviews are an essential part of success for writers, so looking at writing them as an added benefit for the reviewer is a great incentive. Thanks Mimi for that perspective!

  6. Hi Epublishabook, Makes me smile to write that as a name!!
    Anyway - I'm so glad I was able to make you see just how much it matters to authors when someone who reads their book takes the time to leave a compliment or even advice. :-))))