Today I have a very interesting guest post by Desireee Finkbeiner about reviewing books.
The Importance of Writing Reviews: by Desiree Finkbeiner
So you’ve just read a great book and you’re about to move on to the
next title in your kindle library… but wait! Did you really enjoy the
book you just read? Then why not write a quick review?
What’s that? You’re not much of a writer, and you don’t think your
review would do the book any justice? I couldn’t disagree more!
Authors work hard to create the worlds you fall in love with. They
sacrifice time, sleep, resources and other activities to bring
entertainment you your kindle or library shelf. Why not give them a
pat on the back for their efforts? Believe me, it means a lot for
writers to hear from their readers.
First, it gives them encouragement to keep writing. Second, your
feedback lets them know what they’re doing right, and what they can
improve on. There’s nothing more discouraging for a writer than to
feel that their work is not appreciated by someone out there. Even if
there are already fifty reviews on their Amazon or Goodreads profile,
your voice is unique, and they want to hear from *you*.
Not only are your reviews important to the author, but they are
important to other readers too. Your review is social proof that the
book is worth taking the time to read. It doesn’t have to be eloquent
or written like a New York Times review. It could be a simple
statement like, “Great read! My favorite part of the book was the
first kiss. I can’t wait for the next book in the series. I highly
Customer testimonials are the number one way of convincing other
consumers to purchase new products. If the author wrote something you
liked, then make it your mission to tell the world! You might be
saying to yourself, “But there are already a bunch of reviews for
this book. What difference can I make? There’s nothing I can say that
other reviewers haven’t already said.”
On the contrary, the more voices that laud a product, the better.
Seeing those review numbers builds the confidence of other consumers
who only have so many dollars to spend, or so much reading time to
devote to new books. So your voice, joined with the voices of others,
only sing a louder refrain which reaches more ears.
Post your reviews where it counts: Amazon, Goodreads, your personal
blog etc And be sure to share the book on your social profiles as
well. There are people out there that are hungry for something new to
read, so why not be the messenger bearing good news? Recommend books
you like to your friends and they will be so glad you did… and so
will the author.
No matter how small your network, your voice matters in the grand
scheme of things. Even if only one more reader picks up on that book
because of your efforts, you’ve done a great service to the author
who worked so hard to deliver that work into your hands.
But if you’re interested in writing a more in-depth review, here are
a few pointers that might help. There are six main points to a review
that will earn you ‘helpful’ votes by other readers. If you’re not
familiar with what I mean, take a moment to look at reviews on Amazon
or Goodreads. You can see where people can vote or ‘like’ your
review. You can even earn ranks on Amazon as star reviewers or ‘vine
voice’. That means your reviews were helpful to other readers and
they voted you up with points. Not only is that an honor worth
bragging about, but you might even start getting free books from
authors who want you to review their books! Who wouldn’t love getting
Better yet, why not devote a blog to your book reviews? Then post
them to Amazon, Goodreads, Shelfari etc. It won’t take long before
word gets around that your reviews are honest and helpful, and you’ll
get flooded with review requests from authors and publishers… and
that means FREE books!
Here are the six components of a good review:
1. First, start by describing why you chose to read the book. Did
someone else’s review influence you? Did you see a post about it on a
blog, or see a book trailer online? Was it recommended by a friend?
This lets the author and/or publisher know where their promotional
efforts are working.
2. Describe what hooked you. Was it the hero or the plot? Did a
single unique element jump out and grab you? What kept you reading?
This helps the author know what they’re doing right, and helps them
develop the quirks that reeled you in. You might be inclined to
reveal some spoilers here, but that is up to you.
3. Without getting too much into spoilers, try to describe what your
favorite aspect(s) of the story was. Could you relate to the
characters? Did the plot flow well? How was the world-building? Were
there some good surprises, or was it predictable?
4. Was there anything that bothered you about the book? Was there any
repetitive word use, shallow characters, a hole in the plot, a scene
that left you hanging? Or was it written to perfection, enough to
make you eager for the next installment? This is your chance to give
constructive advice to the author on how, in your opinion, the book
could have been better.
5. Sum it up. Is there something you think other readers need to
know? Was there a lot of swearing or graphic content? Do you feel
it’s your duty to give people a ‘head’s up’? Was the romance a sweet
romance or steamy with lots of skin? Think of the summary in terms of
movie ratings. Was is PG or Rated R? Why? The summary will help other
readers know what to expect so they don’t get half way through the
book and find that there is content they’re uncomfortable with.
6. Finally, your recommendation. Who do you think will enjoy the
book? Think demographics: age, sex, genre. Why would enjoy this
Now what are you waiting for? Go review that book you just read!
About Desiree Finkbeiner:
Desiree Finkbeiner attained a bachelor's degree in Graphic Design from Missouri Southern State University (2006) with a heavy background in business, marketing, music and fine art-- She was heavily involved in campus affairs and served actively in several committees focusing on campus entertainment and events.
She performed with musical acts/bands in rock and electronic genres, released seven studio albums, performed in 11 states and has written hundreds of songs. Her band, Carbon Star, was a finalist for VH1's "Bands on the Run" reality TV show in 2000. Then she performed with Pointy Teeth until finally leaving the music industry for the quiet life.
She had a scholarship for acting in college though she was not a theater major. Although she no longer performs or focuses on musical/performing arts, she has chosen to shift her talents to other areas that are more conducive to raising a family.
Continuing education is a constant adventure for Desiree with topics of interest ranging from civil and corporate law, history, political conspiracy, homeopathic medicine and spiritual healing. She prefers to read non-fiction, especially on topics that educate and broaden her perspectives on controversial issues.
With thousands of completed art works in her archives, most of which appear in private collections worldwide, Desiree hopes to focus more on publishing, marketing and licensing her work so she can leave a legacy behind.
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