Why authors love reviews (even the bad ones!)

(That’s negative reviews btw, not bad authors!)

Do you write reviews? What was the last book you left a review for? Tell me in the comments. Mine was Court of Bitter Thorn by Kay L. Moody.

I’m asking, because reviews are one of the biggest ways you can support your favourite authors. Not only do they help other readers decide if they’ll pick up a particular book, but they also tell the almighty Amazon algorithm which books to promote and show to readers (and it works the same way on Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Apple Books, etc.).

For example, once a book hits 50 reviews, Amazon may choose to include it in its email newsletters. That’s a whole lot of subscribers seeing a book they may otherwise have never discovered.

And reviews can be as short as “Fantastic!” or “Loved it”, or even “Poorly written” if that’s how you feel.

Why negative reviews are still good

With negative reviews, we all know it’s subjective and 100% opinion based – somebody else might think the book you hated was phenomenal. So if you can include a reason as to why it wasn’t your cup of tea, that’s really helpful, to both readers and writers.

For the author, if several reviewers have an issue with one plot twist or character, or an element of the writing, then chances are they’re not (entirely) wrong, and the author can work on that in their future books. Or even rectify it in a later edition.

For other readers, the reason you didn’t like a book (too steamy, too much swearing, darker than you expected, etc. etc.) could be the thing they’re really looking for in their next read, and your review might even convince them to buy it!

Five places you can leave your book reviews

  1. Where you bought it (Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, Apple Books, Google Play etc.)
  2. On your book blog
  3. Goodreads
  4. Bookbub
  5. Social media

And always remember the GOLDEN RULE of sharing book reviews online. NEVER tag the author in a negative review. Even a mostly positive review but with some criticisms can be devastating for the writer. Authors are humans too, and many protect their mental health and wellbeing by avoiding reading reviews, unless someone trusted sends them the good ones.

So, just try to be kind. Reviews are for readers, once a book is out in the world the author has little control over it, and if it wasn’t your cup of tea that doesn’t mean it was the world’s worst book and everyone should avoid it.

(Obviously there are some exceptions, there are definitely problematic books out there that could damage some individuals, but it might be better to warn those communities rather than directing your comments at the author. Or you could possibly send a private message to let them know of their mistake, but be careful with this one, some people don’t appreciate unsolicited DMs.)

Happy reviewing! And don’t forget to review my books if you’ve read and enjoyed them!

Lyndsey

x

2 Comments

  1. A ha. I too try to avoid reading any reviews (not that I have many) because I’m thin-skinned like that. I like feeling validated now that you say many other authors do this too. Anyway, thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

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