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!



Cover reveal: Once Upon a Name anthology

I’m so excited to share the gorgeous cover of one of my 2022 projects with you today!

Once Upon a Name is a collection of fantasy short stories by twenty authors who decided to get together and take on the challenge of an online fairy tale name generator.

All profits from the sale of Once Upon a Name will go to Book Aid International, the UK’s leading international book donation and library development charity.

Are you ready to see the cover?


What’s in a name? Names have power, names have magic, names can set the course for a great destiny.
Once upon a time, twenty author friends accepted a challenge by a fairy tale name generator. Now, twenty new characters have adventurous tales to tell.
In this clean YA anthology, meet goddesses, empresses, countesses, wannabe sorceress apprentices, female leaders of wolf packs, and guardian frog sidekicks. Search for missing persons with a hunter turned detective. Swoon over the gypsy sultana who must prove she is fit to rule. Cavort with our demons, wraiths, and demigods and lose your soul to the Bone Marsh. Root for a genie’s freedom or bite your nails as you pray for the witch to get the spell right. And yes, feel your heart palpitate at unexpected romance.
Escape into our strange and unusual collection of short stories written by award-winning and up-and-coming authors. Join us in far-off lands and learn. . .what is in a name.

All proceeds donated to charity in support of reading and literacy.

Add it to your Goodreads TBR.

Preorder for just 99c/77p for a limited time!

My story is called Baroness of Blood and Bone and features Tullia Artfulbeau, Baroness of the Northern Wolves. It’s a short urban fantasy focusing on a pack of wolf shifters with a female alpha.

I can’t wait to tell you more about my story soon, and the other nineteen incredible tales by my fellow bestselling and debut authors.



Interview and happy release day: epic fantasy author R.S. Williams

Happy release day to Kingdom of Lies by R.S. Williams!

I had the absolute privilege of meeting Rhianne recently, and interviewing her for this blog, and she’s just as lovely as she comes across online. Fancy getting to know her better? Keep reading…

Hi Rhianne, it’s so nice to finally meet you in real life after over a year of online frienship! Why don’t you start by telling us a little about yourself?

I write under R. S. Williams, but you can call me Rhianne. I live in the south west of England in Somerset with my husband and two cats. Soon to have a little sproglet running around as well. Which is my way of saying I’m pregnant – yay! Although my cats are very much like two babies too – I spoil them rotten! 

I love music and dancing, watching crime and fantasy TV shows and films. If you can’t find me – usually look in one of three places, my office, the lounge or my bed. I’ll probably be reading or playing video games! 

Congratulations on your pregnancy! My little boy just turned three and definitely keeps me on my toes! Plus we have two dogs, so it’s a little crazy over here. But you’re going to love being a mum! When did you first start writing and what inspired you? 

I actually starting writing very young when my school asked everyone to write a poem and they were all published in a book parents could buy! Then as a teenager I thought I was going to make millions by writing songs, but that was short lived, and then at 18 I started writing novels. 

Oh wow, that sounds so adorable, I’d love a book with a poem by my son and his schoolmates. My origin story is quite similar, we had to write a poem in the style of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes and I chose Red Riding Hood. The Ofsted inspector came around the same time and she loved my poem so much she took it to show around all of the other local primary schools. I still have a copy tucked away somewhere, it’s my prized possession. So, what are some of your favourite books?

Always a hard question to answer because I can guarantee you I will forget something and possibly change my mind tomorrow. However my staples have always been Vampire Academy, Graceling, Throne of Glass, Harry Potter and A Touch of Power.

I love fantasy, which is why I write it, but I also have a HUGE soft spot for contemporary romance – always a good pallet cleanser too. 

Graceling and Throne of Glass are two of my top favourites too, and Harry Potter is what originally got me into fantasy books as a teen. That and Artemis Fowl. Tell us about your first published book, or your most recent release.

Can I do both?

My first published book was The Collective. I brought together two things which I loved at the time. Pirates and time travel. I had also just watched The Adjustment Bureau and was obsessed with the idea that someone controlled the timeline and had to set it back on course. So, my story was born. The Collective – a secret society that protects history. Jenny – my main character who wants to prove her worth and find her missing parents, and Tilly – the girl who was at the wrong place at the right time. 

My most recent release is titled Kingdom of Lies and is the first book in my fantasy trilogy The Kane Saga, which I have been working on for at least four years. I LOVE this story. I have poured my soul between the pages and, it’s funny, because at the time I was seeing post about ‘powerful female protagonists’ and I suddenly realised all the books I read had female leads… so I chose to write a male one. Bonkers when you think about it, that way. But its about a teenage boy whose parents’ assassins come back for him. Oh and he’s hidden royalty 😉 

I don’t even know where to start. First of all, I LOVED The Adjustment Bureau so your The Collective series sounds like my cup of tea! Second, hidden royalty? Assassins? Yes please! I’m so glad Kingdom of Lies hit my Kindle today so I can devour it! Where do you find inspiration for your characters or settings? 

Anywhere really. Sometimes they just come to me randomly and I start jotting down notes. Other times I’ll be watching a TV series or a film and want to change things or see something I like and add them to the idea bank then when inspiration hits I put them all together and see what I pull out. It’s a fun experience.

It sounds fun, I definitely watch enough TV and movies to find inspiration, I just need an idea bank to put them in! Are you a plotter, pantser or plantser? 

Somewhere between plotter and plantser. I love to plot but also diving off the edge is fun too!

I love that description. As a fellow plotter-leaning plantser, it does feel a lot like free-falling when I let myself veer off track while drafting my stories. But I always land somewhere unexpected and amazing. What are you working on right now?

I am writing an exclusive story for my patrons, plotting a vampire standalone and editing books 2&3 of The Kane Saga.

Crikey, that’s a lot of irons in the fire! I’ll let you get back to your WIPs soon then. First though, what one piece of advice would you give aspiring authors? 

Never give up. Some of my favourite authors didn’t make it the first try. James Patterson was rejected 31 times before his first book got published. Victoria Schwab had written 13 books before she got noticed. It takes time, but you will get there. The world needs your story too. 

That’s really encouraging, it just shows that art is so subjective and it only takes one yes to cancel out all of the nos. Thank you so, so much for being here today Rhianne, I’ve loved chatting to you. And congratulations on the release of Kingdom of Lies! Where can we find out more about you and your books? 

Rhianne’s website https://www.authorrhiannewilliams.com

Sign up to Rhianne’s newsletter https://www.authorrhiannewilliams.com/members 

Follow Rhianne on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/authorrhiannewilliams

Like Rhianne’s Facebook page   https://www.facebook.com/authorrswilliams 

Join Rhianne’s Readers on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/rhiannesreaders

Add Kingdom of Lies (The Kane Saga #1) to your TBR https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58380471-kingdom-of-lies 

Read the prequel novella to KoL, Tournament of the Elite, when you sign up to Rhianne’s email list!

How stunning are Rhianne’s covers? I’ve been desperately waiting for Kingdom of Lies to release for months, and now it’s finally here, I’m off to read way past my bedtime.

Happy reading folks!