If you love reading, this may be a post for you.
Let me begin with a question, or rather, a series of questions…
Have you ever been let down by a book?
Have you ever wished that a book included a hair bit more than it did?
Have you ever flipped the last page and thought something about the story was missing?
Now, if you’ve answered yes to any of those questions, allow me to ask two more…
Have you ever left a book review on an author’s website or a review site?
Have you ever contacted an author by email, on social media, or in a private message?
Okay, we’re almost done.
If you answered yes to either of the last two questions (or gave serious consideration for doing so), what did you say/write?
I lay these questions out there for consumption after a roundtable gathering with a group of author friends. See, writers want to know what readers think, and many listen to the critics of their works. In fact, the main reason for having beta readers is to have that reader feedback to improve the story. But here is where things fall apart. When A. says a story was awful because the characters were unbelievable, that vagueness doesn’t provide the author much to go on to make corrections. It’s more helpful if there is an explanation. For example, saying a character is unbelievable because his language seems too sophisticated for his age would be helpful. Or saying that the dialogue seems stiff because it is filled with cliches provides specific direction as to the problem.
Writers have tough skins… well, most of them. They pride themselves on growing and improving their craft. Sometimes, a writer has a specific vision for a project. For example, if an author is a horror writer and writes a book with a lot of scary elements, that’s to be expected. An unfair criticism would be calling out the story for having too many creepy elements. However, what would be fair is asking the author to up the ante, for example, making what is meant to be “jump scare” less predictable.
As with anything, there is a polite way and not so polite way to do anything. Readers most definitely can communicate their likes and dislikes for a story in a tasteful way. If an author you are kind of interested in isn’t quite doing it for them, there is no reason a reader shouldn’t inform that author what is expected or wanted from him/her.
- Book reviews are for readers. While authors may learn from the reviews, the main purpose of reviews is to inform writers about the book. Usually, reviews come from either readers who have purchased or been gifted the book or professional critics. In any case, the review is written to relay the reader’s opinion to other readers. It is to give a type of synopsis of the book and an indication of what other readers may experience. However, all reviews are subjective, and that should be kept in mind.
- All reviews matter. There is a reason that the bride and groom have the first dance at the wedding, and it isn’t because it’s their wedding and they are footing the bill. It is to get things started and people moving to the dance floor. Think about going to a party or club with great music blaring, tons of people standing around, but no one dancing. Sometimes, there’s a hesitation to be first. However, once that first person begins, more are likely to follow. The same happens with book reviews. Once the first one written, other people are encouraged to do the same—either to agree or disagree.
- Leaving reviews is a way of becoming part of the reading community. It is a way for readers to connect with other readers. Some readers connect with other readers through review sites as well as the reviews they write.
- Sparking further conversations. Sometimes, reviews may lead to opening discussions about topics that matter but aren’t being discussed. Many fan theories of popular books have begun in the comment sections reviewing books or passages.
- Reviews speak for readers who can’t leave reviews. Not everyone is allowed to leave reviews of sites like Amazon. This point could be an entire post of its own. Basically, Amazon has set community guidelines that restrict who can post reviews. The claim is that this is to ensure that the reviews are valid, but let’s be honest. It isn’t true. There are people who purchase books from other places than Amazon who may want to leave a review but who aren’t allowed because they haven’t spent enough money on the Amazon site. Or their review may show up without the “verified purchase” marker beside their name. Or if an author has a link for his/her book that leads to his/her Amazon webpage, Amazon cyber tracking may consider that person to be a “friend” and either disallow or remove reviews. So, one reader who leaves a review may be speaking for many readers.
- It has been estimated that more than 85% of book purchases from the Amazon Kindle store is based at least partially on book reviews. These reviews are being used as a determining factor as to if someone wants to download an e-book.
- Book reviews help new authors get discovered and more exposure, not just to readers but to other book review websites, book clubs, and book blogs. They can even help sway the minds of library administrators whether or not to carry a book in the library.
That’s all I got. Do you agree or disagree with these points? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comment section. Also, let me know if you would like me to cover more of these types of topics or dive deeper into this one. If you like this post, please click the like button and share it. If you’re not following me on Creole Bayou blog, what are you waiting for? There’s always room at the bayou.
If you haven’t heard, my best-selling hockey romance series, Locker Room Love. Book 4, Penalty Kill, releases this August. >>> https://books2read.com/penaltykill
When the scandal of a double homicide threatens to destroy his career, this billionaire hockey player hires an ambitious sports agent to improve his public image. It’s time to let the puckery begin.
Timothée Croneau is that jock—the bad boy superstar with the naughty reputation. He’s handsome, arrogant, and a billionaire. He’s also the number one person-of-interest in a double homicide and recently traded to a losing team who is showing him no love. And wouldn’t it be just his luck that his career splashed in the toilet six months after his long-time agent kicked the bucket? Now, he’s stuck with Ryker Kitsch. An agent is supposed to fix his life, though, not break his heart.
Speaking of breaks, ex-athlete Ryker Kitsch wants his in the sports agency realm. He sees his chance to make a name for himself by helping rebrand his agency’s newly acquired hockey star, Timothée Croneau. The guy needs every lick of positive PR he can get. So, why is the devilishly gorgeous forward fighting him at every step and leaving Ryker to wonder if he’s been hired for a babysitting gig?
The mess Timothée is stirring was never in any contact Ryker was hired to handle. One thing’s for sure. Whether it’s a forecheck or backcheck, collision is inevitable.
Preorder your copy at:
Other book sellers: https://books2read.com/penaltykill
Missed the three in my hockey romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box (book #1), where it is one minute in the box or a lifetime out, is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.
Defending the Net (book #2) can be ordered at https://amzn.to/2N7fj8q or www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.
Ice Gladiators (book #3) is the third book in my Locker Room Love series. When the gloves come off, the games begin. Available at https://amzn.to/2TGFsyD or www.books2read.com/icegladiators.
For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou.
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Until next time, happy reading and much romance. Laissez le bon temps rouler.