Authors love to write. It’s what we do. There’s an internal drive to turn the voices in our head into a book. Regardless of that fact, it is very scary to send our babies out into the world and risk rejection.

Of course we think our manuscripts are awesome. Beautifully crafted and entertaining. Our families and critique partners have gushed and given a thumbs up. But there is still the chance the editor at our dream publisher won’t feel the same. And when they do, there is still the readers and reviewers who may not fall in love with our characters the way we did.

There are some authors who don’t read their reviews. Don’t worry what the critics say. I’m not one of them.

I read every review, celebrating each 4 and 5 star review and kicking sand when someone only gives my book 3 stars or *gasp* lower. I totally understand that my stories aren’t necessarily everyone’s cup of tea, but it still stings. But the interesting thing about these lower reviews, after the initial disappointment, I usually learn something from them. Those well written ones from readers are especially beneficial.

But so few readers even write reviews. Even author-readers. I always try to write reviews for my friends’ books I enjoy. They don’t have to be long or written in flowery prose. They don’t even have to be a synopsis of the book. Just a few honest words about how you enjoyed the book. Anne Allen has a wonderful blog post talking about reviews, the ease of writing them and the impact they have on book sales. You should take time to read it.

Seriously. take a moment … I’ll wait.

Good right? I especially like how she compares review stars to rating a pair of jeans. She makes it so easy to understand.

So what about you? Do you write reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble? If you don’t why not? I’m always curious about these sorts of things.

And today you can check out a review (and give away) of “Deceive Her With Desire” at TBR Pile. I also have an short interview at Lisa’s World of Books. And I’ve got an excerpt from “Blind Her With Bliss” at 99 Cent Books. Whew. Busy day.

0 Responses to Let’s REVIEW the facts

  • I try not to pay too much attention to my reviews, though I admit I peek from time to time. Occasionally, I’ll write reviews for books or authors I like, though I would never leave a bad review for anyone. I’m like Thumper–if I can’t post something nice, I won’t post anything at all.


    • Adele – I think lots of authors feel that way. If they can’t say something nice, they say nothing, which is good…still, it looks like reviews on Amazon do help propel rank which in turn propels sales.

  • Great post Nina. I used to be a reviewer for NOR and TRS but understandable life got in the way and I had to stop. I understand author frustration with reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and B&N.

    An author that I respect, read and like was slammed yesterday regarding one of her stories and the problem was that the reviewer didn’t review the book, the reviewer reviewed their thoughts on the setting. This reviewer really upset the author and that’s not right.

    I wrote a lengthy blog about reviewing on my blog a couple of months ago. And it makes me sad when people who write a review for book and don’t actually “review” the book. I have to agree with Adele, if you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything.

    BTW, I just bought your Tilling Passions Series at Smashwords. :)


    • Marika – That’s the hardest part about reader reviews … when they use it as a forum for their own personal bias rather than a book review. Doesn’t really give much information to other readers who were looking at buying.

      And you just made my day! I hope you enjoy the series!

  • LOVE this Nina! so true…one of the most glowing (and long) reviews I got for a recent release got….wait for it…3 stars.
    I tend to go with what reviewers say and leave off the “stars/diamonds/hearts/kisses” whatevers
    thanks for this!

    • Liz – I’ve had a couple of those glowing reviews with limited stars. It’s easy enough to look past the stars if only readers would do the same. But frankly, I think a 3 star review doesn’t even get read. Which means no matter how glowing, it’s lost. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Great post, Nina. I enjoy doing reviews for fellow authors because I know how this helps in promoting. I used to Review for Romantic Times BookClub Magazine (until I became a published author), and now I do Reviews for NOR (Night Owl Reviews) and my own page on my site under “Kari’s Korner Reviews”. I will not post a Review that is harmful because Im like Adele — if I cant say anything nice then I dont post it.

    On a note of encouragement though, the one and only bad Review I ever received (from a very snarky reviewer who couldnt say anything nice about any book) actually HELPED in my Sales. Readers were curious to see what she was talking about and bought the book! LOL!

    HOLIDAY HUGS! Kari Thomas,

    • Kari – I think that’s very true about 1 and 2 star reviews. They can actually boost sales because people are curious about why it was *so* bad!

      Happy holidays to you as well.

  • I wish I had more time to read so I could write more reviews. If I don’t like a book for whatever reason then I won’t review it. I’ve gotten a few nasty 1-star reviews. One reviewer called my sexy sci-fi book STAR CRASH “bad porn.” I just wonder how much porn you have to read to tell the difference between good porn and bad porn? Surprisingly after that review my ranking on Amazon rose, so a bad review doesn’t always hurt. :-)

    I HATE reading synopsis type reviews, so I don’t write them. If I’m looking at the book on Amazon I’ve already read the blurb and probably some sample pages, why do I need some reviewer to tell me again what the story is about. I just say what it is about the book that I like and why.

    • Elysa – That’s my problem as well. I have about 20 minutes when I crawl into bed before exhaustion overtakes me. That’s maybe one or two chapters a night … if I’m lucky! I’m not big on the synopsis type reviews either. Like you said, the information is already in the blurb. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Loved the review of your book over at the TBR pile! I don’t generally review. I might mention, but not review. Just feel like I’ll leave someone out and that would be bad.

    • Julia – That was an awesome review! I’ll be posting snippets of it later this week. (And thanks for tweeting it!) Many authors say the same thing about reviewing their friends’ work. It makes them uncomfortable.

  • Great post. I am a reader and enjoy reviewing books and have had my reviews posted at numerous blogs and review sites. So I do not post at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. I also think that a lot of those reviews are easily manipulated on Amazon and such. I always wondered what authors thought about the review sites vs Amazon or Barnes and Noble reviews.

    • Gabrielle – Authors LOVE review sites. But in this day and age where so many authors are publishing themselves, many book marketing sites are asking authors to have 10 reviews on Amazon before they can advertise with them.

      It’s driving authors to be looking specifically for reviews to be posted on B&N and Amazon. Good marketing for both of those sites.

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