A few words can make a huge difference. It seems reviews are everywhere these days. Who makes an online purchase, booking for a holiday, hotel or meal out without reading the reviews first? It is the same with books.
A review can be a way of feeling the fabric, tasting the wine, or testing the experience, when buying or ordering something from cyberspace. Other people take the time to let us know what they think of the product and we read a few assessments from strangers to discover whether this product, hotel, holiday, restaurant, or book will be right for us.
However, for the retailer, reviews are a two edged sword. They cut both ways. Whatever type of business the review is written about; there is a person who reads that review and takes it personally. It might be the owner, the agent, the chef, the designer, or the person that sweeps the floor. Even chambermaids like to read that the hotel room was spotlessly clean but will feel upset if her work is disparaged.
It is no different for me as an author. My online ‘business’ depends a great deal on reviews, but sadly, less than 5% of my readers leave one. It saddens me that many readers aren’t aware of how much difference a few sentences can make to the writer of that book they just read.
Most people that leave a review are polarised. They either love the book or hate it. Fortunately, most of the reviews on my books are good. I have some low scores, from readers who didn’t like my work, but I try to be philosophical. You can’t please all the people all the time.
I start each day by checking the status of my published works. This helps me target my marketing. When I see a new review, my heart lifts.
If it is a bad review, I am disappointed, especially if there is no explanation of why the reader thought to give only one star. I feel down and find it difficult to write another word.
However, if the review is constructive, and points out why they disliked the book, I take it on the chin and move on.
A good review will brighten my day and a great one will lift and carry me through the week on a high, encouraging me to write more.
If you are a reader, please consider leaving a review for the author. It means a lot and good or bad, we authors love to get feedback. It’s a lonely life and a little interaction with our readers goes a long way!