Readers Matter

We’re all busy, especially this time of the year. It seems we barely have enough time to pick up a book for a few minutes before we go to sleep each night, much less time to write a review once we’ve finished reading. Unless you’re an avid reader who is dedicated to keeping track of every book you’ve ever read, you probably don’t bother with reviews. Books gets hundreds of reviews, so yours doesn’t really matter, right?

Wrong!

Your review is essential. Unless an author is a famous best-seller, chances are their books could use a little love. A little attention. And YOUR review.

There are so many reasons why reviews are important. Reviews help other readers decide whether or not to purchase a book. They let an author know if they are resonating with readers, and what they’re doing right – or wrong. Reviews help a book get noticed. And they can give an author that necessary boost to keep them writing, or to remind them why they started writing in the first place.

Contrary to popular opinion, most authors aren’t rich. Most don’t make a living writing books. Most work day jobs and write at night. Some authors barely make any money at all. We write because we love it. On napkins. On scraps of paper during our breaks or lunch hours. During the quiet moments long after the rest of our family has gone to bed, after we’ve worked a full day, made dinner, and cleaned the house. We scrape together little snippets of time, feeling guilty all the while that we aren’t doing something more productive, like mopping the kitchen floor or folding that last load of towels.

Why do we do it if there is little or no monetary reward? Because we simply can’t imagine NOT writing. Though most of us hold out hope that one day we’ll be the next J.K. Rowling, we’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that writing isn’t going to rake in the big bucks. Writing might not be lucrative, but there are other rewards. A thoughtful review is one of them.

A good review can make an author’s whole day. We live for a few words of praise scattered here and there. We love to hear from readers, whether it’s a message on Facebook or a comment on our blogs. Most authors have websites with a Contact Me form or an email address, and we absolutely love it when readers connect with us.

If you loved a book, leave a review. Tell a friend. Spread the word. Authors are so appreciative of every reader. YOU make it worth our while to do what we love – write!

45 thoughts on “Readers Matter

    • Thanks for the reblog, Susan. Readers are the reason we write. Their opinions and feedback mean so much to us and I always appreciate when someone takes time out of their busy schedule to leave a review or send me an email. I love readers!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I know I don’t read nearly enough. Like you I write until late and end up reading in a sort of bleary haze for about fifteen minutes before I fall asleep. The only way to get more reading time is to cut down on the writing time…Hard choice.
    Reviewsβ€”i write reviews of the indie books I’ve enjoyed and only those I’ve enjoyed because i’m a coward and don’t want to hurt feelings by saying I don’t like something.

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    • Oh, yeah. I’m with you on the bad reviews. I used to review everything I read. Now I only review what I finish. There are some books that (for whatever reason) I’m unable to finish. Rather than leave a bad review about why I didn’t like something, I skip it altogether. I think authors take a different approach to reviews than readers. We know how it feels to receive harsh criticism, so we’re reluctant to dish it out.

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      • I think it’s also because when you’re in the position of writing yourself, it looks arrogant to criticize, as if you’re saying: I wouldn’t have written it like that, because I’m a better writer than you. I hate the idea of stepping on toes. A face to face discussion or arguement is one thing, but a soap box review is quite another.

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        • I used to write reviews for everything, but now I only write reviews for books I rate three stars or more. There are lots of varying opinions about authors reviewing–whether they should leave negative reviews, or whether it’s a conflict of interest for them to review at all. I’ve gone back and forth on this. For now, I’m trying to keep it positive. If I don’t like a book, I usually won’t finish it, and I never review books I haven’t finished.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Writers have to write. Few make money.
    Great post
    (and hey, readers. Like an author or a book? Ask your library to purchase a copy or several for the whole library system across the city or region. Acquisition librarians listen the patrons – email, drop them a card with a sentence or two about the book, why you liked it and why others might. include author, title, and publisher…even Amazon link with reviews?)

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  3. I’m the opposite – I don’t believe in setting the readers homework, on top of having honoured me by paying for and reading one of my books. If anything, I’d prefer it if they just recommended my book to one other reader in real life, if they enjoyed it – maybe bought another one if they truly loved it – or simply had a good laugh about what was wrong with it with someone close to them if they didn’t. Books are a way of connecting people and finding common ground in the real world – not so if they’re stuck at their computer, constantly having to rate and review stuff before they can move on with their lives πŸ™‚ Remember that ordinary readers aren’t making any money either – the most they might get is a free book, in which case good for them, but I still don’t think they owe me anything afterwards πŸ™‚ x

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    • That’s why I’m so appreciative when readers take the time to review. There’s a million other things they could be doing with their time, so you’re right – it’s already an honor that they’ve chosen to read our books (or even take a quick look at them on Amazon.) I LOVE what you said about books connecting people. That’s such a beautiful way of looking at things. It’s awe-inspiring to think that something we lovingly created is being read (and hopefully enjoyed) by perfect strangers all over the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is an excellent post. Your message about reviews is something all writers would like to share with readers out there. I do agree that many readers believe that their review won’t make any difference, but how wrong they are! As you say, every single review is precious to an author – partticulary one at the start of his/her writing career.

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  5. As a writer, I do get a kick out of reviews. I read them all, even the ones that aren’t so kind. They hurt but in my mind I’m happy that my work was read. As a reader I try to write reviews on any work I like. I too don’t normally write reviews on book I don’t enjoy reading. I also know that reviews can be done quickly and that even if it’s only a few words of praise the author will enjoy them.

    Readers are the life’s blood of a writer and reviews are a pump of the heart.

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  6. Reblogged this on Life Memoirs and commented:
    How true! Nice clear article. A review is not difficult; you only need to say, in a few words, how you found the book. Did you like it? If not why not? If you did, why? Of course if you are able and have the time a slightly longer appraisal would always be appreciated. Remember, not only are you telling other readers what you think but also helping the author develop their style and understanding. Even negative reviews have value as long as you are not abusive.

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