It is only since I’ve e-published a couple of short story books that I’ve really thought about the importance of reviews. Not just for me, but for other authors too.
This is strange because in my business life I’ve always been extremely aware of how important product reviews are.
Ebay for example insists that buyers leave some kind of feedback and Amazon do a good job of sending out emails to purchasers to request a review. More and more other sites request reviews too. How many of us would think of doing it without their prompts?
I used to trade a little via Ebay and always looked forward to giving feedback as well as receiving it. I suppose now I am actually writing or producing something that is much more personal I have become increasingly intrigued to find out what people think.
In truth, before I was offering e-books for sale I rarely thought to leave my thoughts about a book at Amazon or anywhere else. I’m ashamed to admit this now. I suppose it just didn’t occur to me how much it would mean to the author or other readers.
I am attempting to put this right. I’ve joined Goodreads and left a few reviews, and when I have time I will leave some more. I think before, I just subconsciously felt that if a book had been published and was selling well there wasn’t any need to tell the author or wider public what I thought. And who am I anyway? Why would my opinions count? How wrong could I be!
What I’ve subsequently learnt is that it’s not who you are and what you know that counts when leaving a review, or even how well you are able to express your views. The important thing is that you leave an opinion, share your feelings, tell your experience in relation to the story. Writing brings out emotions and very human responses and it is a good and rewarding thing to share them. Even if you don’t like something, a negative view is better than silence and can open up great discussions.
I feel very lucky to be able to self-publish e-books, not just because I get control over cover, style and format but because feedback is instant. Whether people leave a review at Amazon or talk to me directly on Twitter or Facebook, I get to know if they like or don’t like what I’ve written. It means that writing is no longer such a lonely business. This suits my impatient temperament very well as waiting to go through the traditional route of publishing takes an age, and that’s only if you get a contract in the first place.
Also, let’s be honest, no one’s views are more important than the reader!
Reviews are also quite important to help other readers decide if a book might be right for them. Not everyone takes much notice of reviews, especially if they have a favourite author and would read the book regardless. However, I like to read the reviews for books I am about to read, mainly to get an idea of what other people think because part of the pleasure of reading that book thereafter is to see whether I agree or disagree with them.
So if you haven’t ever left a review or didn’t think your views counted, please be assured they very much do. I can speak now as a new author and new reviewer and I know that even in ten years time I will still eagerly await reviews because every time you write something you are never quite sure what others will think, and reviews are the only way you will ever get to know!
The Eight of Swords and The Putsi are both available via Smashwords & Amazon
Just click on the cover image to buy!
Find out what happens to Jayne Patchett when she comes home to find her house occupied by Romanian gypsies.