When I’m not busy with the Chevron Ross books, I spend a great deal of time reviewing the works of other authors. Why? Because I know what it’s like to battle for attention in today’s book market.
Writing is a great risk. Despite investing hundreds of hours in research and craftsmanship, the author gets nothing in return unless people buy the book. That means spending the author’s own money on advertising. And still, there are so many new books every year that nobody has time to keep up with them. How can an author hope to make a profit, or just break even?
That’s where you, the reader, come in. With a few minutes of your own time, you can help an author by posting a review of each book you read. It’s easy to do on such websites as Amazon or Goodreads. You will also help others decide what to read next.
Publishers and book distributors read reviews to decide whether to invest in an author’s work. The more reviews, the more interested they will be. Some websites make money by charging authors to review their books. These can be helpful, but often they’re expensive.
You don’t have to be a great writer to do a review. Just tell what you got from reading the book. Did you like the story? The characters? The writing style? If it’s non-fiction, what did you learn? How knowledgeable is the author about his or her subject matter?
Reviews don’t have to be long. Just a few lines can go a long way toward helping other readers decide whether the book is worthwhile. Even if you didn’t like it, you can help an author to improve by pointing out its weaknesses.
Amazon and Goodreads offer free membership, so you can look up millions of books and see what others have said about them. Posting reviews on these websites is also easy. Use the search window in either app to find your book title. Then follow the instructions about posting your review. And be sure to share your comments with your family, your friends, and your social media contacts.
A final note: Make your reviews constructive. You won’t accomplish anything by tearing down somebody else’s work.