REVIEW, I say! REVIEW!
But Eliza, why? Why are reviews so important for authors?
One simple reason: sales. When an author reaches a certain threshold for reviews (the magic number starts at 10; at 50 reviews, even more promotional doors open), they can engage the advertising machine. Here’s how it works:
—> Readers write reviews.
—> Authors qualify for ads.
—> Ads help sell books.
—> Selling books means the author and/or publisher recover costs of producing the product (book).
—> Selling more product (books) and reaching more readers means the author/publisher can continue to write/publish books to entertain people.
Because the bottom line here is about entertaining our readers.
Sure, some authors are bathing in Benjamins in their gilded tubs, but heads up: most are not.
And getting paid for our work is not a big ask. How many people do you know will work for free? Will you? Who’d be so crazy?
Which is why we ask for reviews. Think of it like a book report, but not the yucky, laborious things that your sixth grade teacher made you write. And if you Google “how to write a review,'“ those answers can be just as intimidating. You do not have to be an expert in the Hero’s Journey or commercial vs. literary fiction to write a great review.
Instead, think of it like this — when you finish reading a book, ask yourself:
Did I like this book? Why or why not?
What was my favorite part of the story? The setting? The dialogue? The characters?
Could I relate to the characters?
Did the story make me FEEL anything? Did I laugh, cry, want to throw the book across the room?
Was the mystery/romance/puzzle what I’d hoped from this kind of novel?
A review can be something as simple as:
“I loved how the author made me fall in love with these characters.”
“This story was exactly what I needed for an escape from day-to-day life.”
“This was a great story that kept me guessing until the end. Can’t wait for more!”
See? Easy-peasy! And if you’re still not sure what to say, click on the number of stars you want to assign the book, 5 being the BEST (and 1 being the worst), and then leave a line in reference to that. Example: “5 stars — I loved it!” Boom. Done.
SO — Leaving your review — what you need to do:
Like I said, to be able to take advantage of promotions and advertising opportunities to give the book a boost when readers start to notice it, authors need reviews on the sales pages as soon as possible. This is a vital part of a successful launch.
In this case, I’m going to give you the universal link for my latest book, a romantic comedy called F-Stop. You can choose your preferred store that way:
And if you’re looking for a GREAT DEAL on three books, pick up the REVELATION COVE BOXSET (MUST LOVE OTTERS, HOLLIE PORTER BUILDS A RAFT, and F-STOP) :
Next: Read the books. Then leave a review! Handy tip: The more stores you leave reviews on, the better for sales and visibility. And more sales means future books!
What does “verified” mean?
Verified means the book was actually purchased, rather than gifted through the author (or acquired through other nefarious channels). This step is entirely optional (and never feel under any obligation to do so—your review is more than enough and the most critical part). But if you PURCHASE the book before you leave your review, your review will be given a “verified” tag.
Readers take verified reviews more seriously, and other authors are reporting that Amazon has been removing reviews lately that are not verified. Every sale adds to the book's rank and makes it more likely that your favorite authors can hit their goal of reaching as many readers are possible.
Here are the steps on how to make all of this happen if you’d like to leave a review for F-STOP:
1: Click the Amazon link below, depending on your country:
2: Sign in to your Amazon account if prompted.
3: Scroll down the page and click “Write a customer review.”
4: Select a star rating and leave a review (remember, it can be as long or as short as you wish. Length isn’t important in this situation).
(For non-US readers: It’s REALLY helpful if you copy and paste your review and add it to the US Amazon page too. It’s the page promoters and marketing companies look to when deciding if we’re eligible to advertise with them.)
5: If you have accounts at other online retailers, leave your review with them too. The more places you leave your review, the more impact it’ll have. Some of the stores may not allow reviews to be left yet — this happens when a book isn’t released yet and/or is still in preorder phase. If that happens, feel free to post your review on release day! Other retailers include:
Barnes & Noble
6: You’re done!
See how easy that is? Your favorite authors thank you for your time and energy—me included!