Sunday, August 21, 2016

Book Reviews: Easy to Write, Crucial for Authors

Summer travel and family company have kept my computer time to a minimum, leaving this blog sadly neglected.  I’m back this week, though, with a report about a blog I follow, “Rosie Amber––Book reviewer, Avid Reader and Bookworm. Campaigning to link more readers to writers.”  The link is  

Rosie’s blog features a book review every day from a variety of reviewers, as well as one day a week devoted to writing or marketing.  On July 25, her post encouraged readers to write reviews for Amazon and Goodreads.  Reviews are important for authors because they move books up in Amazon’s rankings and make them more visible.  They also help readers decide whether to read a book or not. 

Reviews are especially important for small-press or independently published authors, who have to do their own marketing.  I know that my choices are often influenced by reviews, especially when it comes to Amazon’s Daily Kindle Deals, where the authors are usually unfamiliar. 

If you think you can’t write a review, Rosie offers four easy steps:

1.     Go to Goodreads or your Amazon account.  Start with a one liner.  Can you include the genre?  The lead character?  The setting?  Say “I really enjoyed this book” or “The book didn’t work for me.”

2.     As above, this time write 4 sentences.  Keep them honest and make them about your own thoughts from the book.

3.     If you wrote your review for Goodreads, copy and paste it to your Amazon account.  Or vice-versa.              [Oops, this is something I forget to do.]

4.     Really stuck for something to say?  Read some of the other reviews for the book, they might jog your memory about a point, but still make your own review honest and genuine.

I discovered Rosie’s post last Monday when I was catching up on my ignored e-mails, and I decided to review three books I had read this summer.  Maybe you'll be inspired, too.  If you loved a book, why not let the author and the world know! 

P.S.  Rosie’s blog inspired British author and blogger Terry Tyler to declare August “Write a Book Review Month.”  If you’re feeling inspired yourself, check out Rosie’s August 15th  blog.  She has a link to Terry’s site, where you can learn how to use Twitter to be listed in the "#August Reviews Hall of Fame."


  1. THIS is a reminder to me to leave reviews this week. I'm guessing I read at least six books a month, some months more and I forget to leave reviews. When I'm not reading a book I'm busy writing my own. BUT write reviews is going on my list of things to do this week. I found that most people don't appreciate the longer reviews. One person said of a reviewer of one of my books. I don't need an entire summary of the book - now I feel I don't have to read. So a few sentences work very well. And try to say something good about the book. If I don't like a book I simply put it down and don't review it. Thanks Liz for reminder.
    Barbara A. Whittington, author
    Vada Faith
    Ezra and Other Stories
    Dear Anne: Love Letters from Nam

    1. Thanks for your thoughts. I tend to leave long reviews, ending with a tease when I can. But you're right, it's not necessary. Like you, I don't leave bad reviews. If I don't like a book, I just don't write one. Maybe I should alert people to a bad book (after all, potential readers need to know that, too) but I'll leave that to someone else.

  2. Great blog, Elizabeth. It's important avid readers let the authors know what is and isn't working for them. We need feedback.