Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Review, review, review

I haven’t kept track of how many books I’ve read but as an avid reader since childhood, the count is well over a thousand. It probably crossed the thousand threshold many years ago. However, it wasn’t until the last few years that I ever left a book review.

Part of my lack of reviewing, of course, has been because the internet and social media has only been around the past couple of decades. Social media and community opinions of everything has become so important that I’m embarrassed I haven’t offered up reviews even sooner.

Now, as an author, I’m even more sensitive to the need for reviewing. I write a few sentences or paragraphs on what I think about nearly every book I read and post on Bookbub, Goodreads and Amazon. I do this for two reasons. First and foremost, for the reading community. If I’m not familiar with an author, and even if I am, I usually read some opinions before I purchase the book. More than once, reviews left by others have changed my purchasing decision.

The second reason I leave ratings is I understand first-hand how important reviews are to the author. A book with few reviews leaves the impression that it’s a bad story, when that’s an unfair assessment. It’s like driving up to a restaurant with just a couple of cars in the parking lot – the place seems to be unpopular and therefore already deemed bad. As humans, we tend to follow the herd. It’s a chicken-and-the-egg sort of situation, where ratings can drive readership, but readers are first necessary for reviews. New authors struggle to get launched for this very reason.

I’m always grateful for every review my books receive, even if it’s just a couple of sentences. Someone took the time to not only read my book but to write about what they liked and didn’t like. After all, readers are my customers and I’m interested in what they think.

I’ll continue to post reviews for the books I read too. I’m just finishing up Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon and absolutely love (and recommend) this book about a wagon train journey in the American West. The romance in this story made my heart ache!

You can follow my reviews on Bookbub and Goodreads by following me. I’d love to see your evaluations and recommendations too. Here’s where I can be found:







Julie Howard writes mainstream mysteries, paranormal mysteries, and historical fiction. Her most recent book is Spirit in Time.




Nancy Gideon said...

Nothing creates more joy . . . or dismay than a review. Those numbers that coax others to read our titles for the first time can be bane or blessing. A rave, a well thought out commentary that gives away the ending or a "Did they even open the book before trashing it because they didn't like the cover font?" - there's no telling what you'll get and usually it's a mix of both. That's why I always supply fans and reader groups with advance copies so I can get feedback before the book goes to the masses. That way I have something to use for early promo and reviews can pop up quickly to garner interest. A great quote from a well-known best seller can be worth its weight in new readers but, you've got to write that great book first!

Diane Burton said...

I know there are lots of criticism of Goodreads, but one thing I like it the reminder to post a review after I've finished a book. I try to remember. Like you, Julie, I know how hard authors work and need the reviews. I only leave a 4 or a 5. If I don't think a book deserves that, I don't leave a review. I figure it could just be me. Not every book appeals to everyone. I sure appreciate those who give my books reviews.