Reading and Reviewing
Why We Should All Review
The Catch-22 of writing and reviewing.
The first of the reviews are due to break publicly on Tuesday, and while I'm hearing reassuring things from most of the reviewers, I'm still incredibly nervous. These people read books and review them, most of them for a living! It's their job! To me, that means reviewers have seen the best and the worst and the boring and the mediocre books, a whole spectrum, and hearing their opinions about how and where my book fits in among the thousands they've read makes me so effing neurotic.
I've never really cared about the opinions of others in my daily life, but in some way I need to care about what the reviewers think, since good reviews means other people will be willing to read my work. I may write because it fulfills something in me, but I also need to sell books, or writing becomes a debilitating hobby. I have aimed for quality and originality, and hopefully the love I feel for my characters comes across the page clearly, and resonates with readers.
I write reviews too, especially for books I sincerely enjoyed. I know how much a review means to the author. I never EVER give a four or five star review where I feel it isn't warranted, but if a book was good or great, then it DESERVES a review. It's the least I can do for the author creating such an enjoyable experience. I may have paid for the book, but I'll also have the joy of reading it for years to come again and again, and I can pay forward that gift by reviewing the book.
Even if you aren't a professional reviewer or blogger, and you buy a book, leave a review for it at the place you bought it. Not just for my books, but every book you buy. Tons of sites make it easy to review, the links live right next to the book's title on most websites. For every review and star rating left, that book then becomes more visible to prospective readers. It's a sucky algorithm, but the more people who review, the more views a book gets. More views mean more purchases. And starving writers can get a solid meal (or pay the bills), and keep writing...which more books get written, and more readers get to read.