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  • Writer's pictureSharon Michalove

Help a Reader, Help an Author

Fast-breaking news: Today, November 8, I will be one of the featured authors on Joanna Slan's Mystery Monday on Facebook. Click for the link to join in to learn more about me, Max, and Cress, There will be a few giveaways too.

When you like a book, shout it from the rooftops. Tell your friends. Tell the world.

Readers are always looking for new books. When you review a book that you liked, or especially a book that you loved, you help other readers who are searching for similar books.

Whetheryou bought a book on Amazon, Kobo, Apple Books, Smashwords, or some other vendor site, you can leave a review. But what if you bought the physical book, at a bookstore/ What then...

Check out Goodreads. Millions of readers go to Goodreads to find books, log their reading, and participate in the book community. And leave reviews. Check it out. It's free. You might even find your next read there.

Click here to find me. Follow me and get updates.

Joining BookBub is another possibility. Authors list their books there and you can follow your favorites, which means BookBub will notify you if a new book is available from an author you like. And again, you can leave reviews.

Click here to find me. Follow me and get updates.

The truth of the matter is that 1-3% of readers leave reviews, even if they think it's the best book they've read that year. But leaving a review can be easier than you think.

Here are a few things to think about.

  1. Stars: Five stars are wonderful, but four stars are pretty good too. If you thought the book was good, but not great, then you might want to go with three. Should you go lower? If you hated the book, then a one-star review might be justified, but in that case, you'd want to state solid reasons why no one should read the book. If it just wasn't the book for you, you might not want to review at all. After all, one person's hit may be another's miss.

  2. Actual text. It doesn't have to be long. No need to rehash the plot. It's all in the book blurb anyway. "Fun read," "intense thriller," "cleverly plotted," "couldn't put it down," "a great way to pass a summer's day", "fast-paced," "really enjoyed," "looking forward to the next book" are all pithy ways to encourage others to read a book too.

  3. If you find typos or think the author got something wrong, get in touch. If the book is traditionally published, only the publisher can fix it. For indie authors, contact the author directly. We are always willing to fix mistakes. But remember, not everything you think is a mistake is really wrong. And be polite. No one likes to be scolded.

  4. Ebooks can be fixed more easily than print books. If it's already on paper, it can't be corrected so nothing can be updated until there is a new edition.

Besides helping readers find their next book, reviews help authors too. We need to know what our readers think. And, let's face it, authors want to sell books. We spend a lot of time writing, and it's a for most of us. You want to be paid for what you do, and so do we. Not only for our time (and there is a lot of that) but publishing books isn't free.

Yeah, you could dash out a book, maybe, and throw it up on Amazon with a self-designed cover. But the reality is that authors write, revise, pay editors to help us shape the book, send the books out to "beta" readers for comments, pay editors to find the mistakes we don't see, pay for formatting, pay for someone to design the cover, and pay for marketing so that the reader knows the book is available. After all, even if all my friends and family buy the book—not a given—that isn't very many books sold.

So review books. Help your friends, other readers, and the authors you enjoy. It only takes a minute.


At First Sight is available everywhere.

Paperback or order from your local bookstore

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