• Amy Shannon

Reviews: Who and how

Reviews can come in different forms, such as from a reader who buys the book, loves it/hates it, needs the world to know whether to buy it or not.

Or from your mother, father, sister, brother, etc who will write that they love it, whether they do or not.

Or, your best friend, who is always brutally honest and not afraid to tell you what he/she thought!

Or, from a reader, who borrowed the book from one of her/his friends, needs to tell the world they loved it, hated it, or something in between.

Or, from a book reviewer that the author probably sought out, and they will write a review, honest and unbiased.

Yes, pretty much anyone can write a review, and write what they want to write about it.

Now, as an author, you are sharing "your baby" with someone else other than yourself. It takes a lot of courage to share your work with someone, AND to listen to what they have to say.

Reviewers, unless you paid for a 5-Star review (which in my opinion is unethical) or YOU (the author) WROTE your own review (whether you admit it to the world or not), you're going to get feedback. Some good, some bad, some helpful (and I mean helpful that lends to you growing as a reader) and some indifferent.

If you're going to seek out reviewers, DO YOUR HOMEWORK/RESEARCH or whatever you want to call it. You can find reviewers on Amazon.com (just look at the reviews, click on their names, and see their profile, if they are avid review writers). If they write reviews a lot, see what kind of genres they read, and how they write their reviews. (It's not easy to say, but some ALWAYS write Negative (2 or 1 star reviews) and some ALWAYS write 5-Star Reviews.

Look for (or search on Google or whatever your favorite search engine is) and look for Review Directories. (I have one on my Bookshelf Review page, which I am still building). Look for reviewers that are (1) still active, (2) read your genre or read ANY genre and then check out their website/blog or wherever they post their review.

Read their review policy, their request policy, and even turnaround time if it's there. (On my blog, I keep a list of the Titles I have to review, so authors can see their status). Also, see if they have a contact policy. Some you leave your request, give them your book, and never hear from them again, so you have to keep looking to see if a review was posted. My blog, I answer every email I get within 72 hours (most of the time it's under 48 hours).

Yes, Yes, Yes, reviews are important. Some readers look to them to see if they would be interested in your book.

Personally, I read the reviews after I posted my own, to see what others thought.

If you have any questions or comments about this post, you can contact me here, or look at my other blog to see if you want me to read your book.