The Importance of Reviewing – with input from Carla Vergot, author of the Lily Barlow books – among others

Posted in her “Back Porch” group this morning, the following is a redacted version of Carla Vergot’s ask.

“I talk at length with other authors about how to promote our books. Promotion = Sales, Sales = Royalties, Royalties = Salary, Salary = Sustainability . . .

“Not every single one, but almost every author with whom I’ve had a meaningful conversation has said it is hard to get reviews. Most of those authors who agree that it’s hard also agree that reviews are important exposure.

“I like to toss the question out periodically so I can get the feedback of readers and better understand how to address this critical issue.

“If you hesitate to review books, is it because it takes time? Is it one of those little things that you truly want to do, but gets relegated to that pile of little things and before you know it you’ve lost sight of it.

“Is it because something on Amazon makes it hard? You’ve been banned from posting? You didn’t spend enough to leave a review? You left a review but it never appeared?

“Is it because you don’t know what to write? Reviews seem long and detailed and that kind of book report format is not something you want to resurrect from school?

“Is it because you don’t think your opinion matters one way or the other?

“Is it because there were things about the book you didn’t like, and you don’t want to slam the author?

“Not asking for a friend . . . asking for me. 😁”

Roxx’s point of view

I never used to review for two reasons:
1]  I always thought reviews were like book reports and as much as I read, I’ve hated doing book reports since grade school!
2]  and probably the bigger reason, I was invariably more focused on the next book to read and didn’t want to be hung up writing a “book report”
3]  when, like me, you choose your reading material by other criteria – such as a favourite author or the cover or that it’s the next in a series you love or a friend recommended it or . . . or . . . or . . . – it’s easy to not even “see” the reviews

Thanks in large part to Jerri Cachero and her FB cozy groups – and other groups similar to hers – I’ve learned how wrong I was about what a review is AND I’ve also learned how important reviews are to authors.

Now, I review almost every book I read.   If I don’t review a book, it’s generally because I can’t find anything nice to say about it.  I prefer not to say anything in cases like that.  Thankfully, it doesn’t happen often!

So, if you’ve been waffling on whether to review or not, please know that even one sentence – “loved this book!” or “great characters!” or similar – is really all you need.

Where to review?  Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Goodreads, BookBub are the big guns.   But Instagram and Facebook and other social media sites are great too.   And if you have a blog of any sort where you have followers, that’s a good spot too!

So, tell us, what’s holding you back from reviewing?

#authorsneedbookreviews #pleaseleaveareview #hardworkingauthors #reviewsdrivesales

Aside to the audience: I was chatting to Carla this morning about reviews and I realized: though I haven’t changed the way I buy books, I do read reviews on almost all other items I’m thinking of purchasing. This morning I was reading the reviews for a hair brush. And not just ANY hair brush, but an $8.95 hair brush! As I was doing that, my inner self was like: “It’s $8.95, BUY the damn thing!” I might just have to go write that review myself!

Hope you’re having a Wonderful Wednesday!

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Who is Roxx?

Hi I’m Roxx and I’m probably reading right now.  I have a habit of always having the eReader open, no matter what else I’m doing.   I also have a habit of having at least a couple of books on the go at the same time.   Some say I should come with a warning label:   “Roxx is reading, disturb at risk!”   I’m not really that bad . . . at least I don’t think so, but depending on who you ask, it could be true.  

If you ask my kids, for instance.   I had four under eight, with the newest a newborn.   My daughter – the oldest – took on the role of den mother and Queen fairly early.   She loved all three of her younger brothers, as long as they did what she told them to.  The third took an instant dislike to his baby brother and was constantly trying to kill him.   So I read.   Every moment that I could steal, would find me in a book.  And the kids learned early on that if momma was reading, she couldn’t hear you, even if you stood in front of her!  

I’m not so bad now, well . . . not always.   But I’ve been known to be grouchy if I need to put a book down to act like an adult.   God help you if I’m in the last couple of chapters!   I’m kinda sorta retired now.   I’m an accountant so I still have a few tax clients I work with.   And we travel a fair amount.  And I love to cook.  And I still read.   A lot.   So join me on my roaming.  I’ll always be honest, because I don’t always love them all, but it will always be fun.  

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I honestly pretty much only read eBooks – they’re so easy to take with me anywhere!  I use two – Kindle of course, and because I’m in Canada, Kobo as well.  And to think when my kids first bought me the Sony eReader years ago, I felt badly for the money they’d wasted!   Who knew!?   Last time I downsized – from a house to a co-op apartment – I donated all my physical books, including cookbooks!   I have about 40 on my shelves now, mostly books I read long ago that I couldn’t part with, but some that were gifts.  My Kindle holds approximately 300 unread books at the moment, my Kobo about 200.  Oh, and there’s a stack of 10 or 12 physical books on my night table that I picked up at a Chapters Summer Reading sale and are waiting to be read.   Favorite genre: mysteries of all types including among my favourites, cozies.  Contemporary women’s fiction andmemoirs are clustered in closely for next favourites.   How much do I read a year?   Well I’m retired so I probably read two a day easily, but not every day – we travel a lot – so let’s say in a year I could read 300 ish books?   Yeah, I know, I have a problem!   Is there a twelve step program the book-addicted?

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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