What do the readers think? The importance of book reviews

How often do you leave a review for anything? I must admit that I usually only think about leaving a review when I want to complain or let others know that I have received not-so-good service. I’ve actually written very few because most of the time there is nothing to complain about. In the past I certainly haven’t documented my thoughts about any book as it simply hasn’t crossed my mind to do so. If I have enjoyed a particular read then the best I have done is to casually mention it to friends and family.

Now that I am a newly-fledged “independent” author I find myself wondering what my readers are thinking when they get to the last page. I wish there was a way that I could discover what every single one of them thought of my book and, with that, I have realised the importance of reviews. They are the opportunity for the reader to talk to the author, even if it is a one-sided conversation.

The great thing about the internet is the vast assortment of methods through which readers can leave their ratings and reviews. Amazon, Goodreads and LibraryThing are just a few of the sites which allow you to make comments on books, plus of course there are the ever-present social media outlets such as Facebook or Twitter. I’ve recently started the process of leaving reviews on both Goodreads and LibraryThing for the books I have read  – I expect that it may take me a while but I’ll get there in the end.

My own novel, ‘Evershades’, has been out for a little over a month. To date I’ve been lucky enough to receive three reviews on Amazon UK and all of them have been good (phew!). I do realise that it probably won’t be long before someone doesn’t enjoy ‘Evershades’ as much as I would like them to, and I think that I am prepared to accept their comments gracefully. (Though I do reserve the right to slam a few doors when it does happen, and I hope my wife will understand enough not to say anything about it.)

So, whether you are reading a book by an independent author or by someone famous, take a few moments to pass on your thoughts in whichever way is easiest for you. Remember to be honest, fair and constructive with any criticism and I’m sure that it will be appreciated.

Evershades © Dale Spiller 2013

Evershades’ is a fiction novel. Suitable for ages 18+, it is available as a paperback or an e-book for Kindle, Apple iPad and Apple iPhone.

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