Reviews: The Lifeblood of Indie Books

Typesetter

I read a nifty blog this week from an author named Mary Ellen Bramwell (https://maryellenbramwell.com/2016/05/09/to-review-or-not-to-review-that-is-the-question)… she brings up a good point about our current generation’s shopping habits. We really live and die by reviews.

In telling a brief experience about a wonderful moment she had at a store the manager suggested she leave a positive online review. Human nature kicked in and she held off (apathy, laziness, whatever… we all do it.)

“Everywhere we turn these days we are asked for feedback – from our doctors (necessary with Obamacare), grocery stores, online merchants, mechanics, gas stations, and so on. We are inundated with requests for our thoughts.” It’s so true… everyone wants a little more from you than you give at face value. If you’ve ever bought a cell phone, or booked a hotel over the phone, or purchased insurance you get several follow-up contacts asking you to rate/review/provide feedback–sometimes we just want the stupid thing we went to purchase!

I understand that frustration. I really do. But it’s different for authors and very small businesses (like artisan coffee shops or specialty stores like antique dealers). We don’t have big backing. The single greatest thing you can do to help an author that you do not hate is to leave a great review (even a generic 1-word 5 star review.) For so many of us, it is truly the next breath of air we take.

When I used to do lots of signings for my first fantasy novel (back before Amazon’s review system was much of a thing) I used to tell people this: “If you like it please tell everyone. If you hate it, tell noone.”

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