Book reviews · Peer Review · Reflection

Book Reviews Give Back to Writers You Love


It has been almost a year this September since A Place In This Life was published. During the past 10 months, the book has gathered quite a few reviews on Goodreads, Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Each one of these, from the 5-star multiple paragraphs of praise, to the one-star “nothing to say” reviews, is the ultimate payment for the blood, sweat and tears it took to pour the contents of my heart out on the page.

It has made me rich. Well, not Stephenie Meyer rich, but rich in soul satisfaction that I entertained you and put something into your mind that you’ll never forget. How can a little review make such a big difference for writers, particularly those who now go by the moniker of indie?

1. Validation – I’ve touched on this before, and I believe it’s a big part of what propels many writers to carry on even in the face of adversity. That someone read your book and took the time to share their thoughts about it, somehow makes you that much more of the real writer you want to be.

2. Motivation – When you were a kid in school, did you have a special teacher who encouraged you to cultivate your talent? Say an art teacher who helped you enter contests and talked to you at length about how you could mold your skills into a career? Didn’t you want to do right by them? Did you work extra hard for the praise? Were you motivated to go the extra mile? That is what a good book review will do for your favorite writer.

3. Suggestion – In the world of marketing, word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising. If your product (or story) is good and of quality, the word will get out. Two friends tell their two friends, and so on (like the shampoo commercial from the 1970s – yeah, I’m old. LOL!). Suggesting a story that you loved to your friends by word-of-mouth, blog post or standard online review, is an awesome thing and writers are thankful for it.

If there is one thing you can do right now, on this very day, it’s take the time out to write a short and sweet book review. It is not a monumental thing. In fact, it probably takes more time to buy a book in the first place (you know the joy of inputting credit card numbers and shipping addresses), than it does to review it. But you’ll be doing the writer of that book a favor that can help influence future sales and provide a positive spin on the brand of writing they pursue. And as MasterCard likes to tell the world, that is simply priceless.

Image by JMR_Photography

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One thought on “Book Reviews Give Back to Writers You Love

  1. I usually try to write a review for both Goodreads and my blog, and then later on I copy and paste to Amazon. If I’m pressed for time I might just give stars and then sometimes I go back and write something. I know it means a lot to authors.

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