I’m learning quickly the importance of reviews!  New authors rely heavily on them to get established.  It is not always the rating number that is important but also the number of reviews left.  Some sites, like Goodreads, will allow you to leave a rating without a review.  This is fine, but there is no feedback, and I truly do read and take to heart every review left.  It is not only a way to communicate your likes and dislikes to the author, but also a way to support authors and help build a reading community.  And let me be clear…. it is OKAY to not leave a 5 star review.  I have spoken with many people who aren’t comfortable leaving or even rating a book they find less than stellar.  My advice is to do it anyway!  People are unique and your opinions will vary greatly.  What one person didn’t like, another may love.  Pleasing people 100% will never ever happen.  Please don’t worry about my feelings.  I’m a tough girl and can take a little negative criticism I promise!

Here’s an example…. Book 1 of The Compounders ends on 2 little words.  No spoilers, don’t worry, you’ll have to read it to know what they are!  Point is that those 2 little words have been celebrated with “That’s Awesome, I love it!” to completely loathed “Noooooo, you can’t just leave it like that!”  My own publisher told me I sucked for doing that to him and we discussed even changing it for a whole three seconds.  What can I say, I’m stubborn like that and it felt like the perfect place to end Book 1 to me!  I’m waiting for the first reviewer to complain about it still, but I know it’s coming, and that’s okay.

One thing that I am finding popular is offers to review books.  I myself enjoy reviewing books.  I don’t have a book blog, but I will read in exchange for an honest review and I have asked a few to do the same for me.  There are tons of groups out there to gain access to such a thing and it’s been a great way for me to meet new authors and make some connections I wouldn’t otherwise have made.  I didn’t really think about it or know this was a possibility till I started delving into the publishing world, but you certainly don’t have to be an author to be a reading reviewer!  It’s available and surprisingly easily accessible for anyone interested.  But really it’s just a reminder of the importance of REVIEWS!

I never was really big on reviews before.  I read a ton of books and rarely have I left one if I’m honest.  From this side of the cup I have a very different perspective of them and am trying to leave them for each book I now read.  Make it a resolution for 2016 to try and do the same!

Reviews matter!