What good is a book review anyway? What does it mean to the author? What does it mean to a potential reader? I must admit, I was never one of those authors big on sending out review copies of my books. Why waste the time, postage and a book that I could be selling versus giving away for free anyway? But now that I look back on all the reviews I’ve ever received, they have helped me so much in my writings. The ones that were favorable (and ego boosters might I add) like the one found on the link below helped me to see just what it is a reader enjoys.
http://proverbs31bookclub.blogspot.com/2010/09/review-me-myself-and-him-by-author-en.html. Some of the not so favorable reviews helped me also. They helped me to see exactly what it is a reader does not enjoy in a read and served as a reminder to not do it again. I realize that for every negative thing a reviewer finds in one of my books, there are several others out there who feel the same way who just didn’t take the time to write a review. Luckily, though, the same goes for all the good comments as well.
As a reader, and a consumer period, I tend to read reviews before purchasing a product; that is, if reviews are available. I mean, now days, who stays at a hotel without checking out the reviews? Well, a book, like a hotel, is a get-a-way. It’s a mini trip from the place you are used to and comfortable with. Do I take every single review at face value? Certainly not. But I do take them into consideration. So are reviews a waste of time? I don’t think so. Be it a review posted by a random reader, a review from a reviewer an author hand picked and sent their book to, or even a paid review (which I can’t bring myself to endorse) book reviews certainly serve a great purpose in book sells. After all, people are always saying that word of mouth is the best tool in marketing and promotion. Well, what do you think a book review is?
So, that’s my opinion, in a nutshell, regarding book reviews. Last but not lease, authors, if someone takes the time to post a book review of your blog, the least you can do is take the time to add a comment; even if it’s just a simple ‘Thanks.’ If the review wasn’t favorable, still thank them for their time. No, don’t defend your book about any negative comments they might have made. Simply thank them for taking the time to read your work and post an opinion. Not every one is going to like your book.