Wondering what to give your favorite author this holiday season? How about a review of his or her work on a site which sells the author’s books?
It does take a little bit of time on a reader’s part to create and post a review but they are greatly appreciated. Reviews encourage others to take a chance on an author or novel on which they might otherwise have passed. They also boost visibility of the book on retail sites, pushing it higher in search results and linking it to other suggested novels. And, of course, reviews support and encourage the author, if only the inspiration that someone has taken the time to comment on his or her book.
A review can be useful even if you did not particularly like the book or something about the storyline. Although authors undoubtedly prefer 5 and 4 star reviews, lower reviews can be valuable if you take the time to explain why you gave that rating, especially if you include what you think the author did well. That doesn’t mean you have to write an essay, but anything you have to say is welcome, even if brief.
Unfortunately, there has been some difficulty recently with reviews left for many authors on Amazon, one of the largest e-book retailers. I have received numerous comments from readers who have had their reviews of my books deleted for no apparent reason. This saddens me greatly because each person took the time to sign up for an account, prepare comments about my work and post them. If this has happened to you for any book or author, you are not alone.
Although there has been speculation about why Amazon has acted with such a heavy hand, no one knows exactly why. If someone receives a promotional copy of a book, Amazon’s policy is that the reviewer mention that fact in his or her comments. Yet none of the readers who contacted me had reviewed promotional copies. And yes, an author’s sales are negatively impacted when reviews are deleted, regardless of the ratings. My hope is that this act by Amazon was a one-time event and will not happen again. I sincerely hope that this does not discourage you from posting reviews in the future (or from reposting your deleted reviews!).
My books are sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance Ebooks and Smashwords. I am always very grateful for reviews as are most authors!