Guest Post: The Importance of the Review by Domino Lane

One of the most important marketing tools for an author is the humble book review. After all, what better way is there for a prospective reader to know if they should take a chance on you or not than by reading what others have had to say about your work?  Reviews contribute significantly to potential sales, but having said that, it's one of the more difficult things for an author to get. 

No matter how amazing the book is, the sad truth is that for many readers, once the book has been bought and read, it's soon forgotten. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that there aren't books that stay with us, but the reality is that most of us have busy lives and despite our best intentions, we don't always remember to log onto Amazon or Goodreads and post a review of the book.  

The other problem that readers have is not know what to say.  I've seen so many reviews that say things like "really loved it" or "what a great book, I'd really recommend it"... It's great that they've taken the time to post something, but what they've written actually says nothing. It's the reviewer equivalent of the "like" button on Facebook.  So what should you be saying?

Don't panic, I'm not suggesting that you write an essay, but here are some simple tips to write a more effective / useful review.

Start by summarising what drew you to the story.

Example: "The idea of vampires running a werewolf daycare centre really tickled my funny bone."  This will help hook people. Don't just use the blurb.

Talk about the highlights without giving away the story. Offer titbits if you like... teasers, but no details that would ruin the story.

Example: "The story grabbed me right from the start and I loved how wonderfully the author dealt with the usual issues between werewolves and vampires. The lead characters were well formed and their banter really added to the great vibe of the story.  It has a great pace and I loved how the emotional connection between the characters was developed.  This author really understands how to build the suspense and how to ensure readers can still relate. You're going to love what happens in chapter 9 *wink*!!

If there is anything negative that you feel absolutely must be mentioned, try to do it in a constructive way. There is nothing to be gained by saying something nasty or mean just for the sake of it.

Example: "There were a few editing issues, but they didn't distract from the story. The only real negative was a small plot hole, but I think that overall the story is extremely strong and those small things can easily be fixed by the author. "

Finally, tell people why you think that they should buy and read this book

Example: "Overall, this is a great story and perfect even if you don't normally enjoy vampires or werewolves in your books. This is a lovely romance with great moments of humour and perfect for a relaxing escape / weekend read / summer holiday / winter fireside snuggle..."

By endorsing an author you enjoy reading, you encourage them to continue writing. You can help them to improve their writing and by helping them to make more sales, you are part of keeping them around for longer! It's a win-win!

Until next time...

Domino x


Jo said…
What a great article! Thanks for the advice Domino

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