Thursday, April 23, 2015

#WorldBookDay: Review an Author

Yes, that hashtag is trending on Twitter because...it's WORLD BOOK DAY!!!  I'm not going to tell you to read a book. If you read my blog, I'm going to assume you are a book reader. Instead, I'm going to appeal to you as a B List writer with a very quiet book. Not only for me, but for all the B Listers out there.

If you like a book, review it on Amazon. That's it. That's my plea. I'm not asking much. You may think, but I don't know HOW to write a book review. You're not a professional critic writing for a prolific rag. You're a consumer, a fan, and other consumers will go to your review for advice no matter who you are. And your review doesn't have to be Pulitzer Prize worthy. It doesn't have to be long. You don't have to sound like the smartest person in the world. It just has to be honest. Heartfelt. It only needs to be a paragraph, or even 2 sentences. I think the minimum amount of words is 20. You know how long 20 words is? Less than the first two sentences of this blog.

People find consumer reviews credible and relevant. They trust people who have already read the book. In Amazon's own words, "Good reviews on Amazon are particularly crucial for books by new authors and for niche books." And I will add again, small B list authors like myself.

These reviews help book sales, not only at Amazon, but everywhere. People go to Amazon for the reviews then buy the book at a local brick and mortar bookstore. 


Let's do a comparison, shall we? My novel, Never Eighteen came out at the same time as The Fault in Our Stars. Both are books about teenagers with cancer. Both are what people call "sick lit" or "weepies." I've had fans tell me they preferred mine to TFIOS (yes, I'm not lying). Never Eighteen has 83 reviews. TFIOS has over 35,000. Yes, I know, but it's John Green. That's the point. John Green doesn't need 35,000 reviews or even 1 review to sell books, but I could use a few more to get the word out about mine.

Take my 2nd book, Dissected. It has 15 reviews. Now, this is partially my fault it has such a low review count because when I released it life stuff kept me from marketing much. But, not the point. So a YA book similar with the same subject matter, cutting, by bigger names have anywhere from 220-400ish reviews. These are by Ellen Hopkins, Laurie Halse Anderson, etc. Don't get me wrong, I am in NO WAY comparing myself to these truly talented ladies. However, I think neither of them probably needs Amazon reviews to sell books.

So what I'm saying, if you truly love a book, or even like it, and it's probable that many people have not heard of it yet, give it a short review. Word of mouth is still the  most powerful form of publicity for writers and by writing a good review, you are essentially telling people, "read this book."

If you don't like a book, go ahead and review it as well if you want.  Authors should be used to bad reviews because everyone gets one and not everyone is going to like your book. Plus, as we say in the biz, no publicity is bad publicity. *cough* When I see a bad review, I like to compare. I like to look at what else the reviewer has read and see if we have the same tastes. For instance, if someone hated Jay Asher's 13 Reasons Why, I could go look at their other reviews and see what else they gave 1 or 2 stars. If it were more books that I loved, chances are, I wouldn't find their review relevant to my tastes (BTW, I LOVED 13 Reasons Why, and it was the 1st book I ever reviewed because I found it so amazing). Asher has 2,593 And I hope my review helped a little  I think I was one of the first 100 or so reviews.  This is what I wrote...

"I found out about this book on myspace. I read the synopsis, was intrigued by the premise, so I immediately went out and bought it. I couldn't put it down, finishing it in a day. This haunting and tragic tale about beautiful Hannah and her reasons to end her life will be a must read for teens for a very long time. Thanks Jay."
 HAHA...Myspace. See? Not hard. So seriously, do your favorite authors a favor a give them a review. They will appreciate you for it...

Oh, and just this moment, I decided that in honor of World Book Day, I'm offering Dissected free on Kindle tomorrow and Saturday on Amazon.com. Remember, if you download it for free, think about writing it a review. <3 br="">
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John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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