Reviews are very important and needed.
If there is one thing people should know about authors, it is that we need reviews. Well, there's a lot people should know, but for today, reviews are it. They are the bomb diggity lesson of the day!
When I joined goodreads, I discovered I like reviewing books! I love talking about books. I love stories, and discovering all the backstory and history in a book, and definitely hidden easter eggs of info you don't realize the first time around. Reviewing books give me that avenue to connect with others who like to talk about books.
Before I got published I wondered how important reviews are for an author. It wasn't until I started writing query letters and looking into them did I realize they can be the life or death for an author on many levels. You publish one book, Yay! Now what? Now you want to do it again! Only, guess what, you put that you wrote a novel on your new improved query and... nobody cares. It doesn't help. Because your novel has no reviews. Outside of friends and family, no one knows it exists. You're a nobody who didn't sign with one of the top publishers so what do you have to do? Find ways for people to discover your book! Woohoo! Sounds like fun! You get to meet other authors and like minded book worms. More people read your book, but that doesn't necessarily translate into reviews. Most of us who love books have a TBR pile longer than our life spans. We have time to either read or sleep, and we usually choose read. What we don't have time for is taking that extra 5 minutes to post reviews. That's valuable reading time we are encroaching on, or it'll take up the 5 minutes a night we plan to sleep. As far as we are concerned, this isn't possible.
Guess what I recently learned? It is possible and actually fun! If you like to read you're likely a little opinionated about what you read. Those precious hours hacking through the TBR pile, soaking up new worlds that make you fall in love and break your heart, are wonderful. I found a new way to make that feeling last 5 minutes longer, reviews! Have you ever loved a series, yet still ended up throwing a book across the room in despair? (If you've read Veronica Roth, or George R. R. Martin the answer is always YES!) You feel so betrayed by this horribly talented author that you must tell someone! So, you take to social media and post your woe for the world to see. Well, guess what? You just wrote a review. Only you didn't put it where everyone who goes through the same despair can see it. Along with your vent, you can post a 1 star for your misery or 5 star for the writing that got you so emotionally invested you had to tell someone. It's that easy. Then you will definitely find others who feel the same as you and you can all grab your pitchforks and tissues and have your vengeance!
That's all well and good, right, but what if you hate a book? Or feel completely ambivalent? Worse of all, what if the book provoked nothing in you whatsoever? Maybe you really like the author and feel bad if you are honest and post a bad review.
Here's the thing, if the book is a genre you normally like and read, and you like the author, post a review. That's the best thing you can do. You don't have to lie. You don't have to be cutthroat, but you can be. Writer's learn from honest reviews. It's why most of us get unbiased beta readers before we ever get published. Not every novel we write will be the best thing ever, and that's okay. Just like with any craft, it takes time to hone it. By the time we are published, most of us have also had a bad review or two... or thirty. (I count rejection letters from agents and publishers as bad reviews. ha!) So we are hopefully used to it and can take a little negativity. The point is reviews help in almost every scenario. There are some scenarios where you should, under no circumstances, post a negative review.
#1 - You don't normally read that genre or like it.
I don't read erotica or romance. I also don't review romance novels, because I couldn't give an honest unbiased opinion that those that read the genre are looking for. That wastes the time of those who do enjoy a genre, only to find a 1 star review from someone who doesn't "get it". It's wrong. Don't do it.
**If I read a book outside of my normal genre and love it, you had better believe I post a positive review. That's the best kind!
#2 - You know the author personally and you just don't like them.
This should go without saying, but some people are petty so we are going to say it. Again, if you cannot give an unbiased negative review, don't give a review at all. Don't try to tarnish a person's livelihood based on something that has nothing to do with their actual work. These people also usually have not even read the book, so they have no business leaving a review anyways. Don't do it- just no.
#3 - You didn't even try to read the book.
Most would think this would be #1, but it's so obvious it really needn't be. If you did not open the book, or read any of it, do not post a negative review. Why anyone would do this is beyond me. It's petty, it's dumb, don't do it. Now if you tried to read a book and couldn't get into it. Then of course you can post a review of your experience. If you didn't even try, you have no experience so move along.
#4 - You are a fellow author of the same genre and you secretly (or openly) want to knock out the "competition".
I only recently heard this was a thing. I can't believe it. I hope it's not. If it is, don't do it. They probably haven't read the book, so refer to rule #3. If you did read it, thought it was great, but some ugly green eyed monster is leashed up inside you wanting to get loose, throw some chains on that sucker and put it away. If you just "can't", then write all your jealousy in a journal and throw away the key. Then work on your own craft and get better to where there is no competition, so your green eyed monster dissolves into what I'm sure is a confident go-getter who would be ashamed they ever thought of sabotage. You can do it! As long as you don't write biased negative reviews, you can be anything you want. Best of all you wont be a miserable cuss. Yay!
There may be more reasons one should not write a negative review that I cannot personally think of right now or fathom. If you think of one, post it in the comments, and remember it. Basically if you are going to write a negative review, do so without bias. If you question your bias or motives, don't do it.
Outside of that, start writing reviews!!
I know just where you can start as well.
If you're looking for a book to read (and now review), and cant decide which of the thousands of books just collecting dust on your TBR pile to read, I have a suggestion. Try Illuminous! I know, cheesy plug right. Well, luckily today's post wasn't about the etiquette of plugging your own book on your own blog, so here I am. **plug plug** If you're not into Young Adult Fantasy or Paranormal novels, and are still looking there are plenty of great books released by Feather Dreams Press and Bella Tulip Publishing.
If you have a book you want to read, and like Paranormal Fantasy with a bite, try my Illuminous. If you have read my book and haven't reviewed it yet, I would greatly appreciate it if you did!
From now on remember, if you read a book and want to do something nice for the author, write a review!! It's the nicest thing you can do. *Love to all of my readers and reviewers out there! You guys are clawsome!*