Hang on, read books during summer? Of course. But reviewing …? That sounds like work and how does that fit into my vacation?
Well, if you like the book and you’d love to read more books by the author, wouldn’t it be great to support that author? And it only takes a few minutes, less than writing a postcard 😉
The Importance of Book Reviews
When I buy a traditionally published book, I always see a list of raving reviews on the first pages. Most of these reviews – if not all – were written by magazine critics, famous authors, speakers, etc. I usually read those reviews, and they always inspire me to read the book.
However, we have traditionally published books, and then we have the independently published ones, or what we call indie books. Indie authors do not have a publisher’s support. They do not have PR service, sales representatives, paid advances, and any other perks that come with traditional publishing.
Well, you may think that indie authors probably can’t get accepted by traditional publishers, because they must be “bad”. Not true. I have read several indie books, and I must say that there is a lot of unknown talent out there. At the same time I have read books I simply hated even though they were considered good enough to be published by a traditional publisher. Things aren’t always as they seem.
So, What’s The Deal With Indie Authors?
First of all, it is hard to get accepted by a traditional publisher. It may be years before they even read the manuscript you sent them, if they even read it at all. The publishing world has changed dramatically and it has turned into a tough business. A writer doesn’t only need to know how to write a story, but also how to promote his/her work, how to gain followers, build an audience, excel at marketing, build websites, invest lots of money in quality editors, find good book cover designers, spend time on social media to network with other authors and find potential readers.
Basically, gone are the days when a writer could simply be a writer. Now he or she also has to be one hell of a PR guy/gal. And let’s face it, not all artists are cut out to promote their work. There are people you can hire to do that, and once more, they also charge a hefty buck for their services. Most authors can’t afford to hire editors, salespeople, website support, and whatever else is needed.
A lot of people claim that a good way to make money online is to publish a book … When real writers see that quote, they usually burst out laughing. Most writers make between $10 to $100 dollars per year, which is a rough guess.
There are many great ways to make money online, and publishing a book may be one of them, but it isn’t easy to get your work noticed among millions of other books. Hundreds, or perhaps even thousands, of books are published every day. And yes, there is a lot of rubbish out there, which makes it even harder for good, talented indie authors to get noticed.
How Did I Start?
I have been writing stories since the age of six, but stories had been in me long before that. As a toddler I played with my dolls and barbies, and I used to devise whole plots with all their twists and turns for my barbie dolls. The evil villains my barbies often had to stand up to, lol, poor things. I turned my barbie dolls into true heroines 😉 I often would not be able to finish the story I played out with them, because it was bedtime. So, I continued the next day, and played with my barbies until I came to the end of the story.
At six years old, that playing turned into writing these stories on paper. That’s how it began for me. And forty years later, I’m still doing it. I cannot imagine my life without writing. It would be empty, I think …
How to Find the Talent?
Exactly, how? It’s not easy to pick the right book. I have read some amazing work, but I have also read some really bad ones … It all depends, doesn’t it? I suggest, you read the reviews to get an idea about the book.
Hey, wait a minute. How do authors get reviews? From readers who took the time to write their thoughts about it. Amazon has an endless list of self-published and traditionally published authors. Some have over a hundred reviews, others have one or two, or maybe seven … Leaving a review on Amazon is so easy. Amazon even sends you an email after you purchased a book, asking you to rate it and write a brief review. Yes, indeed, a review can be short. Stick to the KISS principle, Keep It Short and Simple.
Especially now that it’s summer and you have more time on your hands, add a review to your postcard writing. It’s just like writing an extra postcard, and that one will be read by many people. It’s your own little writing out there online 😉
How To Write a Book Review?
Whether you purchase a Kindle or Paperback, Amazon offers you the chance to review. Did you like the book? Tell us about it. Did you not like it that much? Then give an honest star rating and explain what you didn’t like, but always be polite. You don’t want to destroy the author either.
The main thing is that reviews should be honest. Negative or positive reviews, it all helps to get the book noticed. Negative comments also help to tell the author where he or she could improve. Obviously, do not pick a book about car racing when you absolutely hate car racing, and then you end up writing in your review how you hated it. That was to be expected, wasn’t it?
I have of course tried a new genre once, and I was blown away. I really loved it and I left a positive review about it. I like reading fantasy, historical fiction, dystopias, crime thrillers, detective thrillers, vampires and werewolf stories, and comedies. I am not a huge fan of romance, but if a romance novel has an interesting blurb, I will still buy it. I am not much into science fiction either, and I will not easily purchase a book in that genre, but again, there may be some exceptions. You never know.
I thought it would be a good idea to list some indie books I have read. And I will add some shameless self-promotion as well. Of course, I am a published author, so I will not leave out my work 🙂
I hope you enjoyed this article. Perhaps there is a book in this list that you may like. If you do, please don’t forget to leave a review. The author will thank you.
Here’s another saying (and that one is true): Make an author’s day, leave a review 🙂
My Indie Author’s List
- Carol Marrs Phipps
- dystopian fantasy, fantasy
- M.J. LaBeff
- crime thrillers
- Gemma Lawrence
- historical fiction
- Lorena Cassady
- Victorian historical romance, historical romance
- coming of age fiction
- Christine Duts
- historical fiction/fantasy
- And this is me, Lila C. Duville 😉
- short stories