Read and Review in the Summer – Spend That Time Well

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.

question-markBasically, 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?

violin-barbieI 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.

Some Recommendations

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

  • M.J. LaBeff
    • crime thrillers

  • Ken Stark
    • horror
  • Glenn Barrera
    • thrillers
  • J.G. MacLeod
    • historical romance
    • romance

  • G Lawrence
    • historical fiction

  • Lorena Cassady
    • Victorian historical romance, historical romance
    • coming of age fiction



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  1. WOW It appears that you are versed in the publishing game as well as the writing game. Have you written any books, if so I would be very interested in reading one. As i was reading the article I kept asking myself is she going to recommend any indie Authors but you did not disappoint. Thank you for the list . I will have to look into some of them. Looking forward to reading more

  2. Great article. It seems that you have a lot of experience in writing and reviewing. Nowadays, we are extremely fortunate to live in an era with all the tools and resources available to write stories and to be able to publish them.
    However, on the other hand, the level of competition is very high, which means that it is quite tricky and challenging to make a lot of sales.

  3. You have said it all and I like the point you make choosing a book that you love about is the best for honest review to be told about the book, important of reading book is far greater than what most people that don’t read book don’t know, the world is changing now those that read book and love writing will make money easily as a blogger or affiliate because it will be easy for them to compose a good content for their website.

    when I was small I love playing games than reading books but when I grow I understand the benefit of reading books it help the mind.

    thank you for the list of the book that I may read about, I will purchase through your link and please always update  me with books because i want to be lover of books as you do

    1. Hi there!

      Yes, there are so many benefits to reading books. I am glad you found my post useful 🙂 And I will definitely update my reading list soon.

      Have a wonderful day!

  4. This was fun to read, and eye opening as well.  You’re so right about authors needing to do their own marketing/social media person, and I don’t think that’s just with self-published authors.  Not sure if you’re familiar with James Altucher, but he said he started self-publishing because his publisher did so little promotion that he couldn’t understand the point of giving them most of the profit if he was going to have to do a big part of their job for them.

    I think self-publishing is a double-edged sword.  It empowers writers that may never get a chance with traditional publishers, but at the same time, that also means there are more titles for readers to choose from, which makes the promotion aspect even more important.  I still think self-publishing is a good thing overall.  It means more people can eventually publish their own work, and in the long run I think that will encourage more creativity in society.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your author recommendations, I will check them out.

    1. Hi Jordan, I also agree that self-publishing is a good thing overall, and I recently read an article that stated that it is likely the future of publishing. It certainly looks like it. 

      I haven’t heard of James Altucher, but what he says is true. Some publishers do little to no promotion for their authors. Perhaps I should have included that in my article, so I’m glad you pointed that out 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by. 

  5. Hello Lila, for someone who has been in tbis game since six, I would really like to read your book. I never really thought of the importance of leaving a review for a book befire. Its good that you can bring that to my notice that I can actually make a writer happy by helping them with a review. Like I said, I’m going to get your book to read it and I’ll not forget the review too. Cheers!

  6. It is indeed that time of the year where there is much more better condition that avails us the opportunity to read books. I love reading a lot. While growing up, I do make sure to take a novel every two months. It is my hobby but I have a bad habit of not dropping reviews for the books I have read. You are right that indie authors sometimes write so well to the extent you begin to question the standard of the traditional publishers. However, it is all good. I will try to leave reviews often now for any book I have read or my new purchases.

    1. Hi Mattias,

      thanks for considering leaving reviews! It definitely helps an author 🙂 

      Enjoy your reading!

  7. Those are interesting facts about indie authors.I have never thought of them that way. But true to your words, we cannot just write a book and expect it to take off without any effort. Nowadays, people have appointed themselves authors and have pushed their books to their audiences by being smart. It is only after a book has been read that you will judge it. Even if it is the first chapter alone.

    Publishing a book online, I agree is not a walk in the park. The competition is insane. I believe reviews truly help writers get their footing and even get them more motivated. Thank you for explaining the review process. I think it is only fair for readers to leave a review.

    Nice article!

    1. Hi Carol, Yes, indeed, it is a whole process to get a book out there, a lot of hard work. 

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂 

  8. It is refreshing to run across a site that gives ideas about publishing a book via Amazon and other publishers available. Giving encouragement to someone like me who is a newbie at writing my first book and not knowing where to go helps solve this problem.

    It is also encouraging to know there can be money made doing it as an independent via Amazon. I am grateful for your article and your shared experience.

  9. It is refreshing to run across a site that gives ideas about publishing a book via Amazon and other publishers available. Giving encouragement to someone like me who is a newbie at writing my first book and not knowing where to go helps solve this problem.
    It is also encouraging to know there can be money made doing it as an independent via Amazon. I am grateful for your article and your shared experience.

  10. Hi Lilia 

    I enjoyed reading your article and now I realize how difficult it is for authors to be discovered. If everyone read one indie book a month image how this would change things for these authors.

    Some people are very lucky in knowing what they want to do from an early age, thank you for sharing your story. 

    I now feel compelled to read indie books more often as I only ever read know authors, thank you for inspiring me to look at other authors. 

    Regards,  Bernardo 

    1. HI Bernardo,

      I hope you’ll read some more indie books now, there are some real gems out there 🙂

      Thank you for commenting!

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