|Not much to do with the topic, admittedly, |
but I'm overdue a cute kitten picture.
Yesterday on my personal blog I posted about my eight, yes eight, New Year's Resolutions. Well, it's day 2 and I'm doing great on them so far. Yay me! (Or maybe I should hold that celebration until day 364.)
But today I want to look at just one of those resolutions, because it's one I'd like us all to make.
Resolution 3: Read and review books.
I hadn't realised, until I self-published for the first time last year how important book reviews are. Oh sure, it was always nice to review Amazon and Goodreads reviews of my books but since my publishers were putting the books on shelves and in catalogues it didn't matter that much.
But then I self-published for the first time and discovered that actually reviews are essential. Buyers are not going to discover The Saved Saint on a bookstore shelf and think it looks intriguing enough to take to the counter, they need to find it on Amazon because a friend liked or reviewed it, and there need to be reviews of it to help them decide whether or not it's for them. Genuine reviews add credibility to a book online. And with the market pretty much flooded and readers spoilt for choice, a few great reviews of your book can flesh out the details and help the buyer decide.
So I will review every book I read this year and post my review on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Goodreads, Facebook and my blog. It only takes a few minutes and it can really help the author as well as potential buyers.
I started early, in fact. I downloaded The Penal Colony by Richard Herley a couple of weeks ago and was gripped by it. So I reviewed it and gave it four stars which is pretty much the best rating I give for books that aren't Twilight or The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. And I even emailed the author to let him know how much I had enjoyed it and that I had posted a review. Turns out authors love getting fan mail even more than they love getting reviews! He was very happy to have my email, and sent me another book! Total win! I got to read a fantastic book, engage with the author (I was a little starstruck, I confess) and I got a free book out of the deal.
If you love books, spare a moment to review them. And if you have another spare moment, don't forget to thank the author.