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Reviews: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

If you have anything to do with the book world, either as a reader, author or blogger, you see and hear the "R" word all the time. And I do mean all the time.

Have you seen the reviews? Five star review! Did you leave your review?

Review, review, review. (a la Jan Brady)

You may ask...what's the big freaking deal about reviews? Well, it's simple. Reviews make the book world go 'round.

Want to know what folks really thought of a book? Read the reviews. Want to know how it stacks up against other books of the same genre? Read the reviews. Want to see if a book is going to be your cup of tea? You guessed the reviews.

But what happens when people don't leave reviews? Well, nothing. And I mean that literally. Nothing happens. A book with few to no reviews doesn't generally sell. When the book doesn't perform well in sales rankings, its chances of being discovered by readers drops, because it's not picked up for lists like "people also purchased" or "suggested for you". And if no one can find a book, no one can buy it, which also means no one's reading it. It's a domino effect. Basically, an author has spent a lot of time, money, effort, and probably tears to produce a book that few people will read.

Let me lay it out for you as simple as I can: authors may care if you don't like their books, but they still want you to leave a review.

Yeah, we're weird that way.

Why would we want a review that's less than stellar? Because even a bad review is better than no review. Why? Couple of, it shows that someone read the book and thought enough of it (good or bad) to take time to review it. And two, people are curious by nature...if a book has a not-so-glowing review, there are those who are going to want to pick it up, just to see what the fuss is about.

Some people are intimidated by writing a review for a book they've read, and there's really no reason to be. You're pretty much just sharing your opinion, and everyone likes their opinion to be heard, right? A review doesn't have to be a long, drawn out statement. Give it a star rating, a couple of sentences with your thoughts on the book (even something as simple as "I liked this story a lot" works), click submit, and boom, you've left a review. You've just helped an author, not to mention other readers who may be checking into the book you just finished. After spending hours, or even days reading the book, taking five more minutes to review it is nothing.

So, if you want to show authors some love, pick up the last book or two you've read, find it on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, wherever, and try your hand at leaving reviews. The more you do it, the easier it'll come to you, and the authors will be motivated to keep writing.

This is how reviews make the book world go 'round. :)

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