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If you want a voice in this world, the one you use in your book review carries MASSIVE sway and influence. It can can influence your peers to check out a book they might love,  and also help authors get free advertising and exposure, so they can keep writing yoru favorite series.

So authors write books, and they’re out there… BUT… people can only see these books if there is advertising leading the way to them, just like any other business. It’s hard to budget for ads when the upfront cost of a book (proofing, editing, cover design, formatting, distribution) is as high as it is. See an interview with different authors here (Cost to self-publish a book) , but the short version is that $150 (she barters for services)- $1650 is the average. Between you and me and the internet, my books have been around $800 to produce. I save my allowance for nearly two years to put out the first one.  What if I told you that there is something absolutely free that you can do to help authors get free advertising on amazon? Keep reading.

The life of an author. You know we like to write books, but you don’t know that we HAVE to write books, and it’s how we healthily cope with the world around us, just as you read to relax an enjoy a moment to yourself. If we didn’t write books or have time to, i’m not sure what would happen. I think most writers would agree with me that we write because we need to.

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Writers are living in a world where 6 publishing houses and a handful of literary agents can decide their destinies. They’re told that their work isn’t about how great it is, it’s about what will sell. When you walk into a book store, the books you see are the ones agents decided would sell, and that’s it. Maybe they are great books, but we can all name a few books that leave us shaking our heads thinking “How did this become a best-seller?” Think about certain..ahem…books, the next time you want to dismiss a book that was produced by an independent author who contracted services and produced theirs through amazon.

So often I see posts from authors who didn’t realize how hard this would be, and how they have to scale back on their writing to work their day job, or abandon it all together. Now is the time to give them your support. You’ve been through tough times too, and they’re trying to write books to help you through those. Please consider leaving a review to help a writer through their tough times.

If you want to see your favorite series go on, all you have to do is:

Post a review!

It’s just one review that you can post different places, but the two most important are amazon and Goodreads. writeareview.jpg

See! See! Your voice matters so much!!!!

The best part of Amazon is that when they start promoting books, they promote it to the audience that is most likely interested. You could help someone find their new favorite series! What’s not awesome about leaving a review?

Now that you know how incredible you can be in leaving a review, you might be asking what to put in one.

First Sentence:

  1. Summarize the book in the first sentence using mood, genre, and location.                     *Example: “”Mirror” was a dark tale about supernatural people living in London, but it did have its humorous moments.”

Body (pick 1 or all 4!):

  1. Describe what you liked or disliked about the characters.
    *Example: “Relating to Romarin and her quest to find out her heritage was easy, but I didn’t appreciate Travis’s use of bad language… then again he did grow on me by the end. Like a narcissistic tumor on my ereader screen.”
  2. Described what you liked  or disliked about the plot (twisty, steady, suspenseful, romantic?)
    *Example:”I liked the twists that kept me reading and how the supporting characters were revealed as an introduction to the series. I didn’t like that the main character was only in serious danger maybe 3 times during this book. I get she has problems to sort out, but I need more action.”
  3. Describe your reaction to the plot.
    *Example: “The book really picked up for me on chapter four. I had to stay up late to finish the entire thing!”
  4. Tell about your favorite part or scene.
    Example: “I don’t want to spoil it, but I loved when we found out that Row’s adoptive mom was keeping something about her birth parents a secret from her. I don’t think how she reacted was overkill at all.”

Pick your headline:

  1. Choose a headline for your review last. It can be a summary sentence (“Great start to a new series”), your reaction (“I read this in the stock room at work because I couldn’t put it down”), or a recommendation ( “A must read for people who are enamored with London and the paranormal”).

DON’T do these things in your review:

  1. Spoil the book. Avoid specific spoilers about the plot.
  2. Say “This isn’t the genre I usually read,” and then give it two stars. This really hurts authors’ careers. If you know you won’t like the book genre going into it, it’s not fair to slap a low review on it. You just wasted your own time too.
  3. Leave 1 or 2 star reviews. You can contest me on this one, but now that we know how NOT leaving a review hurts authors, just don’t leave a review if you don’t like it. I say this because I do not leave 1 or 2 star reviews, this happens most often because the book has not been proofed or edited, which happens sometimes. My philosophy is that I cannot be helpful in leaving a low review. Your opinion could differ.
  4. Not read the book. (I know “don’t not” is horrible language but stick with me.) Honestly, the hard truth is that if you get lost or confused, you’re probably reading in some distracted fashion or skipped through a book. Authors have their plots thought out, and if they have beta readers and editors, someone would have noticed if the plot wasn’t cohesive. I run into this with my book because my main character’s power is to gain memories of people by drinking their blood. Some people can’t follow as she absorbs a new personality, or find the mixed up memories “convenient”, when it is explained as her powers and not a random plot device. If you are looking for a book with twists and changes to keep you on your toes, don’t complain that it does in your review. Now that the band-aid is off, the saddest thing about this is that you might be missing an awesome book! I feel this way about reviewers who have a huge TBR list. Slow it down and stop skimming. Sit back and enjoy it, and feel free to tell us that the review will take longer than you thought. We’d rather you enjoy our work than skim, even though a review before or on release day helps us a ton!

One last note–you can post to amazon anonymously.

Get your code name ready, because you don’t have to reveal your true identity. After you hit “Write a customer review”, you will see this screen:

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Hit change, and you can pick Fredward as your name. 😉

I  hope this was helpful! Get out there are leave your review, because it’s your mark on the world, and your opinion matters!

Thank you readers, blogger, and friends!!!!

xoxo

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