If you review the books you read, congratulations! This post is all about you and some of the many reasons why you rock. If you don’t review the books you read, don’t worry; this post is going to tell you why doing so is a good idea, and just how amazing you’ll be once you start. Either way, you’ll know exactly why reviewing books makes you a better person.
1. You’re setting a trend
When a book is first published, the author is dancing alone.
Our choices are, at least in part, informed by other people. Have you seen that video of the guy starting a dance party at a festival? Notice how long he dances by himself. He can’t start the party alone. In fact, the ball doesn’t really get rolling until the third dancer gets on their feet. Once the fourth and fifth person joins in, it isn’t long until dozens of people are running to get involved with this huge crowd of cool, fun dancers.
When a book is first published, the author is dancing alone. By reviewing books, you’re joining in, and encouraging others to pick it up, read it too, and get involved.
2. You’re balancing the bile
As a species, we’re twice as likely to tell our friends, family, and the big wide world about a bad experience than a good one. It just seems to be how we’re wired, suggesting that we’re more likely to leave a bad review of a book we hated than a good review of a book we loved. That creates a skewed perspective when a reader discovers said book as they browse for their next read.
Reviewing books you loved helps prospective readers to get an accurate picture of that book and help the author reach new readers.
3. You’re helping out the algorithms
Like it or loathe it, online shopping is fuelled by algorithms, which is a fancy word for the “You might also like” section of every online retailer. These sections can be a real boon to an author because they can put their work in front of potential new readers.
Of course, the algorithms aren’t going to read all the books to figure out the recommendations, so they’ll use pieces of data, such as sales and reviews. Reviewing books doesn’t just feed the algorithms, it also helps encourage sales, meaning a book is more likely to be recommended to other readers!
As someone working w/ Amazon marketing, I can confirm that it is HIGHLY important to review your favourite authors’ books. HIGHLY. Ideally, a book should have minimum 15 reviews & at least a 3.5 star rating for certain algorithms to kick in. #publishing
— Theresa DeLucci (@tdelucci) April 5, 2018
By reviewing books, you’re helping an author reach new readers!
4. You’re opening doors
There are a lot of books out there. A LOT of books. So authors need all the help they can get in order to reach readers, including promotional services. And some of those services rely on reviews. Bookbub, which is a powerhouse of promotion for authors, factors in both the number and positivity of reviews when considering whether to accept an author’s application (although these aren’t the only things they look at). Other services require a minimum number of reviews before they’ll even consider promoting a book.
As independent authors without the force of a major publishing house’s marketing budget behind them, we need to make the most of the opportunities open to us. By reviewing books, you’re helping to open doors for an author that will help them reach new readers!
5. You’re helping the author pick the right audience
A book description can only do so much. Reviews can do so much more.
By leaving a review, you help the author to better target their audience. Sure, the description might say the book is about a fairy detective whose addiction to edible glitter gets them in deep with the wrong goblins. But it won’t say it has a cliffhanger ending. Or a hilarious, sarcastic secondary character. Or a fascinating subtext that challenges sexual dynamics in the workplace.
But a review that mentions all of those things will achieve two goals. Firstly, it will help encourage new readers who like all those things to give the book a go. But if a reader hates subtext, sarcasm, and glitter-peddling goblins, a review will help alert them that this book won’t be their cup of tea, meaning they’ll be less likely to buy it and leave a negative review about how much they didn’t like the book.
Reviewing books helps attract new readers and avoid negative reviews. A two-for-one!
In short, book reviewers are great
In short, reviewing books helps authors reach new readers, which not only helps them keep their writing rooms warm and well-lit, but also helps them write more books. So write a review and tell the author once you’ve posted it. After all, you deserve to be thanked for your good deed, and acknowledged for being such an awesome person!