Many Thanks to those of you who came to Inklings (a bodacious book store in Yakima), Eternal Wines (a wondrous wine store in Walla Walla, and Adventures Underground (an adventure in books and gaming store in Richland) to support we three poets as we tried to entertain you (and mayhaps sell you a book or two!) Many, many thanks. Now, if you're in the areas mentioned, drop in and support your local businesses.
|At Inklings, getting ready to read, Lynn Knapp, Lenora Good (in the hat), and Thomas Hubbard (in the pineapple shirt). Photo by John Knapp. Used with permission.|
And now, for our regularly scheduled programming:
Were you like me when you were in school – loved to read, hated to write book reports? Yeah, I'm still that way; however, since I've put a couple of books out there, I have come to realize how really and truly important book reviews are to authors.
When I was a kidlet, we didn't have computers, let alone Amazon, Goodreads, NetGalley, and et cetera. We had pencils, paper, and eventually, typewriters. At least we were past stones and clay tablets.
Anyhow, I am going to discuss the importance of reviewing a book you liked. It is important. It is very important; at least if you want the author to continue writing for your enjoyment. With few exceptions, writers don't make enough to live on, unless they have a spouse who has a good job. It's a labor of love. Love them. Write and post a review!
When you read a book you liked--write a review and post it. This doesn't have to be a college level critical review though you may write one if you so desire, you are not expected to find the hidden meanings, the deeply buried metaphors; all we who read reviews want to know is that you liked it, and why. Was the poetry easily accessible to you, as a reader? Did it speak to you? Did the novel entertain you? Did you laugh out loud? Did you sob with uncontrolled abandon? Was the nonfiction worth your time and trouble to purchase and read? Did you learn something? Would you recommend the book to others? Then tell those others!
If you are asked to read and review a book, and you start it, and just can't read it for whatever reason, return it, and explain that when you agreed to the read it, you had spare time, but are now too busy and don't want to keep the book for an as yet undetermined later time. Don't struggle with the book and write a negative review. However, if you enjoyed the book, by all means, write a glowing review and lead off with a Disclaimer that you received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. ADDENDUM 8Nov17: Amazon is now removing reviews with the phrase, 'in exchange...', so begin with the disclaimer that you received an ARC (advance reader copy). Or just don't mention it at all.
Those of you who follow my book review blog, Rainy Day Reads at www.lenoragood.blogspot.com, have probably noticed most of my reviews are 4 & 5 stars, with a few 3 stars, and very, very few below that. That's because if I don't like a book, I don't finish it, and if I don't finish it, I don't review it. This is certainly a case where my cup of poison may be your cup of tea and I don't want to ruin your tea. ;-)
If your best friend for all your life has written a book, by all means buy it, read it, and when you review it, please, do not tell people that the author is your dear, sweet friend and BFF. That's the kiss of death. No matter what you write, it will not be taken seriously. Brag to your friends face-to-face about your friendship with the author, but not to those who may read your review.
Reviews don't have to be long, and when you write one, you can copy and paste it to several sites. The more positive reviews that are out there for any given book, the more people will buy the book; the more people who buy the book (and write reviews), the more money the author will make, and that, boys and girls is how you tell Author, "Thank you. I really enjoyed your book. Write more. And do it NOW!"
If you're curious, these are the sites where my reviews are posted:
and, when the computer gods smile upon me, www.barnesandnoble.com .
There are many other sites that welcome reviews. Why, you can even start your own book review blog.
PS. I don't know why I have such a hard time getting a review posted at B&N, but I do. Probably the squish ware--ya think?
PS2. Books are not the only things you can review online. Did you have a good experience at a local restaurant? Good service, good food, good prices? Review it on www.yelp.com. How about that shop you took your car to? Did they rip you off? Or treat you like a long lost relative. Again, go to Yelp. Be honest in your reviews. I put a negative review up on a restaurant I visited, I explained why it was negative, what I might have done differently if it was my restaurant, and what the positives were. Received a nice response from the manager, and assurance the problem has been taken care of. It is possible to put something negative up, and be nice about it.