Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Two Thumbs Up

Every night when I cook dinner (ok, the three nights a week that I actually cook), I ask the kids what they thought of dinner. My son is generally forthcoming with a thumbs up. My daughter (except on ONE occasion last week) gives me a thumbs medium (thumb sideways) or a thumbs down. She just likes being difficult.

In this case, their reviews help me know what meals they like and don't like (except for my daughter, who, as I may have mentioned, just likes being difficult). But right now, my life is being ruled by a different kind of reviews. The reviews for my book. I never ever thought about reviews and never ever realized what an impact it can make. How important it is. The book selling business is a tricky thing. Reviews get your book noticed and helps to sell your book. But in order to get reviews, you have to sell your book. See that Catch-22 there?

I look at product reviews all the time. Before booking our hotel in NYC, I read dozens and dozens of reviews, and it was the review that led me to book our hotel (and steered me away from the hotel with a roach problem). Last night, I passed over one pair of leggings for another based on their reviews. But until I started selling books, even though Barnes & Noble e-mailed me after each purchase, it never occurred to me to leave reviews for the books I've read.

Leaving reviews seems daunting. Believe me, it is not. Now it is my regular practice to leave reviews for books I've read. I write the review once and copy and paste it to other sites (I post on Amazon, Goodreads and Barnes & Noble). I takes about three minutes. I don't write much, just a few sentences or two. Here are some reviews that I've written:

This is for A QUESTIONABLE FRIENDSHIP by Samantha March
This book blew me out of the water. I was not prepared, nor did I expect this book to unfold the way it did. In that respect, it is very true to life. We often take for granted our friendships and assume they will always endure the tests of life. I related strongly to both main characters in this book. If you've ever had a friend, lost a friend or been a friend, then this book is for you.

Here is another review for DANGLED CARAT by Hilary Grossman.
I jumped into reading this book without realizing that it was a memoir. I was several chapters in before I realized the main character's name was Hilary and said, "Hey--wait a minute!" This book is well written and draws you right in. Your heart breaks along with Hilary's and you (well, at least I did) will want to slap some sense into this commitment-phobic man who can't see the gem he has in front of him. And because it is real-life, it is not predictable. A pleasant read that I recommend!

Pretty short and sweet, and very painless as well. But each one of those made a big difference to the authors who are either independent authors (as I am) or who are with small publishing houses. So please, when you read a book, please leave a review. Even if it is not the most favorable, feedback is appreciated. (Of course, consider that saying, "Wow, those pants make your ass look huge!" may not be received as well as, "While kelly green is a great color on you, perhaps it would be more flattering in a shirt." Just food for thought.) If you tell an author what you did not like about the story, he or she can make changes for next time around. If you liked or even loved the book and would consider telling another living soul about it, then write a review. Please. You have no idea how much it means.

Oh, and don't forget #ChickLitMay:

Click here for the Pinterest board that will show you and link you to all of these great books.

In case anyone was wondering, both books above are on this list!

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