Good morning my #SensualSunday readers. Moira here welcoming you back to another post this Labor Day Weekend. The weather is mildly craptastic, but that’s perfectly fine given I am working on writing, writing, and writing more. Not what I’m here to talk about though, so let’s get to it.
You Too Can Leave Reviews
Most authors are also avid readers. If you’re not, than you really should be. As mentioned before the more you read (in and out of your genre) the more you expand your own knowledge about your writing craft. Not only are you reading different styles to help you find your own, but it’s a great relaxation tool when you’re own brain is going too fast for you to get words down on the page.
As a reader you should be reviewing the works that you’ve read. It’s the right thing to do, and it’s a helpful tool to the author whose book you’ve finished. While there are sites, like Amazon, who will not allow authors to review other books (or anything else because that just makes total sense!) you can always find somewhere to review it. Now, there are sites where books are purchased that require you to have purchased said book from them before you can leave a review. This can be a pain in the ass. But you have options!
Goodreads for one. If you have an account, even as an author, you can leave a review on the book you read. You can even post a review on Facebook, or Twitter (under 140 characters remember) or even email/PM it to the author directly.
Rules For Providing A Review
As an author you will receive reviews that leave you scratching your head (did they even read MY book?), confused, and upset. Then there will be those reviews that have you grinning like a lunatic for days to follow. For every good review there is one that will suck all the light from your day. Eventually you will learn to either not read them, or you will read them with an analytical view. One that has you taking the pointers for what they are, yet all with the full understanding that this is ONE PERSONS OPINION. Yup, that’s all a review is. Which is why when you, as an author, leave a review you need to follow a couple simple but very important rules. Because we are supposed to be better than the average Joe off the street that leaves a nonsensical review.
- Spelling: Oh for the love of all that is shiny and good in the universe, make sure you spell things correctly. Grammar isn’t nearly as important (that’s why authors have editors that make us look so damn good) but if you don’t know your “there”, “their” from your “they’re” then you’re going look like an idiot.
- Structure: Start with the glowing goodness. I find if a reviewer expounds on how they loved this character, or that scene before they provide some criticism it goes down easier. Spoon full of sugar and all that jazz. And then also END on more goodness because no one wants to end on a sour note.
- Criticism: Keep it helpful, useful, and relevant. Don’t be an ass just because you have the platform. Believe me, there are enough of those on Goodreads, Amazon, and everywhere else already, you don’t need to be included in the mob. If the author left you hanging about some detail mention that you were confused why character A never discovered who was taking his paper each morning, or whatever it is.
- Confrontational: This is a no-no in the largest, most horrifying proportions ever. You’re there to leave a review, not question every decision they’ve ever made since learning to dress themselves that led them to deciding to be a writer.
- Language: As the saying goes, mind your P’s and Q’s. Do not use curse words, do not go off on a tangent, do not be an ass!
It’s pretty simple folks. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. As a brand new author you may not have yet received that first “nasty” review yet. But you should be able to read the review you just wrote as if it was directed at your book, and if you feel that it is useful, polite, and has something upbeat and general good in it, then you post it. If you burst into tears, want to nail the door shut from intruders, or crawl under your bed to hide…maybe rethink how you’ve worded it.
Remember, for every critical sentence you should have something upbeat to say about it to counterbalance. As in real life, so too in your reviews. Think about any review you’ve ever got at work. Your boss (or supervisor) probably gave you a point that needed more work, and then gave you some positive reinforcement. Same thing here.
All right, that’s it from me this Sunday. Hope you are all enjoying your long weekend, I know I am. Greatly! I am especially loving the three days I can sleep in later than normal. I totally needed this.
XO Moira Callahan