Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Tell me you love me...

 Tell Me You Love Me…Or Not


I heard a joke once where a woman looked at her husband and said, “Why don’t you ever tell me you love me anymore?”


The husband didn’t even look up from his newspaper. “I told you once and if I change my mind I’ll let you know.”


No, this post isn’t about marriage or romantic love. It’s about…are you ready? It’s about book reviews. 


It is a bit heady to have someone come up to me and say, “I just finished reading your book and loved it!”  Seriously, that is pretty cool. But although the author experiences a “feel good” moment, leaving a book review on Amazon, Goodreads, or any other widely read source is like gold to any writer.


A Review My 10-Year-Old Granddaughter 
Gave One of the Novels in an Epic Series
She Usually Loves!

You don’t  have to think it is the best book you ever read. It doesn’t have to have been the book that changed your life. Post a review.


Yes, a series of raving reviews increases interest in a book and likely sales for the author. But a good, honest review also helps an author in his or her own writing.


For example, my novel, Breathing on Her Own, has over four hundred reviews on Amazon, with the average being 4+out of a possible 5 star rating. 


That’s great. I’m happy. There are many stellar reviews. Some are from people I know but most are from readers I never met. And yes, there a few not-so-great reviews for the book as well. 


Negative reviews could be helpful, but most of those I received weren’t specific enough. 


And one that was rather specific suggested that if the main character was really a Christian she wouldn’t have struggled with her daughter’s accident. 


The reader obviously thinks we Believers have it made. No heartache, no self-guessing. I let it pass. 


But the review that has helped me as a writer most is one made by a woman who started the book, loved the writing, but had to put it down midway through. The car accident was rough, but the struggles the characters faced afterward acted as a negative “trigger” in her own emotional life. 


I am currently working on a book that is full of “triggers.” That single review for my first novel has made me think through these scenes in new ways. I will  write a disclaimer to my readers before they pull the thing up on their Kindle. I never want to  cause harm to anyone.


Here are a few “reader rules” to live by:


·      If you read a book, leave a review.

·      Offer a brief summary stating what the book is about.

·      State what you liked and/or what you didn’t like.

·      Be it positive or negative, offer a specific reason for your rating.

·      Don’t give too much of the story’s outcome away.


And if you’re really stumped, you can find more guidelines on the internet.


Writing a book can be a rather lonely journey. Authors celebrate typing the words “The End.” Sometimes we take in a deep breath and let out a loud cheer with our family or friends. We love those people deeply. 


But the community we appreciate the most? Our readers. And those readers we treasure the most are those who take the time to write a review.









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