You bought the book, you read it, you may or may not have enjoyed it. You finished it, you moved on. You don’t owe the author anything. You paid for his/her product, both of you benefited from the transaction. (Unless the book sucked, then the joke was on you. Until you return it, anyway.)
So why this blog post? Because the question has come up. Some readers have asked how writing a few sentences about a book can greatly aid the author. Especially if you enjoyed the book. And especially if the author is not a famous one. Sure, Stephen King or George RR Martin probably won’t be impacted by your review or lack of one, but for the author who’s writing while working a day job or two, balancing spouse/kids/life…well, your feedback can make a world of difference.
It’s like this: when I go online to book a hotel, rent a car, or make a major purchase, you’d better believe I check the reviews. Especially if it’s a purchase from a vendor I’ve never used before. Why? Because I’m genuinely interested in what other users/buyers have experienced. Opinions may not matter in a lot of other areas, but when it comes to a purchase, they matter. I feel comfortable clicking that purchase button when I learn the vast majority of folks who made the same purchase have been satisfied with it.
Yeah, but a book isn’t a major purchase, right? A lot of stories (particularly e-format) can be purchased for less than a value meal at your local fast-food joint. Some for less than a cup of coffee. With so little at stake, why bother to follow up with a review that will temporarily interrupt your routine and burn a few minutes of your life?
Putting it simple: If you enjoyed the particular novel, your review (support) assures you will be able to enjoy another in the future.
As the above info graph shows, collective reviews make a huge difference in how a book is made visible to potential readers. And if a book is made more visible, the chances for purchases increase. More purchases means more income for the author. And no, in most cases we’re not talking about purchase a new Lamborghini income, but pay for editing and cover art type of income. The type of income that makes it easier for the author to produce more novels in less time, assuring fans and readers are supplied with more stories to enjoy.
So next time you finish a great book, consider leaving a review. You certainly aren’t obligated, and you certainly don’t owe the author anything other than your purchase. But think about this: for a brief period of time, the author’s words had an impact on you, if only as a diversion or escape from your hectic day. And in just a few short words, you can have an impact on the author as well.
I can definitely speak for my peers by saying we greatly appreciate it.
My name is Bard Constantine, and if you’re reading this you already know that Bard Writes Books. Check out the official website for info on how you can request a free copy of anything I’ve written.