Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Writer Wednesday: Review Pledge


Lately, I've seen a lot of writers online talking about why readers don't always leave reviews. Honestly, if you love books and want to support the industry, then you should review those books online. It doesn't take long to write a review, and you can copy and paste it on Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes & Noble. So why don't more readers do it?

I don't know, but I've decided that since I want others to leave reviews for my books, I'm going to make a real effort to post reviews for the books I read. I'm good at posting reviews on my blog, but sometimes I forget to post to Amazon, etc. Not anymore. I'm going to make sure my reviews go up all over. Why? Because reviews help authors. Because reviews don't have to be really long or take up too much time to write. Because I love books.

So today I'm asking you to join me in pledging to review the books you read. Even if your review is a brief paragraph, you're helping authors and potential readers. It's worth it. Who's with me?


34 comments:

  1. I started reviewing books on T.A.A. last year, and this year started spreading them
    to Amazon and elsewhere (since my reviews tend to be more than a paragraph, I have to abridge them, both for length and to focus on the reader-centric parts of the review, some parts are more for writers than readers), and I hope

    Since I'm about bringing neglected books and their authors to reader's attention. Especially in my genre trying to get folks to understand animal fantasy doesn't begin and end with Charlotte's Web, Redwall, Watership Down and Warriors, and I'm not bashing them! (Trying to be calm today with my birthday and all)

    Anyway, I've already living the pledge, I just to get going on my novel reviews, they just take more time than the picture books I've reviewed so far.

    That said, I formally take your pledge to review the books I read across the (virtual) channels.

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    1. Yes, you're great about reviewing books, Taurean. If all readers were like you, this industry would be stronger for it. :)

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  2. I love reviewing books, but my agent doesn't want me to give critical reviews online. Since most books are going to be average and I view 4-5 stars as above average, I only review near perfect books.

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    1. Beth,

      I don't pretend to be in your position, but as a wise person once told me, you can express the negative without being negative, if you review books you need to be honest, reviews help authors when they are honest.

      If I hate a book, I may not review it for personal/professional reasons, but I can't stifle my opinions. Only make them as civil as humanly possible at the time.

      With all due respect your agent, Beth, your agent's job is to be an advisor, and help you reach areas in publishing you cannot on your own.

      You can't be an author without being a reader, and part of being a reader to talk about books, sometimes we need to have hard conversations about books. How public or private we are about it is up to us as writers.

      I don't believe most books are just "average" in the sense that I feel your agent's giving off (I could be wrong, but I'm just going by how you're describing what your agent told you) but I respect your hands being tied.

      The only reason I resisted reviewing on Amazon specifically was because they've had (and continue to have) issues with disingenuous reviews. I didn't want my reviews to be perceived as fake or someone paid me off.

      For the same reasons I don't like a book, I couldn't praise a book if I didn't truly love it, and since I'm an author myself (not just a lay reader), I fear that sometimes.

      But to me, this is about diving in, sometimes we have to dive in and take the end results as they come.

      I'd suggest you remind your agent of that. Just some friendly advice from one author to another.

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    2. I'll state that a book wasn't really for me, but then I'll say who might enjoy it. I feel like that is still respecting the author and contributing to reviewing the book, while also remaining honest.

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  3. I always leave reviews for books I have read. I truly believe in giving reviews for other authors because I know how important they are and how much they mean. I attended a publishing seminar last year and one of the most important discussions was reviewing other writers' books... even before you ask for reviews for your own work, you should always be willing to give back to the community. Great post, Kelly! Yes, more authors, please review books!

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    1. It's probably the best way you can give back to the community. Reviews are so important.

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  4. Great self-examination, Kelly. When I began writing - which involved me beginning to read like a madwoman - I never gave much thought to reviewing. Then I reviewed a few for close author friends. I guess I did a good job, because publishers started contacting me. I'm now at the point where I can be very selective as to what I read. But I try to always leave a review, even if it's not an official one for a publisher. The author deserves at least that from me. I hope others will do the same for me when it's time.

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    1. It's definitely a great way to show your love for books, and honestly, it's so easy to do.

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  5. I'm taking the pledge and I couldn't agree more. All it takes is 3-4 sentences. That's it. Like composing a long version of a text message or a tweet. We're all capable of that, no matter how busy we are :-)

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  6. Thanks for sharing this, Kelly. I've made an effort to review more books over the past year. Not that I've done a lot, but I'm moving in the right direction. It is easier to write a review for a book you loved, but even a few sentences on a book you liked can resonate with a potential reader.

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    1. That's where I've been guilty. I'd only review books I loved and could gush over. Really I need to review them all because reviews are important for authors.

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  7. Copying and pasting the content from one site to the other is easy. It's merely a matter of keeping windows open. And it's the right thing to do.

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    1. So easy! And it's absolutely the right thing to do. :)

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    2. That said, if your reviews tend to be on the long or highly conversational side (as mine at T.A.A. are) you may need to abridge them, especially on sites like Barnes and Noble's website, or sites like Goodreads that have character/word limits. Just a heads up if you began reviews on your blog as I have an still do.

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  8. Great post, Kelly! I agree :) Writing a review is a small thing that can help authors and readers a lot.

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    1. Yes, and reviews are pretty easy to write too, most of the time.

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  9. I used to review books a lot more, but I got tired after a while, because I tend to write longer ones. Now, if only I could make myself write just a few sentences... :D

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    1. Yeah, they don't have to be novels. A paragraph is sometimes enough.

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  10. I love reviewing books on Goodreads and Amazon! I try to do it faithfully :).

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  11. I need to read more books so that I have things to review. I'm having a bit of a problem finishing a book (reading AND writing). How about I pledge to read more, therefore, I will likely review more! lol

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  12. I try to always give a written review on Goodreards. I'm not as good with posting them on Amazon. I need to do better ;)

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    1. I've been neglecting Goodreads. I need to get back over there.

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  13. I never reviewed the books that I read(except on Goodreads) until I started blogging. Then I 'got' how much of a big deal it is to authors and how much it helps to support them. And I'm glad I read this, b/c I just remembered I need to post a review for the last book I read. Whoops. I have good intentions... =)

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    1. I know it's easy to forget to review a book. I start a new book as soon as I finish the last so it can get away from me. I'm going to stay on top of it now though. :)

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  14. I will take the pledge Kelly. I write reviews, but not for every book I read. I need to be much, much better.

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    1. Same here, but I'm going to change that. :)

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  15. I have posted reviews of *some* of the books I really love, but avoided the two-three star ones for reasons I articulated on my blog and other places. My so-so opinion is not a contribution, the way I see it. In principle I would post a one star for something I feel is really malignant or abhorrent. But I have yet to do it in practice.
    But thank you for reminding me to get of the duff and support good work. it's a small thing, and the right thing.

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    1. It's great that a small thing like a review can help authors so much. :)

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  16. Ah, I've done the same -- review on my blog, but no place else. I should start making better use of my Goodreads account, especially. I only post reviews of books I love, though. I keep my negative reactions offline.

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    1. I'm never negative either. I'll keep the review brief and just say the book wasn't for me. I'll also be sure to say who I think might like the book.

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