Why Leave Reviews?
As an indie writer and publisher, my longevity and sustainability is determined by audience. If I don’t have an audience buying books, I don’t have a future as a writer. Sure, there are a million other things I can do to earn a living, but it won’t be writing if it can’t support my basic needs.
Leaving a review, even a bad one, helps me build audience—and that allows me to continue writing.
Why does it help?
Since digital publishing became a viable option, writing and publishing became a democratized adventure. This allows anyone to play in the field and eek out what living they can based on their talents and skills. It also means it’s difficult to find vetted work in the deluge of new material that’s hitting the market almost weekly. With thousands of books hitting the shelves, readers don’t know what’s good or bad or worth the purchase.
Leaving a review helps potential readers know the piece has been vetted by you, and you’re giving a go or no go on the product.
Many readers will only purchase a book if it has a certain number of reviews already, showing that’s it’s been thoroughly read and is worth the investment in time and money.
Why is a bad review still good for me?
A bad review isn’t always a deal breaker. Sharing what you didn’t like about a book or product might be exactly what a different reader is looking for. You might not like certain content, but another reader is looking for that exact type of story. You might find typos (and you will, even in professionally published books) and sharing that allows people who are upset by a few missed typos to skip the purchase. It’s better on their blood pressure, and saves me the trouble of their hate mail.
Statistically, neutral or negative reviews make up some percentage of the overall review process simply because of taste differences, mood, preference, and mismatched expectations. It simply cannot be avoided.
As a writer, I appreciate all reviews. Even the ones that are sometimes tough to hear. It reminds me of our constant and beautiful human diversity and keeps me from getting a big head. It doesn’t change my writing either way, but what it does change is my audience, and my long-term ability to focus on my passion for telling stories.
Just clicking stars on Goodreads, or Amazon makes a world of difference to my future, and I’m super grateful to you for taking the time to read my book, and leave a remark or star rating. It means a great deal to me.