Why do reviews matter? Well, for one, the reader is telling the author what they think about the book. The review could be in great detail, or a few simple words, but they matter. Good or Bad, reviews matter. If you're going to write a bad review, do it in a way to help the author understand what you didn't like about the story. Authors can learn from reviews as well.
A book review is the opinion of the reader who actually read the book. Some websites where books are sold or listed have a rating system. The rating system is usually one star, two stars, three stars, four stars, and five stars. A five-star rating is the highest rating, while a one star is the lowest. A review also gives information to the author.
Anyone who reads a book should write a review. If they bought the book from a website, they should leave a review on the website for that particular book. If the reader bought the book in a local store or a garage sale or even a secondhand shop, they should leave a review. If the book is listed on Amazon, it does not need to be purchased by a reader in order for a review to be written. The review doesn't have to be long, just a sentence or two on the reader's opinion of the book.
Reviews matter because they let the author know what people think about their work. Also, authors, publicists, publishers, or agents can use positive reviews to promote the author’s work. Reviews also may help a reader decide whether or not they want to read this particular author's book. Many times, before buying a product, a customer will read reviews of that product before buying. It is the same concept for book reviews as well.
Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews is a review website where owner and operator, Amy Shannon, takes requests, reads the books, and then writes honest and unbiased reviews. Amy's Bookshelf Reviews is a professional reviewer, but a reader doesn't have to be a professional reviewer to write a review. There is no charge for this service. The reviews get posted on sites such as Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads.com, and other sites. Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews does have donation and purchase policies but does not charge for writing a review. A video review can be purchased. Amy’s Library presents the bookshelves of what is next to be read, and the position of the book title, the author's last name, and genre of the book. Authors can use the library to see the position their book title(s). These bookshelves list all the books that will be read.
The most important thing before writing a review for a book title, is that a person actually reads the book. If someone buys a book off a website, usually they can post a review for that book on the website. There are sites that are just like libraries of books, such as Goodreads, where people don't buy a book, but they can find one they want to read, click on where to buy it, and once it's read, write a review. Readers who read a book, should share what they think about the book, by posting it on a website, or a personal blog. A reader does not have to be a professional reviewer to write a review.
o write a review, the reader thinks about what they like about the book and what they don't like about the book. The readers go to the website where the book was purchased and if they have an area where one can write a review, think about your rating and then write your review. It's quite simple. The reader can think about different parts of the story, characters, plot, pace and conclusion, or just what they liked or didn't like about the book.
Authors, should not write a review for their own book or give it rating stars. If a person has not read the book, and they decide to write a review because they didn't like the title, the genre, book cover, or whatever, that person should not write a review. If a reader doesn't like a particular genre and they find a genre they don't like, and that person is not going to read a book, then that person shouldn't write a review. If a reader reads a book in a genre that they don’t like, but they read the book, and end up not liking it anyways that person should not write a review.
One way an author can find reviewers, is to look up on Amazon.com books that are written in the genre that the author writes and read some of the reviews. Some of the reviewers listed on Amazon, are actually professional reviewers or reviewers that like books and like writing reviews. Clicking on their username, it'll bring direct the person to their Amazon profile, and there may be contact information.
Another way to look for reviewers, is to search for book reviewer directories. A author should go to the directory, and read all the information that the site provides. Some directories allow you to subscribe. When looking for a reviewer, authors should look for one that reads books in the genre that they write.
If an author found a reviewer on a directory, make sure the link isn’t broken. If it is, report it to the directory in the contact me section (or whatever means they have to contact them). If the author found a reviewer, and they have a website or blog, read the information on that website. What do they review? What is their turnaround time? What are the review Policies and procedures? How do you request a review? Where do they post their review? And how do they write their reviews? (read a few of their book reviews and maybe there will be a pattern either positive or negative). Also, see if there is more than one reviewer.
Many authors think that “paying” or “buying” a review is a bad thing. Well, that can be true, but it may not be true as well. There are large book review companies that have a selection process, and then charge for the review and it comes with other benefits as well. Some book sites, do not allow the posting of “bought” reviews, but those reviews can be added to the editorial feedback or book description on the book’s website. Authors may have a policy about not paying for reviews, and that’s a fine policy to have. Book reviewers that will give you a 5-star review in exchange for a price is unethical, and they don’t even have to read the book. They’ll just write a 5-star review, which really doesn’t mean anything. Other reviewers, even small book bloggers or reviewers, may charge for reviews, but it is not for a rating, and it is unbiased and honest, and may also have extra benefits added, such as graphics or video reviews.
Some reviewers are like Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews, and only accept donations and purchases, but the purchases are for promotions. The only thing that Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews charges for is if the author is buying a permanent placement on a specific bookshelf or purchasing a video review. All other options are for donations. The purpose of the donation can be for a few things, just to support the website, paying it forward (so another author’s book can be bought), for buying a banned book, the purchase of their own book, so it can be a verified purchase. Other purchases are for a one-time placement on a higher bookshelf to get the review done quicker.