"There's no such thing as bad publicity" has been attributed to P. T. Barnum. While authors crave good reviews, not every story appeals to every reader. But seriously, I'd prefer reviews that don't attempt to out-snark each other.
Have you ever had someone ask for your opinion, and when you gave it, you got the impression it wasn't appreciated? I wonder whether Dale reads his reviews and weeps, or laughs all the way to the bank...
Writers tend to be sensitive about their work. They want to know what you think, then bristle, cry, or sink into depression if you don't deliver high praise. Yet we depend upon opinions - in the form of reviews - to create chatter that will get our books in front of more readers.
I am excited to have "met" some readers through Goodreads who want to begin reviewing books. This is such an incredibly important aspect of publicity for an author. Reviews represent a reader's genuine reaction to our work. When posted on Goodreads, a website, a blog, or a heavy hitter like Amazon or Barnes and Noble, reviews can stimulate sales.
If you look up big name authors on Amazon, they may have hundreds, even thousands, of ratings and reviews. Lesser known authors scramble to get a dozen. There is some computer or mathematical magic that happens when authors receive attention. Momentum builds. The more people read and review, the more people read and review, and on and on.
I encourage you to rate and review books. Why?
- You might think your comments won't make a difference. They do!
- You might not know what to say. Give your honest impression. "I liked this book because..." There was a cat on the cover. The main character rocked. You can't stop thinking about the story. A funny line got stuck in your head like a song virus. Or maybe there was something you didn't like. I did say honest!
- You might find posting your first few reviews to be awkward. It does take time and energy you might rather spend reading that next book in your TBR stack. But my experience is that Goodreads and Amazon make reviewing easy. If you really enjoyed a book, and you want more of the same, write an encouraging review. You have influence!
I wish a special blessing this holiday season for all the reviewers out there! And especially ones who take a chance on new or unknown authors. Also, I wish authors like Dale M. Courtney all the best as they blaze new and unique literary paths!