Reviews are the greatest gift you can give to a writer.
Writers spend most of their time in a solitary existence. A novel can take years to complete. During this time the writer is relying primarily on their own judgment about whether the work they’re doing is any good. Self-doubt and insecurities about their talent and final product are commonplace.
But once a novel is published it’s possible to get feedback from the ultimate authority on the quality of the work – the reader.
Reader feedback, in the form of posted reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, etc., are the litmus test for writers. They provide many important, even critical, pieces of information to the writer, and to other potential readers, agents, and publishers. The impact cannot be understated.
In addition to novels, I wrote stage plays, and see them performed live. I get immediate feedback on how well I’ve entertained my audience. Did the audience laugh at the right moments? Were they hanging on very line? This feedback helps me with my next stage play. It also helps persuade the theatre on whether to invite me back as a playwright.
I spent five years writing The Lamia. And now it’s published. This is as close to immediate feedback as I’ll get. Sure, it’s a long time to wait, but now’s your chance to tell me how I did. To tell future agents and publishers whether I’m worthy of being in the game, and whether they should invest in me.
The impact of a review goes well beyond a star. It can change a writer’s life. It can provide confidence, learning opportunities, and open up new avenues for work. It can help the writer make a living.
And you can help. All you need to do is take a few minutes to rate your latest reading adventure, and provide a short summary of your impressions. Did you like the plot? The characters? The theme? What will you carry with you over time? Do you recommend it?
This is your chance to get in the game. And help a writer.