Have you ever asked for a recommendation from a friend or family member? Sought their opinion on where to eat or what doctor they prefer? There are countless advertisements for a website which ranks companies in the service industry and helps people find reputable providers. Even my local mom group uses social media to poll other mothers on items, businesses, schools, and health care. Practically every product online offers a starred rating. Why is this so prevalent?
Because reviews matter.
As a consumer, I read reviews for clothing, appliances, furniture, vehicles and yes, even books. The opinions of others who have used a product guide my purchase decision. And I admit, I often do not buy a product if it doesn’t have any reviews. Reviews, whether good or bad, give me some sense of what I am getting. More than the standard product description, they offer insight into how something works, what could be improved, and if it is a good fit for my family.
Reviews set up expectations.
When I purchase something after reading its written reviews, I not only feel informed, I am prepared. To some degree, I know how my product will function, its reliability, and whether it will suit my needs. This is why negative reviews are equally as important as positive reviews. Sure, negative comments often provide a snapshot of the things that can go wrong with a product, but they are also highly individual. If I know Reviewer A and B loved a book because it was an epic romance set against the backdrop of a centuries-old Europe and that the author’s prose resembled poetry, I know I personally will like the story. However, if Reviewer C rated the book one star because it was dry and boring with too much history…that also helps. I understand Reviewer C and I are looking for totally different things when we read. So you see, not every negative review is necessarily a bad one. You just need to look at the context and apply it to what your needs are for a product.
That being said, I am making it my mission to review more books, and I ask you to do the same. Reviews can help an independent author such as myself in ways you cannot imagine. Even one review on a book is better than none. It shows it has been read and (hopefully) appreciated enough for someone to want to share their experience.
So today I ask a favor: review a book. Be sincere, thoughtful, but above all else honest. There is no need for rudeness or malice in a review. That is never the intent. It is meant to inform. Educate. I have provided links to my author pages for each retailer. Simply select the book(s) and begin typing (login may be required). If you could spare a moment to write something, I would appreciate it. And so would your fellow readers…