It has been about 10 months since I became involved in the Indie Author Community. My first involvement was to simply share posts for my daughter’s first published novel. She became more involved in the social media connections with other authors. There were several Facebook events that she participated in, her ‘parties’ as she called them. She invited me and the first couple I really was not interested in ‘attending.’ However, about the third I hung around looking over her shoulder and the fourth I actually participated. That was a really fun event, the dialog in the posts was fun, entertaining and enlightening in regard to Indie Authors in general. I found them to be a mutually supporting and congenial community. There wasn’t competition between authors. Instead I discovered they are a lot like the groups of quilters I’ve been a part of for some time. Encouraging, helpful, sharing and developing on-line friendships readily. It was wonderful.
As a result, I began sharing other author’s books on my Facebook page. When Jen began to become a little overwhelmed with reading for review. She asked me if I would read and review a few books that really were not her genre. I’ve always enjoyed a wide variety of genres. So, I began reading books to review. Shortly after that I began to be a beta reader for authors still working on polishing their novels. I’d already been an alpha reader for my daughter so I was comfortable reading for other authors.
Eventually I started this WordPress blog, primarily to express my opinions on various topics that I wouldn’t generally discuss with others. I have opinions but I don’t like to cause people discomfort if my opinions are contrary to theirs, so I just don’t discuss them. I felt a need for an outlet for my thoughts on sometime controversial issues and personal musings on life. Soon my blog became an outlet to share my review books as well. It did not take long for me to decide that author interviews would be a nice addition to my blog posts. Occasionally I write other posts that relate to the Indie Author Community. This post is one of those.
Now to the true intent of this post, book reviews. I review almost every book that I read. My reviews are posted on Amazon and Goodreads and many are posted right here on this blog site. Reviews are an important way to help Indie Authors. Good, honest reviews are critical to both their art and marketing. A good review encourages an author, a well written and informative bad review helps an author to know what readers expect of their work and helps them to improve their writing. Reviews that do not impart what a reader likes or dislikes about the book are not as helpful.
Pygmy Amazon Reviews: Lavern Winters and Jen Winters
Most Indie Authors have their works available on Amazon. For these authors reviews, especially good reviews that put their average at 4 to 5 stars improves their marketing outreach. In order for a book to be included in the Amazon algorithm and be promoted as a recommendation the book has to have at no less than 50 reviews averaging at least 4 stars. When that happens people who have purchased similar genre books receive an email from Amazon promoting the book to readers who have an interest in the genre. This gives an author access to readers that they normally would not be able to reach. When similar books are viewed by readers their book will be shown at the bottom in the “People who purchased this book also purchased these books” area. Authors really need these recommendations in order to increase sales. Producing a well written and edited book is a lot work. Time consuming and arduous at times. Rewarding an author with a good review when deserved helps to bring in income to that author.
Another thing that I want to discuss are books available on Kindle Unlimited (KU). KU is a good way for readers to have access to a lot of books that maybe they could not otherwise afford to read. Something that readers may not be aware of is that in KU an author is only paid for the number of pages read. If you get a book on KU and do not intend to read it right away, please, open the book and page through the entire thing so Amazon recognizes the book as read and the author can receive full payment for the book. When you do read the book, review it. Don’t be stingy in what you say, tell other readers what made it a good book, if you didn’t like it, give the reasons, was the plot slow, were the characters shallow, were there glaring editing errors, were you unable to suspend disbelief? A bad review that just says, “I hated this book!” doesn’t help the author or other readers at all. That goes the same for a good review. “I loved this book!” without saying why does not help other readers know if they would like it or not. So, post reviews, tell other readers why it was good, bad, or mediocre; justify the rating you give the book.
Please, if you get a book and read it, review it. Be honest and be considerate in how you write your review. Objective, honest reviews are the most helpful for both other readers and the author. See the link at the bottom of the page for an example of an excellently written, honest review of Kissing Demons by Jen Winters.
May you have many good books to read!