There are a lot of threads that keep popping up in one form or another on the forums I visit. Some involve topics that are fun to discuss while others make me want to use the force to choke someone out. One of these topics has to do with reviews. I have a lot of thoughts on this topic so I decided to share them. In the interest of appearing sane, I split my ramblings into four parts.
Some authors have this insane idea that anyone who reads their book must write a review. They will start a thread to moan and complain about people not reviewing their book without looking at things from a reader’s point of view. A reader is under no obligation to review a book. The only thing a reader must do (and even that is optional) is read the books he or she wants to read. That’s it. It doesn’t matter if your book is free or discounted. It doesn’t matter if you giveaway a hundred copies of your book along with a request to review it. The reader doesn’t have to review your book unless he or she wants to. It’s that simple. This is why reviews are so precious to readers and writers alike. The reader is taking that extra step to let the world know how they feel about an author’s work. This is something they don’t have to do.
There are a number of reasons why a reader might not want to leave a review. Here are my top five:
- Some people won’t review a book unless they feel strongly about it. Our words can move people in different ways. Some times they will leave a comment or a review. Other times they will remain silent. It’s the way things are. Do you comment about every little thing to read or listen to? Why should we hold our readers to such standards.
- Writing reviews is not easy. Even for people who write reviews all the time, it’s not easy expressing your opinions about a book. Not everyone is comfortable putting down why they liked or disliked a book.
- Writing reviews, especially the more insightful ones, takes time. Time is very valuable. Someone might not have time to leave a review. They have other things that might take priority such as work or school.
- Some people might not think it is worthwhile to leave a review. This could be someone who thinks your work is okay. It could be someone who sees that you already have a number of reviews already which they agree with. They see no reason to repeat what others have said.
- Some readers might be a little intimidated by writers. They might not think their opinion matters or they might fear the author will take issue with them if they post anything other than a glowing review. Don’t laugh. This has happened a number of times. There are authors who react negatively to any kind of criticism. A number of reviewers can tell you horror stories of authors behaving badly.
Okay, it’s time to get back to writing. A little more on this topic later.