I may be preaching to the choir here, but allow me to deliver my brief sermon anyhow. I won’t be passing the tithing basket around at the end of it; in fact, I’ll be offering you, dear readers, an incentive if you stick with me until the end.
If you follow this blog, it’s because you enjoy reading my books and those of my co-bloggers, Laurie, Pippa and Greta. You love reading SFR. Maybe you even write SFR yourself. I’m presuming you want us to do well, and you want more books to read—not only more books from us, but more books from our fellow SFR authors. More adventures in space, more aliens and cyborgs and starship captains and brave scientists saving the galaxy. More wild ideas and hot romance. More sexy covers and titles climbing the best seller lists. More awards and recognition for SFR.
Well, you know, we’re doing our best to make that happen. But we need your help. Not just your purchasing power. But your reviewing power.
Yes, I’m talking REVIEWS!
Okay, I can hear the groans from here—like I just assigned you summer book reports. But for those of you who are not writers, let me explain why reviews are important.
--Readers look at reviews to decide what books to buy. Sorting out which of hundreds of titles are the good reads is not an easy task. But if a book has earned five stars on Amazon or Goodreads, from dozens of readers, then it’s surely worth your money.
--Amazon, in particular, uses the number of reviews to determine whether to recommend a book to its customers. At each ascending level of reviews—20, 30, 50, 100—the Amazon computer algorithm will kick in, triggering an automatic response to recommend the book to more readers. That encourages more sales, and more reviews, and so on.
--Some writers don’t read their reviews, but most do. I, for one, don’t write for myself; I write to communicate with my readers. Reviews are one way I get feedback. Sometimes that feedback isn’t easy to swallow, but for the most part it’s wonderful. Without reviews, I feel like I’m sending a message out into a cold and lonely universe. Is anybody out there?
So, we need those reviews. Of course, we need sales, too. But one feeds the other, and without that engine of encouragement, many writers are deciding to just give up. No more stories from them, their voices going silent.
I can hear you right now, saying, I don’t know how to write a review! I’m not a writer! But that’s the easy part. Amazon only requires 20 words for a review—or about three sentences. You don’t have to describe the plot or the characters. You don’t have to be a critic. You just have to say, in three sentences or so, what you liked about the book and why you think someone else would like it. If you think some things could be improved, you can say that, too (just be nice about it, please).
Need a kick in the pants to do it? Okay. I’m offering a chance at a $25 Amazon gift card to anyone who will review any one of my Interstellar Rescue books (Unchained Memory, Trouble in Mind or Fools Rush In) on Amazon or Goodreads before Monday, August 14. Just post the link to your review either here or on my Facebook page and you’ll be entered to win. I’ll announce the winner on my page Monday, August 14 and again here next Friday, August 18.