For authors, reviews are the equivalent of gold nuggets. We hope those who read our novels will take the time to post an online review in a public forum…preferably something like Amazon or B&N, along with Goodreads.
For my last two indie releases, I realize I should have included a standard call in the back of the book. Something along the lines of If you enjoyed this novel, please tell your friends, and consider leaving a review on Amazon. A call to action would have been so simple.
Then I wouldn’t have to squirrel out the request. I tend to be terminally shy when it comes to asking for reviews. Occasionally, I’ll work up the nerve to shoot a request to another author, especially if they’ve told me they enjoyed the book. We’re all in the same boat, so authors understand the importance. But non-authors?
When I released ECLIPSE LAKE in print, I bought a bunch of author copies and sold all but a few. A good bulk of those people contacted me later to tell me how much they enjoyed the book, even taking the time to explain specific scenes. Did I ask any of them to leave a review on Amazon? No.
I’m such a coward.
Even though I know gaining reviews will help me as an author to reach a larger audience, I feel awkward asking. Like I’m infringing. Or begging. Ack! Am I the only one who has a problem with this?
On the flip side, I write reviews for over 90% of the novels I read (I won’t leave a bad review, and every now and then if the author is well-established with a gazillion reviews already, I opt for laziness).
So what does any of this have to do with dragons?
One of the things most people don’t know about me is that I’m besotted with the How to Train Your Dragon movies. I positively, absolutely, utterly adore Toothless (and his bond to Hiccup). Not only do I own both movies, but I have the entire cartoon series on DVD. Yeah. And I’ve watched them more than once. :)
After falling in love with the huggable Night Fury in the first How to Train Your Dragon movie, I went on a search for a plush Toothless, but there were none to be found. Anywhere. At least none that had an acceptable cute-factor. Trust me, I looked.
Then last year, I discovered the guy below on Amazon. Isn’t he adorable? He has his own special spot in my den and cheers me on when I’m writing.
Until I got a request to review Toothless.
Hmm. Don’t vendors count on reviews from their customers the same way I count on reviews from readers? There was simply no way I was going to let Toothless go without a review, especially after I’d looked so long and hard to find him. There could be other Toothless-obsessed zealots out there, wondering if this was the right dragon for them.
I gave him five stars and wrote a nice review.
So now I’m thinking—I should probably review all the other stuff I purchase from Amazon. Coffee mugs, rope lights, electric heaters, music, Jello molds, money clips, handkerchiefs, NFL helmets, cell phone accessories—yikes! The list is daunting. But I feel if I want readers to review my books, I should extend the same courtesy to other vendors and their products.
Oh—and if you’ve read any of my books, it goes without saying I’d happily welcome an honest review. :D