Would You Review a Dragon? By Mae Clair

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.

A plush Toothless, from the How to Train Your Dragon MoviesSo you know how Amazon asks you to review your purchases? I do that for novels, but I buy a slew of other stuff from the ‘Zon, too, and I’ve never stopped to review any of the products.

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.

A plush toothless from the How to Train Your Dragon MoviesWhat do you think? Am I taking this too critically, off on a dragon flight somewhere, or are those vendor reviews important? What do you do?

Oh—and if you’ve read any of my books, it goes without saying I’d happily welcome an honest review. 😀

19 thoughts on “Would You Review a Dragon? By Mae Clair

  1. I am of the same mind with you regarding reviews for my book. I keep a permanent hope that people who read Shadows of the Past will take a couple of seconds to leave a few lines on the sites you’ve mentioned above. Though, I often wonder if these reviews are of any help. I can’t see, for the moment any. I still have people/bloggers who offered to read/review it and I haven’t heard back anything from them for 2 years, even if I wrote a reminder email. Sad!
    I don’t know about writing reviews for anything else, as you know, here’s a bit different regarding getting things via online.
    Your Toothless “muse” is so cute, by the way! He deserves 5 stars.

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    • Hi, Carmen! I’m a believer in reviews…not only for bumping up in Amazon ranking as an author, but as a reader, too. I always check out reviews before I make a purchase. I didn’t used to rely on them so much but have done a 180 (if not a 360) on that in the last year.
      And I’m glad you like my muse. Toothless is a charmer, LOL!

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  2. Mae, you write the BEST reviews! I love reading every single one of them, and I’m beyond grateful for the ones you’ve written for me. I wish I had your skill. I don’t know why I find reviews so hard to write. I fumble and stumble and end up feeling like people will look at them and think, “How could she possibly write a BOOK?!” LOL I hope I can get better at them, though, because I plan to read your books for many years to come. 🙂

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    • LOL! Hey, I happen to think you write great reviews, too. You’re too hard on yourself! 🙂 Although I know what you mean about fumbling and stumbling. Sometimes I sit down to write a review and freeze up. Normally, I prod myself to write a few sentences and the rest just flows. And so glad to hear you’ll be reading my books for many years to come, LOL. I promise no matter how frightening the blurb or the subject (like say a certain Mothman creature) you’ll be able to sleep without having the lights on 😀

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  3. Mae, you’re a better woman than most for thinking of reviewing every item you’ve purchased on Amazon. I’d be too daunted, though I do try to leave a short review or at least rate every book I read on Goodreads – if I liked it. And if it’s an indie author, I try to cross-post the review to Amazon as well.

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    • Well, thinking of reviewing everything I purchase and actually doing it are two different things, lol, but I do hope to be more conscious of the need to review…particularly when I like a product. As for books, I really do make a valiant effort there,something I never used to do before being published myself. It’s amazing how that changes your perspective. 🙂

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  4. I feel the same way as you about asking for reviews. I WISH I could be bolder about it and not feel I am asking a special favor. You write such great reviews. I actually owe you a couple for the recent books and will get to them as soon as I can. The list I keep on my iphone seems to grow faster than it should. Toothless is a gem. A muse is a special friend to call upon in the midnight hours. Great post!

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    • So glad you like my Toothless, Flossie. I just adore him. And thanks for your kind words about my books and writing reviews. All are greatly appreciated. Like you, my lists just keep growing and growing. It’s so hard to stay on top of everything. I understand the time constraints for writers. It’s great that we can support each other in multiple ways and not just reviews. You have been a wonderful blogging and writer friend 🙂

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    • Hello and thanks so much for dropping by to share your love for Toothless. I used to have a black cat ( named Onyx) but lost him to cancer two years ago. It’s funny you should mention your cat because in many ways Toothless reminds me of a feline. I think that’s why I’m attached to him so much…he’s kind of like a large frisky cat, LOL. So delighted to meet another Night Fury fan. Sometimes I think I’m the only grown woman out there with a Toothless attachment 🙂

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  5. I’m a believer in reviews, but must admit I am inherently lazy. I quite often tick the little – agree with another good review – to tick the count up but never leave a new one of my own. Now I am thinking I should…ps toothless is the best 😉

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    • Hi, Georgina. Thanks for dropping by my blog. Yeah, I really do try to write a review for any book that I can given 3-stars or above, even if it’s only a few lines. I think it does help, especially on Amazon. And-hey-so delighted to meet another Toothless fan. He can’t be beat! 😀

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    • You do have a point with that, Daisy. There is definitely a lot of room for improvement in the way reviews work and spreading the word to friends by word of mouth is always helpful. My sister and I frequently share news on titles we’ve enjoyed. In fact, I have her latest recommendation on my radar.
      Oh–and so glad you liked Toothless. He’s my guy 😉

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  6. Oh, I love Toothless! I’m going to have to hit Amazon and add him (her?) to my list. As for reviews when I buy stuff from Amazon, I’ll give one if I feel like it. I do read them when considering a purchase, but I do an insane amount of research as well. Off to find my very own Toothless 🙂

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    • Oh, Julie, I’m so happy my Toothless has prompted you to hunt down your own. He is awesome and you’ll love him! And I think I’m just going to review products that really strike a chord with me, like Toothless, although I’ll continue with books. Thanks for dropping by! 🙂

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