As an author, reviews are extremely important. Especially for authors that are self-published. They don’t have a big-name publishing company behind them. And I, as a reader really understand that. As a consumer, do I want to buy the brand that has been tried and tested, or strike out on my own into no-man’s land? I’ll probably go where others have been before. If this concerns ingesting or applying to my body, I really don’t want to be the lab experiment. I want all the quirks worked out of a product.
Now, reading a book from an indie author isn’t quite the same as putting drops in your eye or rubbing lotion on your skin that hasn’t been used before. If you’re an editor, it may be a bit painful to find multiple mistakes in editing and formatting. If you’ve read a lot of books, you may find plot and character issues. But it probably won’t kill you. (Although there were a couple books that I had to read in high school that were pretty excruciating!) To read an entire book completely out of your usual genre is very difficult for some. Which is why I probably would not make a very good book reviewer for some genres. I admire those people that are able to do that.
Since I publish my books through Createspace, and they are sold on Amazon, I was surprised to learn that Amazon also owns Goodreads. I was also shocked to read that this had happened a few years ago. I guess I’ve been living under a rock and need to find a new one! I think it’s pretty safe to say that I work for the Amazon company in a round about way! And so far, they have been pretty good to me. I just need to keep working on figuring out all the little quirks involved.
One area that’s becoming more clear is the review process. Pretty much, as far as I can tell, in order to review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million or even Wal-Mart.com, you need to have purchased through them. Which again, I really do understand. Their reputation is at risk, and they are running a business. A business that they want to be profitable. But that leaves indie authors in a bit of a hole. Generally, especially in the beginning, an indie author is not known. Their name, their books, and their photo mean almost nothing to most of the reader world.
So once again, we circle around to the review process, which helps tremendously in getting an author known. People review, people read, more reviews, more people read. And so it goes. Goodreads, as far as I’ve seen, allows you to review any book that you’ve read. It is now my favorite place!
Feedback is a wonderful thing. We all like to know how we’re doing and the areas where we need to improve. It hones our skills for whatever we’re doing in life.
Goodreads is also just a fun place to go if you’re an avid reader and like talking about…books. You can ask authors questions about a book, take part in trivia questions and have discussions about your favorite books. I’ve found this to be pretty enjoyable stuff. Even though I don’t have as much time to read these days as I would like, it’s fun to take part in activities involving books I have read over the years. And yes, there are some pretty big name authors on the site.
So check it out, and while you’re at Goodreads, have fun reviewing your favorite authors!