How can we encourage more readers to leave reviews for our books?

Let me ask you a question…are a you a reader, a writer, an author, a blogger? All of the above? Then this post is for you!

As a prolific author, Sally Cronin recently shared some wonderful advice for encouraging readers of our books to leave honest reviews using Amazon and GoodReads.

Like Sally, I am surprised that many readers feel intimidated to leave an honest review for a book they’ve read. It is not always easy to leave a review but if readers feel strongly about a book and can take just a few moments, that review is gold for the author. Feedback is everything to an author.

I have made the commitment to review at least one book a month and share that review on my blog. For myself, I have discovered more books by reading other bloggers’ book reviews.

Sally plans to add a page at the end of her books encouraging folks to leave reviews. If you are in the process of writing a book now, do consider this option.

Here is an action item by Sally that any author can do NOW!

“In the meantime I am going to add a note to my author’s page on Amazon requesting reviews for my current books and adding a link to this post.. Who knows!”

As writers, let’s continue to support and share our fellow writers’ works.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I am very keen to make reviews a prominent feature of the book promotions and encourage readers to review the books that they buy and enjoy, or not as the case may be.

Word of mouth is still the most powerful marketing tool that anyone who is selling a product benefits from. Authors are no different, and our books tend to be judged by the number and quality that they have received.

Part of the problem is that those who are not writers of books or blogs are uncomfortable in offering reviews and feel that what they have to say is not important. Many who do review a book, leave just one line after their star rating, simply saying that the reader enjoyed or disliked a book, but they do not elaborate.

That is obviously very welcome. But whilst a potential reader does not want to read three pages filled…

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25 thoughts on “How can we encourage more readers to leave reviews for our books?

  1. I review all books I read. If I can’t give it 4 or 5 stars then I won’t review it publicly. I jot little notes of interest while I’m reading, then when I’m finished the book, I write up a review while it’s fresh in my mind, then within a week I’ll polish it and post on Amazon and Goodreads then draft it in my dashboard for a future Sunday Book Review for more exposure. 🙂 That’s how I roll.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly what I do, Debby. I don’t always review all book, especially if they are older classics from authors who are long gone (they usually have thousands of reviews already). I prefer helping out my fellow bloggers/authors with their new books!

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  2. Pingback: How can we encourage more readers to leave reviews for our books? – Marsha Ingrao

  3. I think reviews are important, and I post one a week. If I can’t keep up the pace, I get help from others who review books. Reposting other’s reviews does two things. 1. It brings extra attention to the other reviewer’s post and 2. It exposes you to different books you might want to read as well as some that you would never read, but your readers might, and 3. You get a break for a week from reading and writing a book review. For me, it is hard to review a book if you are not crazy about it. I think being involved in a community of authors may make it more difficult because you know the person as more than an author. I do think there is a bit of wisdom in my mother’s advice, “If you can’t say anything nice, it is better to not say anything.” Thanks for sharing this, Terri. 🙂

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  4. This is great advice. I have bookmarked it for future reference as I hope my future involves publishing a book. It makes me much more aware of how important reviews are. I had an essay published in an anthology last week and I keep going to Amazon looking for its first review. It is instinctive to want feedback. I know I’ll be excited to see that first review!

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  5. Good reviews are one thing, but what if you didn’t care for the book? Or, at least can’t give it a five-star review? As a reader, when I see only five-star reviews, I am a bit suspicious of the veracity of the reviewers. But, if I was the author, I don’t know if I’d be happy to get an “honest” review if it wasn’t a good one.

    I guess my question is: is it OK to leave a less than stellar review – as long as it is honest and thoughtful – or is it best to just not leave a review at all? It’s one thing to say that you didn’t like a book during a book club meeting, but, when a review can hurt (both feelings and in the wallet), what is the protocol?

    Either way, I know I need to be better about submitting reviews (especially when I like the book).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You raise a question that always nags at me! If I review people’s books that I know, what is the risk? I think every author has to understand that critical reviews happen and turn it around to be a good thing and something from which to learn. This is the part where if someone shares criticism and 3 or fewer stars, that he/she shares good feedback.Thanks for taking the time to comment, Janis!!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. You raise a good point and perhaps if you read a lot of books you might think of doing what authors do and create a pen name for yourself for reviewing. I am not sure about seeing anonymous when it comes to reviews but certainly you can call yourself Avid Reader – Love Books – that way you can post reviews that are constructive but not necessarily 4 or 5 star without feeling exposed.. I am going to add this to my post as you have highlighted an area I did not cover. thank you Sally

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  6. Donna

    Thanks, Terri – As a reader, and a member of two book clubs, I think that Sally’s ‘review page’ is an excellent idea. Not only does it help the individual reader to flesh out his/her review, but it also is a great discussion focus for book clubs! Thanks so much for sharing this!

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  7. robjodiefilogomo

    This is tough, I think. Because going back to actually write the review takes time (a precious commodity for most of us). It’s not like you can rate it right after you buy it.
    At least with a blog post, we are done reading it in a short amount of time, so it’s easier to give our feedback while we are right there!
    I know for my clothing purchases, I’ll get sent an email a week or so after the purchase, and some sites will offer a chance to win a gift card if I fill out a review. I find this works great for me, because I want to share my thoughts (I like reading the reviews about items I might purchase) but I rarely do it unless I’m tempted with the possibility of getting something in return. I know that is very selfish, but it’s sometimes more on my plate than I want to handle otherwise…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree wholeheartedly that like us readers are have busy lives.. I do think that products that you use for an extended period of time need that extra time to see how they are working and if effective. With books most of us read and then put on the shelves and move on to the next time. It would be great if whilst the book is fresh in their mind they click on the Amazon or Goodreads link (obviously in ebooks) and write their thoughts there and then. I write my reviews within a day of finishing a book and I think we can encourage readers of our books to do the same by providing them the tools.

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