Reviews: A Reader’s Gift

You might think your greatest gift to your favourite authors is buying or borrowing their books. And, you wouldn’t be wrong. I’m genuinely tickled when readers grab my book and I’m very grateful for your support.

Another important gift – for both other readers and authors – is your review. And, surprisingly, that importance doesn’t depend on the number of stars awarded. Five-star reviews certainly hog the spotlight, but all kinds of feedback contribute to a book’s success.

What makes a good review?

Mainly, it needs to be “honest”. That means you’ve read the book and haven’t been paid to provide your opinion.

If you only have a minute, a simple starred review helps validate a book.

If you have a bit more time, I certainly benefit from more detailed reviews. (And, I suspect that’s also true of other authors.) Praise accompanying a high ranking is good for my ego, and motivates me as I embark on my next project. A thoughtful, well-considered explanation for a lower ranking helps me grow as a writer.

Why are reviews so important?

For readers …

Book reviews help set readers’ expectations, and are just as important as the book cover and the blurb in helping readers decide whether a book is right for them. From detailed critiques to simple ratings on platforms like Goodreads or Amazon, reviews help readers make informed choices, allowing them to discover hidden gems or avoid unsatisfying reads.

For authors …

Book reviews play a crucial role in increasing a book’s exposure and visibility by helping online algorithms put the right book in front of the right readers. Reviews help market a book.

So next time a book leaves an impression on you — good or bad — please take a moment to offer a review.

And, if you’ve read A Mercy of Widows, please know that your opinion matters immensely to me, and I would love to hear your thoughts. Please review my book on Goodreads and Amazon (or the place where you obtained your copy).

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