The importance of book reviews

One of my New Year’s’ Resolutions for 2016 is to review more books. I’m doing this because reviews are an excellent way to support other authors, and we authors could use all the help we can get. If I love a book, I want to tell people about it, and I want the author to succeed and sell a lot of books so they’ll write more.

She who has the stars has the power...

She who has the stars has the power…

Reviewing books doesn’t have to be a time consuming endeavor. My reviews are often a paragraph or less, highlighting what I liked about the book and in vague terms, what people can expect from it. For example, here is my review of This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz.

The story is brilliant and beautifully told. It’s a very intimate, personal story of a guy who cheats on all his girlfriends. Diaz writes formidable, powerful women, and his portrayal of Yunior, the main character, is raw, honest, and moving. While The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao was amazing, I personally loved this novel the best out of all Diaz’s work.

Watch out for the last line. It will punch you right in the heart.

All of my book reviews are going up on Goodreads. I also post some on Amazon, but I have to be a little more careful there, because they’re cracking down on reviews left by authors’ friends and family. So if I know the author personally, I skip the Amazon review.

I’m also doing a series of bite-sized book reviews on Twitter. (@skmoll)

I rarely review books that I wouldn’t give four or five stars to, but this is a personal decision. For me, the novels I don’t like are usually ones that belong to a genre I’m not particularly fond of, or take the story in a direction that just isn’t appealing to me. This doesn’t mean other people won’t love the book, so I don’t want to discourage anyone from picking it up.

However, politely phrased and kindly meant critical feedback can be very useful to authors. (Emphasis on the polite and kind. It can get ugly out there.) Choosing what books to review is a very individual decision.

Reviewing books doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming, and it can make a big difference for an author, particularly an indie author. I’ve got a long backlog of books I’m ready to bust out reviews for. Who’s with me?

If you want to see more of my book reviews, you can check me out on Goodreads!

Star picture by Auréola (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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