Two Places to Toot Your Horn

photo (9)-25_editedHave you ever finished a book just bubbling over with enthusiasm for it? And did you want to tell everyone just why you loved the book?

Today’s post is about just that. Of course you can tell your friends and the guy you meet on the subway but to reach a wider audience, you might try posting a review on Amazon and on Goodreads. (Caveat: Some of you have written many reviews and need no help from me. Feel free to add your suggestions in the Comments section.)

First we’ll do Amazon: Go to Amazon.com or .ca and search for the book you want to review by title. When you get it up to its own page, scroll down past the book’s description and the product details to Customer Reviews. You can click on the number of stars you want to award and then go to the box entitled Write a Customer Review. (It might be down a bit after other reviews that have been posted.)

Then follow the prompts to fill in your review. Remember to preview your review in case some little word or spelling gremlin has sabotaged your work and then hit publish. It’s as simple as that.

For Goodreads, go to your Goodreads account and pull up the book you wish to review. I recently read Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul and gave it 5 stars on Goodreads.

review from Goodreads_editedI haven’t written a review yet which means there is still a button to press to do that, add a review. Clicking on that will take you to a simple template to fill in. Ignore the things you don’t want to do, such as html or who you would recommend the book to, unless you want to fill those in.

What Goes in a Review?

  1.  Why you liked the book.

  2. A little bit about the book with no ‘spoilers’ added. (Remember others may not have finished it yet.)

  3. Maybe something about the structure, such as rotating stories of more than one character, or judicious use of description that enhances your experience rather than taking you away from the action, or you may love a particular character because you identify with her in some way. Maybe the suspense keeps you reading long after your usual bedtime. Each book will dictate exactly what you wish to discuss.

  4. Anything else? Is there something this book said to you, did you learn something, or was the book a joy to read? This is the place to wrap up your review.

Now go right to Amazon and Goodreads and write a review. And, if you are so inclined, (here’s the shameless part!) write it for The Loyalist’s Wife or The Loyalist’s Luck, both available on Amazon and Kobo.

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15 thoughts on “Two Places to Toot Your Horn

  1. Great post; leaving a review is actually very easy, but I know many readers are reluctant to do so. I’ve been encouraging readers to leave very brief ones, even just two sentences, so it doesn’t feel so scary. I also ask for reviews at the back of all my books and let readers know that reviews are hugely important to writers. We need your voices!

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  2. Absolutely right, Melissa. I have talked to more than one person who praised my book but didn’t know how to do a review online; hence, my post. I hope it helps people, both readers and authors!

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  3. I’ve gotten better about writing book reviews. I love to read, but I am one of those people that feel a little bit intimidated about writing one. I haven’t tried doing one on Amazon, but have written several for Goodreads about books I’ve finished. Thanks for the pointers.

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    • That is true for me, too, Jessica. I have lots of people who have loved my book and promised to review but the reviews are slow coming. We all just live busy lives, I guess. Makes me really appreciate the reviewers I’ve got!

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  4. I post reviews for other authors hoping it will help them sell. I don’t ever post a bad review. My two reasons:
    1. I don’t think I’m a qualified reviewer and wouldn’t want to discourage someone from reading a book just because I didn’t like it.
    2. I’ve tried to read a book, tossed it aside because I didn’t like it, and picked it up a year later and loved it. What if I’d posted a bad review the first time I tired to read it?
    My goal in reviewing is to encourage others to read and to help fellow authors.
    Thanks for the tips on how to post a useful review.

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    • What a fresh take on reading, Kristina. And you are absolutely right. Sometimes the problem is with us, not with the book. We might just not be in the right place to read that book at that time. Thanks for your insight!

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  5. Wonderful post, Elaine. I’m much like Kristina. I will post a review if I like the book and focus on the positive aspects that other readers might enjoy. My reason for this is that too many times I see reviews of 1 or 2 stars that provide no support for the rating. Constructive feedback is always appreciated but it needs to be presented in a positive light.

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    • You are absolutely right, Shirleen. Don’t you think it a bit rude to only give one or two stars? I mean if the book gets a failing grade in your opinion one might ask why you bothered to finish it. If a reader finished the book it must have some redeeming qualities. Thanks for your response, Shirleen!

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  6. Reblogged this on CKBooks Publishing and commented:
    This is a good reminder from Elaine Cougler from her blog: On Becoming a Writer. If you are a writer who likes reviews of your book, then you need to be doing reviews for others too. I like doing review swaps – I’ll review your if you review mine – but I am honest and tell the author that I only give honest reviews; no favoritism just because you’re review my book, too. I do give the author an out, though. If I end up not able to give the author a good review, I give them the option of not putting the review out there. If you have you book(s) on Smashwords, (and I don’t know why you wouldn’t – the more exposure the better) then you need to put that same book review on their site as well, assuming the author has their book on smashwords. Then there is B & N and the ibookstore, though I haven’t figured out how to put a review on that site without a mac or iphone (anyone helping me out on this point would be wonderful!)
    Just review, review, review. It is the life blood of an author, indie or not.

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  7. Pingback: Why review books? | JessicaAspenWrites

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