I am an author, and books are my specialty. This is my first attempt at writing an article and I thank you, in advance, for reading it. I also thank you, in advance, for going easy on me my first time around.
When I’m not authoring I work as a secretary in a large healthcare system. As an author I’m subject to reader (book) reviews. As a secretary I’m subject to job performance reviews.
What’s the difference? Well, there really is none. A review is a review and it can make or break you. End of the day, we all want to achieve that gold star of perfection.
An author’s dream is to have many five star reviews of their book. Five is the highest star review you could leave on Amazon. Four star is not bad either, but five star is ideal. Three star is more or less mediocre – performing below standard – and a two or one star is a big thumbs down, and no one wants a big thumbs down.
Performance reviews show validation; that you’re worthy of your job and worthy of being kept by the company. You want a five, or at the very least, four star review of your performance. This means that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, and everyone is happy. Book reviews show validation too; that your book is worthy of being read. We all want to feel worthy don’t we?
I challenge you to look up a book, any book, on Amazon. The first thing that will pop up are the golden filled stars showing all the reviews that have been left. You want to see filled stars because partial or unfilled stars indicate one or two star reviews which could be the death of a book, and the death of your prospects of reading that book. Every author wants their book read.
Reviews are especially important for independently published authors. Independently published authors don’t have the backing of well-known publishing houses to give credibility. Therefore, in most cases, Independently published authors have to work twice as hard to establish our own credibility.
Consider this, after you finish reading your next book. Consider that your opinion matters, is valuable, and will impact the author even if he or she has dozens or even hundreds of other reviews. Choose your words, and your stars, wisely and carefully. As to leaving a low star review, I would only leave one if information in the book is factually incorrect or if you really intensely disliked the book. Otherwise, a low star will hurt the author’s overall rating scale just as a low rating will impact a person’s job and possibly prospects for advancement.
Your opinion matters, especially to the author.