Thursday, June 3, 2010

Do you do all you can to support authors?

It's funny--if you'd asked me that question six months ago I would've definitely said, 'yes.' I mean, I buy a TON of books (so many that storing them is becoming a bit of an issue.) I read author's blogs. I follow them on Twitter. I do everything I can to promote the books I love on my blog. So I thought I was doing pretty much everything I could to help my fellow writers out.

But--as with so many things in my life--I've since learned that I could be doing SO much more.

For example: reviews--specifically reviews on places like BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon, and Goodreads.

I never read those reviews when I buy a book, so it never occurred to me to leave them for the books I love. But you know what? Those reviews matter to authors!

Apparently they help their sales rank. They also help link their books to other books (the 'you might also like' feature so many websites have). And they help counteract any negative reviews that might have been posted. In fact, they matter so much I've had a couple different authors email me to thank me for leaving the few reviews I've posted. Which only made me feel HORRIBLE for not doing that more.

So my new goal is to go back and leave reviews for all the books I love--especially the 'smaller' ones (pretty sure the Percy Jackson series doesn't need my help) :) It's a huge task, and I know I'll probably never get caught up--just like I'm not sure I'll ever completely tackle my TBR pile. But I am definitely going to try. It's the least I can do to thank the author for writing the amazing story I fell in love with.

And there's a couple other ways I could be better supporting authors, but I'll talk about those tomorrow. For today, I'm curious:

How many of you post reviews for the books you love on Amazon, Goodreads, or BarnesandNoble.com? Why or why not?

44 comments:

  1. I've been slowly but surely trying to up my support for (espacially debut) authors. I'm going to be posting something similar to this soon about why blogger reviews matter. Every month (budget allowing) I order books based on reviews I find in the blogosphere! They really are important, especially to people like me who live overseas. I've also ordered books that just came out from first time authors and hopefully give them great reviews.

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  2. Between the author interviews I do and now reviewing books personally, I thought is was doing all I could. It never occurred to me to state overall reviews from others on my blog. I recently--actually two days ago--started updating my Goodreads account. I wrote a few short sentences stating what struck me about a certain book. It's a WIP, but I'm definitely going to finish the list now.

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  3. Huge consumer (books, audiobooks, Kindle books etc etc etc), but I also do some sly things in the bookshops. I find all the books I've enjoyed, especially the YA ones and face them cover out (often they're only spine out) so that other customers can find them. I can spend an hour reorganising a bookshop's shelves (I know, I have a problem). Will look into the book reviews.

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  4. I've posted a few, but certainly not enough!

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  5. I never thought to do this but now I'm hitting my head thinking "why don't I?" Thanks Shannon, I'm gonna get some reviews posted and spread the love. :)

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  6. I try to review the books I really love on Goodreads, since I know I read the reviews when I'm interested in something. The Amazon reviews of books don't really sway me one way or another, but I do pay attention to the their product reviews.

    I actually hate reviewing, but I try to say a paragraph of worthwhile information...

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  7. I've dabbled in Goodreads a bit. Actually, I enjoyed a recent book so much I tracked down the author's email and wrote him a thank you note. (It was a non-fiction, niche book, so I'm pretty sure I wasn't one of a bajillion emails this fellow got.) He was very appreciative. I should copy my review from Goodreads to Amazon and B&N, methinks, now that you mention it.

    Point is, authors appreciate your attention and support, whether it be fiction, non-, poetry, short stories, whatever. And yes, I could be doing more. Thanks for the reminder!

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  8. I try to write up a review of books I read and post them up on Amazon, but I forget about posting them on Goodreads and BarnesandNoble.com. I probably should do that. :)

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  9. I know I should, I really do. This post has prompted me to leave one for a book I just read and loved. So thank you!

    I do look at the reviews, especially when I buy a book on writing ;o) Great post!!

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  10. Another easy thing to do is request an author's title at the library. Oftentimes they'll buy more than one copy (for other branches, too).

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  11. I post reviews on Goodreads - my new addiction. Also Amazon for Booksneeze. I don't feel the "book love" on those sites but post reviews there for Booksneeze. (now you've given me a reason do this for smaller authors I've recently discovered)

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  12. Excellent point Shannon. I should be doing more of this as well. Last year, I did a blog post on a small non-fiction work that I enjoyed. The author contacted me to thank me, and I did a short interview that was posted as well. The publisher then contacted me and asked if they could use my review on their site--they were very appreciative of my little effort.

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  13. That's a good point, Shannon, especially for debut and "small" authors. Thanks.

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  14. As an independently-published author, I value the Amazon reviews. I've gotten permission from those who post to use the reviews on my website. For smaller authors, the reviews are critical since major review journals aren't necessarily willing to give us the time of day. Thanks to all of you who review ;-)

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  15. I rarely post them, but I OFTEN read them. After reading this post, I will definitely be better about writing them. I never realized it impacted the author so much. Thanks, #1!! :-)

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  16. This is a great reminder, Shannon!

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  17. You know, I've never even thought about doing this, but you are totally right. What a great idea! I'll have to get more active on my Amazon account now.

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  18. I should do more, definitely. Sometimes it's hard for me to right a spoiler-free review, though.

    I'll have to work on that!

    Great post.

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  19. OMG! it never occurred to me either! DUH! I'm going to start doing that!!! Thank you.

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  20. Totally whiffed at that one! Never thought about the connection. Thanks for pointed it out!!

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  21. Great points Shannon. I was just thinking the other day that I need to post my reviews on goodreads as well as on my blog. Maybe I'll make that a project soon.

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  22. Wow, I hadn't even thought of that! I thought I was doing my good deed by posting reviews on my blog! But that won't do much good for the authors when people look at reviews on Amazon and GoodReads.

    *vows to start posting reviews those places as well*

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  23. What an excellent post! Makes me want to run right now leave reviews all over the place and back! I recently joined Goodreads and love rating books and was excited to learn that my friends have been reading the books I've rated and reviewed (hurray!)

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  24. I had no idea it could really make a difference! I love reading debut authors. I will make sure to start leaving reviews for them on Amazon. And sign myself up for Goodreads!

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  25. I do on Goodreads! Not on every single one but most and I vow to do better!!

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  26. I post reviews on Goodreads but not anywhere else. I do note on my blog when I love a book beyond all measure.
    And as an author, I love getting good reviews :)

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  27. I posted a few reviews on goodreads, but I hardly ever read book reviews and if I do, it doesn't make up my mind about whether or not to buy a book. I tend to make up my mind after reading an excerpt and the summary of the book.

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  28. That's a great idea! I used to have a notebook of all the authors I'd read, and then I (sniffle, wail) lost it. I've been meaning to try and recreate it, but it's such a daunting task!

    I never read those reviews either, but if it helps someone else out, I'm all for making the effort!

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  29. My reading has kind of tapered off last couple weeks, since we moved into the new house, but now that I've got a good percentage of my books up on shelves, I'll have to start writing reviews of them. :) I'm not very good at it, but hey--I imagine every bit helps.

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  30. Great post!!! Reviews are very important!!!!! My book is releasing on Monday and I am very much looking forward to the glowing reviews!!!! (and I'm preparing myself for negative ones too! I know it's bound to happen!)

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  31. I can't believe I've never thought of doing this! Thanks for the heads up:)

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  33. Shannon, that's a great suggestion. Except I work for an Indie bookstore, so both Amazon and Barnes & Noble are out of the question for me. I've visited Goodreads on occasion, but one negative thing about it is the need to "rate" a book. Can you honestly give a book a 3.5 out of 5 when you're writing a book yourself? I can't. So I don't rate books. Who am I to say a published author didn't do a good job? If I was merely a book reviewer and not an aspiring author, then yes, I would rate them.

    Just wanted to add that if you review books on your own blog, the author will probably notice (Google alert or whatever). I recommended LIFE OF GLASS by Jillian Cantor on my little blog (I have, like 27 followers)in Dec 09. The book wasn't pubbed until Feb 2010. Jillian not only noticed, she quoted me on HER blog, calling it an early review. She was thrilled because I had highly recommended it. So that's one way of telling the author thanks.

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  34. Joanne: A lot of the reasons you listed are reasons why I wasn't doing this either. And I DEFINITELY champion books on my blog. This is just something else that really does help authors. For one thing, I don't think you have to buy a book through Amazon or Barnes and Noble to leave a review for it.

    But if you're still uncomfortable with that--given your job--then Goodreads is a viable option. The rating system is annoying, but I'm only talking about books you love. I would never write a bad review of any book--or even a so-so review--I'm not that kind of person (and it could be bad for my career). But the books I love, that I totally give 5 stars to, then what does the rating system matter? And I LOVE a lot of books.

    Glad to hear you're doing your part with your blog. Anyway we can spread the word is awesome, and I know authors appreciate it. ;)

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  35. I'm reviewing books on my blog, and crossposting them to Goodreads. I only review books I like (because I only ever finish books I like), rating them using "decent, good, great, amazing."

    However, as an aspiring writer, I have troubles rating them on Goodreads. Because I know how difficult it is to write a book, I hate giving a book a 3, or sometimes, even a 4. So I'm trying to find a way to do it without offending the authors, because it could turn out to be bad for my hopeful career.

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  36. I generally buy my books from my local bookstore, so it's honestly never crossed my mind to do a review. It has now - thanks to you :) I'll get on it!

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  37. I haven't been posting reviews on Goodreads, but I'll try to do it. Thanks for suggesting it.

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  38. Wow, I never realized. I usually make an effort to seek out lesser known books (diamonds in the rough, you know), and it wouldn't be hard to just copy and paste my blog review into Amazon. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  39. What a wonderful post. I never would've thought about ARCs being on Ebay either. Thanks for the tip.

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  40. I hadn't thought about it either. But I will definitely start posting those reviews.

    I currently review on thebookbook.blogpost.com, but it's not like that's in wide circulation, and I do post author interviews on my own blog, http://aclairedawn.blogspot.com

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  41. Wow, wise words. I'm definitely going to create a goodreads and review more on Amazon-- looking at it from a writer's perspective, everyone appreciates support and praise.

    Just started following this super nommy blog. Thanks for a great post!

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  42. I generally try to post a review on my blog as well as at Goodreads, Amazon AND Barnes&Noble. Sometimes I'll forget to hit all 3 and sometimes I'll specifically leave Barnes off the list (because, while I like their review process in general...getting to break down stars by specific items...I tend to write long reviews which always get truncated at bn.com and also the formatting is a mess (I can't get paragraph breaks to work so it's just a big blob).

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  43. Great post! I usually post my reviews on Amazon, BN.com, LibraryThing, Goodreads, and Shelfari as well as on my blog. I've always figured that it couldn't hurt to post it in as many places as possible, so glad to know that it helps the authors as well!

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  44. I did not know some of this. Wow. I need to start leaving reviews.

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Yay-I love comments! Thank you so much! (But please remember to keep your comments spoiler-free. Also, I try to keep this a happy, positive place. Friendly debate is fine, but always be kind to each other). <3