One thing I have learned in the writing profession is the struggle many authors have obtaining written reviews from readers of their books. We scratch at doors, whine and beg for feedback. We pray for just a paragraph, a sentence… anything!
Whilst discussing my book with a friend one day, she revealed that she didn’t feel clever enough to write a review. She had the misconception that it had to be something ‘intellectual’ or ‘fancy.’
This post is dedicated to all ‘readers’ of books out there.
A review is only a summary of what you thought about a book. It is not a test to measure your intelligence or IQ. Yes, some reviews are astute and very well constructed. That is because some people really get into writing reviews, they might write them frequently, or get paid for them. Some reviewers are often authors themselves. One thing I can guarantee is that every author has written his book to appeal primarily to you, the reader!
A writer, critic or author may mentally break down a story’s construction in some depth, define and comment on each point individually, often providing an overall conclusion at the end.
A reader will simply read a story and enjoy it… or not.
If you have finished a book, even a simple sentence such as ‘I enjoyed this story’ is really appreciated by an author. Likewise, if you say ‘I did not enjoy this story…’ it is best to mention why in a constructive manner and try to balance it with a positive thought.
‘I did not like this story… but I love the genre and the cover was very appealing.’
Even if your review is not ‘glowing’ an author will most definitely appreciate your opinion. It is much more disappointing if you don’t have one at all.
Every reader has an opinion, good or bad, and what the author wants is not hundreds of faultless glowing reviews. He wants a good mix of constructive honest criticism for all the world to see. In other words, he definitely wants to know if you really enjoyed his work, and it is also in his best interests to hear the reasons why you were not so keen on it, because…
A. This makes him a better writer.
B. It provides future readers an accurate assessment of the author’s work.
It takes hours, sometimes days, to read a book. It can take an author months and up to a few years to write one. A sentence or two of what you thought about the book can take less than five minutes to write, and it can actually pave the way for an author’s future career and/or possibility of success.
It is million times more appreciated than you might think. So next time you finish a book, please do take a moment to say what you feel – kindly!