So what I am learning is that reviews are the way to get your self-published books noticed. To all those people who read a book whether because they bought it to support a friend, relative or because someone recommended it to you: if you enjoyed it please let other people know, you can do that by telling your colleague at work who likes to read or your best friend’s,cousin’s, auntie but a key factor especially for self-published authors is for that review to be posted online. If you bought it via Amazon you could leave it on Amazon, in fact, you could post on there even if you didn’t buy it. You just add that it was an ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) given to you in exchange for an unbiased review. Or you can post on Goodreads, if you are feeling very generous you can type up the review on Amazon, copy & paste it into Goodreads.
We all like praise and knowing that what we are doing is appreciated by others, authors are no exception in this; we’ve poured a whole lot of ourselves into this and to know that people have enjoyed it is great. Constructive criticism doesn’t hurt either but if you have nothing good to say about a book then not leaving a review is the kindest thing you can do. Not only does this review serve the purpose of bringing a smile to the face of the struggling, overworked, underpaid author but it also lets other people know that it is worth a read. If you enjoyed so might they. They may never have heard of this author, but the glowing terms in which you referred to this book may make them read the sample, then with any luck they will be hooked and want to read on.
Not only are the reviews of family, friends, friends of friends important but authors also need to court the attention of reviewers. People who receive ARC in exchange for an honest review. These reviewers may have followers, people who respect their opinions who will buy books on their say so. They may have an Amazon rating, for example, top 1000, top 500, etc…
So the part-time career I embarked upon when I self-published my first short story has grown into this monster of epic proportions. It now transpires that I have two full-time jobs, one I get paid well (ish) for and the other I do for the love of writing and the hope that one day I may achieve a living from it. If this life were a script for my next book, I might even write myself a fortune for my hard work. So if I were not out at the moment, needing to ride my scooter home, I would raise a glass of wine and toast “To the love of writing.”