Ah, reviews. They’re the nectar of the gods as far as self-published authors are concerned. And not just the ones who write historical Greek fiction.
If someone has:
- Happened upon your book amidst the millions of other self-published titles
- Bought or downloaded it
- Taken the time to read it
- Been significantly moved to pass comment in some way
…perhaps then, you may receive that hallowed review. Proof that reviews are such a sought-after thing is clear to see. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have an in-box peppered with emails, often which start with the words ‘greetings to you’ or something similar, asking for a copy of your book for free so they can review it, or even more contentious, ask you to pay them money for a review. This is because people know we self-published authors value reviews, and as with anything that has value, it will be monetised. That’s human nature.
Whatever your opinion on paid-for reviews may be, the truth is, the real value is in a genuine review from someone who has bought your book out of curiosity with no other motive, and felt the need to comment. Personally, I’d take an ‘enjoyed it but not brilliant’ genuine 3 star review over a paid-for 5-star one all day long. It gives me valuable and honest feedback for one thing. That can show me things I may need to develop or things I can work on.
A positive review from a fellow author (who you don’t know!) is also super-valuable. It lets you know that you’re doing something right and the reader can see the bones of what you do, as well as the flesh you’ve spent hours grafting onto it.
So, whether you’re a reader, author or both, please take the time to leave a review. Glowing praise is obviously brilliant, but constructive feedback is ultimately more valuable.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.