Thursday, 19 June 2014

Read it? Loved it? Then Review It!

The support and feedback I've received this week for the release of my new book How I Changed My Life in a Year has been sensational.  My twitter feed, Facebook page and email account have been inundated with positive comments.

As I basked in my five minutes of fame, I thanked everyone for taking the time to get in touch and let me know how much they enjoyed it, I then asked if they had posted their comments on Amazon.

I was met with a host of glazed expressions, 'what do you mean by post a comment on Amazon?'

Reviews are an authors life line.  We crave the golden stars and words of encouragement as much as a child craves ice-cream.  I was surprised at how many of the people I spoke to didn't know about the importance of reviews.

If you buy a new camera or other expensive piece of equipment, invariably you will log on to 'Which' to find out what other purchasers thought of the product and then you can make your informed choice - books are just the same.

I have bought books and avoided books off the back of a review.  They are important not just for our readers but for our sales.  In this digital age it is harder to compete for sales and for indie authors, such as myself, it can be like floating out at sea with nothing but water surrounding you, miles from land (or a buyer!)  A review is like finding a buoy in the middle of that ocean.

When I dug a little deeper I realised that many of my readers had never gone beyond the 'Buy It Now' page and were therefore missing out on the wonderful world of reviewing, so I wanted to dedicate this weeks post to writing a review.

I'm not talking about pages of eloquent literary genius here, I'm talking about a few lines that sum up how you felt when you read that book.  Did you connect with the characters?  Did you enjoy the plot twists?  Did it leave you wanting more from that author?

I review every book I buy and I do this either on my laptop through my Amazon account or I use the automatic review page when I reach the end of an e-book on my Kindle.  This is a great way to get started if you've never reviewed before and have an e-reader.  When you get to the end of the story, keep scrolling past the 'acknowledgements' and 'other books by this author' page and you will get to an automated screen with a row of stars and a blank review page, tap on how many stars you wish to give the book and fill in the blanks - there are tips on this section to help you write your review.  Once done, hit submit and this is sent to the book's Amazon review page.

To review a paperback you ordered online, log into your Amazon account and click on 'Your Orders', this will bring up a list of all the titles you have purchased.  On the right hand side there is a button 'Write a Product Review', hit this and click on the number of stars you wish to give.  Another box opens with room for you to add a headline (for example, Great Read!) and the main body of your comments.  Once done, hit submit.

I've added a few of my own reviews for you to take a look at, remember I said no eloquent literary genius!

This review is from: Ice and a Slice (Kindle Edition)
Never has a character had such an impact on me before! I was hooked from the first page and as the story unfolded I couldn't work out if I was reading fiction or a self-help book. I could relate so much to SJ (although thankfully not in every way), her pain, denials, her constant inner monologue of self-doubt all resonated with my own life, as if Della had crawled into my brain and picked at my thoughts.
I would highly recommend this book, a fantastic read and just for the record I haven't had a glass of chardonnay for 8 days!

I normally enjoy reading young adult fantasy fiction, but having read some of Carol's other works I thought I'd give her adult murder mystery a go. I'm so glad I did. Couldn't put it down, the plot twists and captivating characters had me hooked. The descriptions of Victorian London were fascinating, you get a real feel for the division of classes and the oppressive atmosphere of that time. I would highly recommend Diamonds & Dust, you won't be disappointed as this book shines as bright as any diamond.

Congratulations Lorraine. As a debut novel this ticks all the boxes - action, adventure and romance. The protagonist (Angel) is a likeable character and the bad guy... well, he's a bad guy! Look forward to more books from this author in the future.

I bought this book after reading How to Eat Loads and Stay Slim by Peter and Della, it was a no-brainer for me as I really like Peter's work. He tells me what I need to hear in just the precise way I need to hear it.

I am a self-confessed, self-help junkie and as an holistic therapist it goes with the territory, but Peter has found a unique way to make self-help fun!

If you want a really good read, to learn lots and be happy then buy this book today.

I hate coming to the end of a series and the Avry of Kazan books caused a book hangover that lasted a week! There were a few repetitive missions where Avry and Kerrick had to part ways with a looming threat of never being reunited, but the Skeleton King certainly spiced things up! What a great (and creepy) bad guy! Perfect ending which leaves that happy, fuzzy feeling that all is well with the world (until you realise you have to actually start to interact with society again!) Pass me another book!

Don't forget to review the books you purchase for your children, either on their behalf or if they are old enough walk them through the process so they can offer their unique opinion too.

When the package containing my copy of 'Loss De Plot The Colour Red' dropped on my doormat I must confess that I tore it open and had a sneaky read before my daughter got home from school.
This children's book is a perfect union of rhyme and timeless illustrations and the story draws you in to a world of dreams and magic.
My daughter did eventually manage to prise it from my hands and she too loved the hypnotic rhythm and could relate to Loss and her need to capture her dreams with her coloured pens.
I highly recommended this book, this is Stephan at his best and I look forward to The Colour Blue.
No matter how young (or old) we must never let the magic fade - Loss taught me that.

When you read book reviews on Amazon you will also notice a single sentence under each review that asks if you found that particular review helpful, with a 'Yes' or 'No' button.  Every 'Yes' boosts that reviewer up a leader board which in turn helps you, the reader, find a dedicated, honest reviewer. 
I can't stress enough about the importance of Amazon book reviews, however, if you are looking for an eloquent review that reads like a Shakespearean play then look no further than A Woman's Wisdom - A place to discover fabulous storytellers plus book reviews, life and humour.  Another fantastic site is Rosie Amber - An English author who supports other writers and who also writes book reviews.
If you want to have a go at writing your first review then please feel free to practise on my new release 'How I Changed My Life in a Year' - I'm more than happy to receive as many stars as you can offer ;-)

Are you a book reviewer?  Leave your link below so other readers can find you.

Are you a book lover?  Then let me know if a book has moved you so much you couldn't wait to leave your feedback.  Do you have a reviewing system?


  1. Replies
    1. I've just seen it (and commented!) thank you so much Hayley. I love your blog so much. Anyone else who wants to see Hayley's wonderful blog and fabulous review take a look at

  2. I'm going to tweet about this blog post. Thanks for writing this.