We’re writers, we’re readers. We all know the importance of book reviews. And we all want more of them. But can we honestly say that we do our bit when it comes to leaving that all important few sentences and star rating?
I’m guilty of reading books without leaving a review. Part of it is because I read a lot of books and have limited time, part of it is because I want to leave a well-written, well-thought out review which is even more time-consuming. Then there’s a part of me that is worried that I might annoy the author if I leave less than 5*s, as I tend to save the 5* rating for only a limited number of books that are not just really good, but truly special to me.
I am sure that I am not the only one guilty of the above. Statistics show that well under 1 in 10 people who buy a book go on to leave a review. This is not, necessarily, true elsewhere than in the UK, however, where some countries seem to have more of a culture of leaving reviews and making their opinions heard. For example, my middle grade children’s book, The Secret Cooking Club was published in the UK in August 2016. It has sold quite well, but over a two year period it has amassed a grand total of seventeen reviews on amazon.uk. In contrast, the same book was published in a German translation in July 2018 under the title Scarlett. Although it has only been out for 3 months, it already has 54 reviews on amazon.de. To me, this shows that the Germans must be doing something right in fostering a culture where people’s opinions matter.
So what can we do about it? Well, I’m going to commit to getting my own house in order. Every Sunday between now and Christmas. I’m going to write two reviews for books I’ve read and not got round to reviewing, and post them on goodreads and amazon. If you would like to join me, and help spread the love, join me on #BookReviewSunday and let’s chat about what we’ve reviewed for the week.
Happy writing, and wishing you lots of reviews!