Book reviews are helpful marketing tools for authors, but more importantly they give the author much needed feedback. They let the author know how readers feel about his or her books. Each time I publish a new book, I feel excitement about giving my book wings and letting it go out into the world, relief that I can take a breath and relax after months of hard work, and a bit of anxiety about readers’ reactions. I’m in the dark until the first reviews start coming in, and that can be a bit of a nail-biter situation. Will readers love it or hate it? Will they relate to the characters and the situations? Have I let them down in any way? Will they be hooked and have a hard time putting the book down, or will they be bored and stop reading? Will they want to read the next book?
It’s not about ego. It’s about learning and growing as a writer, and trying to make my books the kind of books that will entertain people and give them something to think about long after they finish reading them. Feedback is essential for that. Many authors, including me, participate in critique groups for that very reason. We have to learn to listen to readers and develop a thick skin. Criticism isn’t usually personal. It’s usually meant to help. Of course we love the positive feedback, but we can accept any honest feedback. We might feel momentarily hurt by negative feedback, but most of us can move past it and use it to improve our writing for future projects.
So, don’t be shy about leaving reviews of books that you read, whether they are books by famous authors or by new authors. Most will appreciate it!