As an independent author, I rely on reviews. Good reviews push my books up the Amazon algorithm, increasing visibility, and encouraging new readers to take a chance on me. On Goodreads they also help put my writing in front of new readers, and folks there have the option to add a well-reviewed book to their own ‘To Read’ list. All in all, reviews are a fabulous free resource for an author like me. And I love each and every reader who leaves me one.

So why am I so rubbish at reviewing other people’s books? I read at least three books a week, and yet my review profile on Amazon is woeful, and on Goodreads I tend to rate, not review. What is wrong with me? I’m seriously letting the side down, so I’ve decided to remedy this at once.

I’ve instigated a new read/review system – and it’s given me the perfect excuse to get a brand new notebook! Whenever I finish a book I’m going to make notes on what I liked/didn’t like. Then once a week I’ll go through the book and put my reviews on Amazon UK, Amazon.com (because it’s important for authors that you do both), and Goodreads. Of course, I have a backlog of great books to review, so I’ll start with them. But from now on, I’m going to be the kind of reader/reviewer that I want others to be. Practice what you preach.

Mind you, I also have this to say: Please don’t ask me personally for a review. If you’ve read and reviewed one of my books I’m really, hugely grateful, and I’ll probably read yours too. And now I’ve got my new system, if I liked your book you’ll get a review. My preference is to not leave reviews under 3 or 4 stars – if I don’t like a book I just won’t bother reviewing it – so I prefer not be asked to review a book just in case I offend anyone. Right, off to buy that notebook …

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