Good intentions. We all have them. Many times we act on them, but sometimes we fall short. I often find myself on the short side of good intentions when it comes to promoting books I really like. I tell myself as I'm reading, "I'm going to be sure to write a review for this one!" But when I close the cover on the last page, it somehow slips my mind.
As an author, I should know better. I know how important reviews can be, as well as the value of word-of-mouth promotion --- especially word-of-mouth promotion. When looking for a book to purchase, I often check the posted reviews on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I realize that many of the 5-star reviews come from family and friends of the author, but you can still glean a lot from what people say about a book.
The competition for an author these days is fierce. Even with social media as a means of getting the word out, one voice can get lost among the oh-so-many. But we still have a sphere of influence, and we ought to use it when we can. The books we read that are really good, that move us in some way, need to be shared with other readers. And posting reviews, or promoting a good book on FaceBook, Twitter, or other outlets, is a good way to do that.
I appreciate any review my books get, but I love it when someone I don't know says something good about one of my novels in a review or in a post somewhere. And I especially love it when that reader takes time to contact me personally. It's made me so much more aware as a reader that I should do that as well. And I have, many times.
Readers and writers, we're in this together. Writers are looking for readers, and readers are looking for writers. Proverbs 15:23 says, "A word in due season, how good it is!" A review or other means of promotion for an author or book we like can be that good word. It can benefit other readers who are looking for something worthwhile in which to invest their time and money, and it certainly benefits the author, who works so hard to build their audience.
Do you rely on reviews when selecting a book to read? If you hear a good review about a book, does it entice you to check it out?