Why do authors need reviews?New or unknown authors need reviews because no one has heard of them. While they may be your friend, not many people will know about their book unless you tell them about it. Also distributers like Amazon give more weight to items that have more reviews.
What is a review?A review is where you read a book and write your honest feedback.
How do I do that?It's really not hard to write a review. Someone had to teach me and I was scared the first time. If you have an Amazon account, log in and click on a book you like (or dislike) then click on the reviews. There's a gray button on the side that says "Write a Review." Click on it. The star rating will come up. Choose the star power you want! Next, it will bring up a line for you to write the essence of your review. Use power words like, Thrilling plot! Or Great read.
Next write the review. You don't have to be a wordsmith to craft a great review. Name the genre, because that helps with the search algorithms, and then say what you liked and what you didn't like about it. It's important to write honestly. Bad reviews can help the author as much as a good review. Don't worry about hurting the author's feelings. I promise you, after years of writing, we've developed thick skin. And plus, you may have a suggestion that will help them grow as a writer.
What not to write in a review?Do not trash the author. Even if you wish you had the hour of you life back that you spent reading the first several chapters before you threw it against the wall in frustration. Being rude is never cool and has more of a reflection on your character than on their talent. You can however give feedback of what drew you in or turned you off.
What are Amazon's rules for writing a review?Amazon has strict rules for writing a review because they are so important to selling books that Amazon wants to maintain their integrity. Here's the link to their rules.
If you don't want to read all the legalease, it basically says authors cannot:
1. Require someone to write a review
2. Pay for a review. They can however give you a free copy of their book to review. However you must disclose this.
3. Authors can't tell you what to write, ie: tell you to write a positive review.
Where can I write a review?The most popular places are Amazon and Goodreads. You do not have to post it on Social Media if you don't want to. Of course if you have an awesome reviewer blog, then go ahead!
Word of mouth goes a long way!