My 29th review is in for The Dying of the Light: Interval, and it has me pondering about reviews. The first book in the series, End, has a whopping 111 reviews, and has only been out a year and a half longer. What I’m pondering is whether the first book is just not good enough to get people to read the second, or the second isn’t good enough to earn that level of reviews, or if people just aren’t reviewing books in general anymore.
I’ve gone over why reviews are so important, and I’m not going to beat a long-dead horse here. But it has me curious as to why some folks leave reviews, and others don’t. What prompts you to leave a review? What keeps you from doing so? Please take a moment to let me know in the comments for this post – which, in a strange turn, will actually take you longer than leaving a review for my book(s).
To prove a point, I want to quote the entirety of my latest review. That point would be that it doesn’t take much to leave a review.
“This is a great book; it just has great character chemistry and a great setting. The dating system is a nice touch.” – zomcom
22 words, plus two for the title, and 3 clicks. That’s all it took for this person to support an indie author they liked. See how easy it is? That’s all I have to say about that.
As for the review itself, I’m going to sound a little arrogant here, but I think that’s okay, because I’ve earned a little arrogance. I’m a good writer, edging towards great, with a lot of work ahead of me. I’ve found what I was meant to do, and in general, most people enjoy my stories. There are always those folks out there that you’re never going to please, and who will never like your work, no matter how many times you revise/edit/rewrite it.
Most of the people who don’t like my work find character-driven stories slow and boring; that’s fine. They want nothing but fast-paced action, jumping from scene to scene like a crack-addled hummingbird. I say go to it; read what you love. And as long as their review is honest, I don’t mind them not giving me a 5-star review, though a 1-star is a bit harsh, especially when I work hard to provide an accurate description. I’ve recently changed the description of book 1 to reflect its tone more accurately, comparing it more to The Walking Dead. Those of you who know both my series and the TV show will, I think, agree with me that they’re quite similar in feel and tone.
I’ve never been one to write purely action-oriented stories. I think they’re great escapism for an evening or afternoon, but I prefer that sort of thing on the big or small screen, rather than in a book. When I read a book, I’m more interested in being drawn into a world, rather than just told a story that’s really pretty flat. I want to know the characters, feel what they feel and be a part of their lives – not just follow them around like some video game backpack camera.
To summarize: I think it’s great that zomcom left me such a nice review. I’m glad he/she/they enjoyed it so much. I just wish more people – especially those who actually enjoy my work – would take a few minutes to do the same thing.