Wavin’ atchya, RG2E Peeps!
Please give a big ol’ RG2E Welcome to First-Time Featured Author, Marina Maddix, who’s sharing wonderful tips on Writing Ebook Reviews!
Take it away, Marina…
Let’s face it, writing reviews for the books we read can be downright daunting. Some of us are voracious readers, so keeping up with all the reviews we’re supposed to leave is overwhelming. Others of us have very busy lives, so on our list of priorities, leaving a review falls somewhere between changing the baking soda box in the fridge and cleaning mildew off the cellar walls. Some readers may even be worried about putting their own writing — even in the form of a book review — out there for the world to see.
By posting a positive review to Amazon, you’re leaving a permanent mark of approval for those who might want to read the book after you. It’s called social proof. Reviews also tell us writers when you want to read more about certain characters. I didn’t expect my steamy erotic-romance short story Knight Fall to get much of a response but readers seemed to connect with my heroine, Kelly. A handful left reviews, but many emailed me asking for more of Rick and Kelly’s story. If I’d relied solely on my few reviews, I might not have written the sequel, Vegas Knights, which I released on March 1. (Did you know you can create any pen name you want for your profile, so none of your family and friends will know which books you review?)
If you love a book or a series or a character or an author, you may very well be doing yourself a disservice by not leaving a review letting others, including the author, know you want more. The more good reviews a book has almost always translates into more sales for the author. Increased sales means s/he can write more, which means you can read more. Win-win!
Look at it this way: If there is a tiny specialty grocery store in your hometown that you would hate to see go out of business, you make an effort to shop there occasionally and tell others about it to show your support. Leaving reviews for your favorite authors works the same way.
Now to the nitty gritty. You hate leaving reviews, don’t have the time or don’t know what to say. The key is to speak the truth. If you loved a book, tell us why. Don’t give out spoilers but a few tidbits help us understand if we might like the same things. And they don’t have to be long, detailed book reports, either. Here’s an easy template to start you off that fulfills Amazon’s 20-word requirement but won’t take up much of your time — replace the ALL CAP words (and examples) with your own words:
“I really enjoyed BOOK TITLE because the story made me feel EMOTION (happy, sad, conflicted, reminiscent of my childhood, etc). I especially liked SOMETHING (a character, the storyline, a plot twist, etc — just don’t leave a spoiler!). I think anyone who enjoys GENRE (sci fi, erotic romance, WWII history) books, would enjoy this one.”
If you have a specific criticism of the book, go ahead and include it, such as: “I didn’t care much for SOMETHING (the writing style, a certain character, the ending), but overall I enjoyed the story.”
So what if you hated a book? Personally, I do my best to live by the ‘If you can’t say anything nice…’ rule Mom taught me. But if you feel compelled to leave a negative review, ask yourself a few questions first:
- Were my expectations realistic? For example, you picked up a freebie months ago and just started reading it. You thought it was chick lit for whatever reason but you’re disappointed to learn it is actually a biography of Otto von Bismarck. As fascinating as the book may be, it’s not what you wanted to read, and you’re irritated. Before leaving an outraged review, pop over to the book’s Amazon page to see if the description and categories accurately depict the content. If so, leaving a negative review because you got mixed up doesn’t help anyone.
- Was the book poorly written or did I just not like the decisions the characters made? I received a review in which the reader complimented the book up and down but gave me one star because she didn’t agree with a decision a character made at the end. I can understand her feelings but she claimed to enjoy everything else about the book, so did it really deserve one star? There are five stars to choose from — two, three and four stars are perfectly acceptable alternatives. Pick the one that best fits your *overall* feeling about the book.
- Am I angry/upset/offended by the subject matter? If that’s the case, I would suggest not reading any more books in that genre as it’s just not for you. Leaving a negative review for the Bible because you’re an atheist is downright rude. The same holds true for paranormal erotica, unauthorized biographies or history texts. It’s a great big world out there, full of diversity. If you find yourself hating every book in a particular genre, try a different one.
- Which brings us to the biggest question: Did I actually read this book? If you didn’t read the book, but rather are just assuming it’s bad because you believe the subject matter to be morally wrong or you think it’s a rip-off of your favorite author or you’re ethically opposed to mining for purple diamonds on Jupiter, please don’t leave a review. Not only is it against Amazon’s Terms of Service, but it’s downright deceitful. Instead, read a book you think you’ll enjoy and use the template above to write a glowing review!
Vegas Knights DESCRIPTION:
After a passionate public encounter with a mysterious and very sexy biker, big girl Kelly Saunders finds herself on the ride of her life. Her ‘Knight on shining armor’ — Rick Knight, heir to a motorcycle legacy — whisks her away from her soul-sucking corporate job to Las Vegas, where she finds the road to love is treacherous.
As urgent business matters demand more and more of Rick’s attention, Kelly is left to wonder about the future of their relationship. A ruthless betrayal throws her life into turmoil, and a devastating discovery threatens to pull them apart. Is their love just so much Vegas glitter or is it strong enough to survive beyond the dazzling lights of Sin City?
Special $2.99 price until March 10!
They sat entwined under the stars, swaying slightly with the rhythm of their own bodies. Rick’s hands moved slowly from her hair down her back. Shivers of anticipation rippled through Kelly. They were going to make love under the stars. It had always been a fantasy of hers but she’d never imagined it would come true. But a lot of things she’d never imagined were happening lately.
Feeling the need to show him she wasn’t some precious flower that needed tending and special care, that she was an independent woman, Kelly took control. His eyes never left her body as she moved to stand over him, legs spread, hands on her hips.
“Strip.” The single word brought a knowing smirk to Rick’s face. Without a word, and still never taking his eyes from her, he eased his off his jacket, throwing it aside. His gaze was positively smoldering as he loosened his tie and started to pull it over his head.
“Leave it.” Kelly commanded on impulse. His hands paused, then dropped to the front of his charcoal Armani button-down, his eyes burning into her flesh like a brand. His fingers worked slowly, deliberately, intensifying her need for him. But she wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of seeing her impatience. Cocking her hip, she let him tease her with his leisurely pace.
When the shirt was lying atop the leather jacket, he looked up expectantly, awaiting her next instruction. When she nodded toward his pants, triumph flashed across his face. She realized her mistake as he moved to stand. Once on his feet, he would tower over her, emphasizing her vulnerability and his dominance.
“On second thought, scratch that.” One of his eyebrows shot up, and a look of exasperation took the place of triumph. She knew the score and she wasn’t going to give him an advantage if she could help it. He leaned back on his elbows — shirtless and irresistible — and studied her.
She couldn’t afford to make a misstep or show any hesitation. This had become less of a game for her and more of a demand for equality in this relationship. He may be rich, but that didn’t mean he was in control here. Either he accepted that they were in this together, as equal partners, or he would be taught that lesson. Of course, she suspected that would be a lesson he might enjoy learning.
Marina Maddix is a romantic at heart, but hates closing the bedroom door on her readers. Her stories are sweet, with just enough spice to make your mother blush. She lives with her husband and cat near the Pacific Ocean, and loves to hear from her fans. Connect with her by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), on Facebook (facebook.com/MarinaMaddix), Twitter (@MarinaMaddix), Goodreads (goodreads.com/MarinaMaddix) or her website (www.MarinaMaddix.com).
Marina’s part of the Insatiable Reads book tour with 15 other sizzling hot romance authors. Different authors will be featured on various blogs throughout the month of March, culminating in several excellent giveaways. Check out the tour at www.InsatiableReads.com, where you’ll find a schedule of Marina’s other blog stops.
Marina’s: 1 $10 Amazon GC, 2 signed hard copies of Vegas Knights, 3 Knight Fall/Vegas Knights ebook bundles. Winners chosen March 31.
Insatiable Reads: 1 Kindle Paperwhite loaded with all 16 Insatiable Reads ebooks, 1 paperback book bundle (select books, including Vegas Knights), 1 ebook bundle with all 16, 4 weekly bundles featuring that week’s authors. Winners chosen March 31.
Superfab terrific tips for Writing Ebook Reviews, Marina!
Thanks sooo much for sharing with us and for the chances to win your wonderful giveaways too!
The Best of RG2E Reading & Reviewing Wishes —
D. D. Scott, RG2E Founder