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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Getting Those All-Important Reviews

     While I was in the process of writing my first novel I sometimes caught myself imagining the thrill of reading a review of my book in one of the local newspapers. Sometimes that thrill would turn to dread when I pictured a negative review, but I still wanted the feedback and publicity. My wildest dreams were not wild enough to expect a review in the New York Times or even The Oregonian, however I did believe the Klamath Falls Herald and News and The Bulletin in Bend would print one. After all, most of Brute Heart takes place in Klamath Falls and I was a long-time resident of Bend. How naïve of me! Local newspapers simply do not have staffs large enough to read and review books by local authors or even established authors. The reviews they do print are written by staffers working for the New York Times News ServiceLos Angeles TimesNewsday, etc.
     I was also shy about asking friends or family members for reviews of my first novel. But that disappeared by the second novel. By the time Never Done was released I was bolder and armed with a better understanding of the relationship of reviews to sales. Since then, when someone compliments either of my novels I say, “May I ask a favor? If you enjoyed the book, will you please write a review on Amazon?” (or Goodreads if they have an account) I only have 10 reviews for Brute Heart but as of today, 37 for Never Done.
     A few of the people I asked for reviews said they couldn’t figure out where to write a review on Amazon. So-o-o-o, I wrote an instruction sheet.

                                    How To Write a Review on Amazon

  • Under the book's title, Kindle Edition, you will see the current number of customer reviews.
  • Click on that link.
  • You will see a bar graph picturing the number of stars the book has received so far.
  • Below the graph is the "write customer review" box. Click on that.
  • Five empty stars will appear.
  • Click on the star that best fits your opinion of the book with five being highest.
  • You may insert a photo at the next prompt, but it is optioal.
  • Next, Amazon would like a headline from you: a brief overall statement of what you think is most important for a potential reader to know about the book.
  • After writing the headline, please write your review in the space provided.
  • Don't forget to click "submit" at the very end.
It isn’t necessary to write a long review. Potential readers often skip long, detailed posts. They just want to find their next book and get started on it.

     Never Done has been in print for over two years now, so I rarely get a new review. Nevertheless, I am thrilled with those I have received and still ask for a review if a situation seems to warrant it.

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