Let us talk about book reviews, and how so few of us actually leave them.


You know, I thought that writing a book was going to be hard, I was prepared for it. Turns out I was wrong, kinda, because the hard part comes after. And that would be the most important part of all.

And that would be... what is the point of writing a book if nobody reads it?

Because after all the months of hibernating from the world, while perfecting your book, you publish it and wait. Then you realise something. The hard work is just starting - because your book is competing against millions of others, which are all waiting to be discovered too! So, what do you do about it?

You can either sit back and watch, hoping people stumble over your book of their own accord. Or, you start looking into everything you can find on the subject, trying to find a way through.

I've never been known for being patient, so I chose the second option, which is how I came across the information in the snaps above. As you can see, Amazon won't present your book as a possible option to potential readers, unless you have 50 or more reviews! It's disheartening but mostly sad. Because how many authors are out there right now, with less than 50 reviews? I don't know the actual number, but I'm guessing it's a 'helluva' lot!

I had no clue, if I'm being honest, about the importance of reviews. But now that I do, I am determined to put it out there, in the hope that 'spreading the word' changes people's habits. If only one person who reads this goes on to leave a review because of my post... then that's fine. Because it's a step in the right direction.

So, take a look at what I've written below, and let's see if I can persuade anyone...

I'm guessing the majority of eBook readers can relate to this...

So, you've picked an eBook to read and pretty soon you become engrossed. You totally get lost in the story, temporarily losing yourself in another place, (whilst forgetting about the real world and everything that you should be doing. Which, by the way, is my idea of bliss). You can't wait to reach the end and find out what happens. It's so exciting, addictive and all encompassing! And as you reach the end, you are probably thinking about one of two things...

  1. The eBook you are reading is part of a series, probably ending on a cliff hanger, and you are thinking about immediately starting the next one. (Because you can't wait to see what happens)


  2. You can't wait to reach the end... because you already know what you will be reading next from your TBR (to be read list), and are eager to get started.

    I'm right aren't I?

    But wait, there's a minor setback, because an annoying page pops up on your e-reader, asking you to review what you have just read! I mean, really now? Why is it appearing and delaying the start of my next book? How very dare they (Amazon)?

    It is annoying, I know it is, because I've felt that way too. And I admit that I have, more than once, quickly dismissed the page and moved straight on to the next story. Admittedly, on occasions I have done so thinking that I loved the book and really should leave a review, but don't have the time right now. I promise myself I'll go back at a later date and do just that! Only to be totally absorbed in new books, and struggling to remember which book I was going to go back and review.

    Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought it would. (I can picture you reading this and smiling to yourself, knowing I've just described you. Well, I hope that's the case anyway, and it's not just me. Because then I would feel really bad.)

    I have also fleetingly toyed with the thought of... I am not a book reviewer; I am a reader. I don't want to give a review, and what does it matter anyway? The author gets paid regardless, right? Plus, someone else out there will review it, and give it the fantastic recognition it deserves!

    Unfortunately, since making the leap from a reader to an author, I now know this to be wrong. And I feel guilty for every occasion where I failed to leave a few words, or a star rating. Because reviews are so very important. Take a look at the pics above... and let it sink in. BTW - an author only gets paid for each page you read on Kindle Unlimited!

It's shocking, I know. But please don't think I'm complaining, because I'm really not. I simply want to bring it to people's attention. Because like me (before I found out), people are unaware of the impact a simple review or rating can have on an author.

Imagine writing a book... If you can't then I will give you some help.

An author will spend countless weeks, months and sometimes years creating a manuscript before it ever reaches the platform on which it will be available for people to read it. It is most definitely a labour of love. The story is actually the least complicated bit - it's the making it seem real part that takes time and persistence. Every character has to be brought to life in such a way that you can imagine them, in the flesh. (You've fallen in love with a book character before, right?) And every location has to be portrayed in such a way that the reader can feel themselves there, inside the story as it's being told. Which is more difficult than you may think and takes time to get just right.

After everything is checked, multiple times, and the author finally decides it is indeed ready to be published, they send it on its merry way and sit back to see what their readers think of all their hard work. But there's nothing, so they wait a little more. And... yes, there's more waiting involved.

Because although we can see that people are indeed reading it, the much sought after reviews and ratings trickle in at a snails pace. As you can see from the snaps above, it is so very difficult to obtain them. As there are many readers out there who only choose a book based on high review counts, it's not only frustrating, but disappointing too.

Now I could lie and say, "I don't do it for the recognition, for me it's all about the writing". But I won't, because although I love the writing, and the awesome feeling to know someone is reading my work, there's also a part of me that does want to see ratings and reviews, because damn it... I spent a long ass time working on it! And yes, more ratings means it will be promoted by Amazon... which means more chances of people reading my work... and maybe more ratings!

Do you see where I'm going with this?

Obviously, there are some lucky authors out there who have the benefit of literary agents and can employ a whole host of people to promote their work on their behalf, and good for them. I'm sure we would all take that direction too, should we ever find ourselves in such a position that enables it. But I’m talking about the group of authors who, like me, are doing everything single handed. And we really need those reviews to even make a dent on such a vast platform like Amazon.

There are literally millions of books to choose from, so it feels like a miracle whenever someone finds one of mine. But being able to show a healthy rating alongside a book goes a long way in winning this particular battle.

Again, do I sound like I'm complaining? I hope not, I really do... but I couldn't hold it back any longer! Because I believe knowledge is power. I also believe that once readers realise the importance of a review, they may be more inclined to leave them in future. And that can only be a good thing, not only for me, but for every author out there.

All I ask is if ever you find yourself in a position where you really enjoyed a book, that you consider leaving a review. Even if you don't want to use any words, simply choosing a star rating is enough, as it records against the book on Amazon. (I can't speak for other platforms because my books are only available on Amazon. But it's probably a similar concept)

And if after reading this, you still don't want to leave one? Then that's fine too, because it is a personal choice. And I respect that.

So there it is, one of the struggles faced by eBook authors. It's also an apology, of sorts, to all the fantastic authors out there who didn't receive a much deserved thumbs up from me. I am so very sorry.

I hope you found this useful and as always, if you have any questions or comments, you can contact me via the form below.

Always dreaming... Tia Kenzie x