What is a professional author's lifeblood? What do they desire and need more than anything else? *Cuts arm* Watch as my blood spurts all over my blog. Let's make runes with it and summon fluffy demon bunnies! An author's actual lifeblood is made of tiny nuggets of gold that come from their readers. I'm talking about reviews.
Before I really thought about it I used to consume books then toss them to the side like used condoms. I had taken what I wanted and then I was done with them. On the other side of things I see how important they really can be for an author's career. Now when I read a book I feel the need to post a review on Goodreads and Amazon.
Why are reviews so important?
There are quite a few obvious reasons why authors would love reviews. It's feedback on their art that could help them improve. In the case of good reviews it can be a validation or a small stroke of the ego that could cause them to make a mess in their shorts. Negative reviews can cause them to run around in circles like their hair is on fire.
Reviews push sales. Let me repeat that. Reviews push sales. It doesn't matter what kind of reviews an author gets. So if a group of spammers come in to post 2369487 one star reviews, that will still push sales of a book. One author I follow on twitter was lamenting the mass spamming of one star reviews for his latest novel, but when the sales rankings came in he was within the top 5. Next week he could even be #1 in spite of the low overall rating. There are a ton of other factors that make his book popular, but I think the large amount of reviews is one of them.
If people are talking about a book then others will look into it and possibly make that purchase. I can't overstate how important reader reviews are for an author. If you enjoy an author's writing then the most important thing you can do to support them is to post a review. Post your review on all the major book review sites. Yell your review from the top of a mountain. Use sidewalk chalk to replicate your review in a grocery store parking lot. Use the tears of your enemies to paint a watercolor of your review. The power is in your hands to help or to crush an author's dreams. Use it wisely.
ReviewsHere are links to the last 3 reviews I have posted for books I have enjoyed.
The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi
The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell
S. by J.J. Abrams