One of my strongest skills is the ability to analyze alternatives and make recommendations based on that analysis. As a former architect, this characteristic provided great comfort to my clients as they knew I had considered all the options for meeting their needs. As an audio book narrator, I use the skills in two ways: to select the best books and authors to work with and in listening to other narrators to hone and increase my audio book narration skills. I have always enjoyed and felt empowered reviewing a story and a narrator.
It surprises me how few readers take the opportunity to review a book. Could it be they don’t understand how reader feedback benefits everyone – other readers, themselves, narrators and authors?
I hope after reading a few of the benefits, you’ll be inspired to write reviews on books you read and listen to.
1. A review helps you.
Free books. New authors looking for people to review their books are encouraged to look at the reviewers of books similar to theirs. If they notice a frequent reader/reviewer, they’ve been known to contact the reader and offer a free copy of their book. The author wants/needs reviews. Seeing previous posts, they gain a sense of a reviewer’s ability/willingness to share honest feedback. Wouldn’t it be fun to learn about new authors and read their books ahead of others for free?
Experienced authors also look to their fan base for people who provide articulate and fair reviews as a source for readers and reviewers of their next book or beta versions of their book in progress. Recently an author who gave me a promo code for her audio book followed up to confirm I’d listened and left a review. I confirmed that I had. Note, my review was not an all 5-star review. My review comments included constructive comments that I think she appreciated. After checking the review, she got back in touch and offered to provide me with promo codes for any of her books past, present and future.
Did you know you have a reviewer profile in Amazon and Audible? Authors can easily see all of your reviews at one time. Instructions for finding your Amazon public profile are here. For instructions to get to your Audible Listener Profile go to https://audiobookboom.com/profile If you don’t leave reviews because you want to remain incognito you can change the name that appears on reviews by going into your Audible account > Account Details > Settings and changing it beforehand. To make sure it been changed before posting you can select the “preview” button before submitting the review.
Are you aware that book reviews during the first 30 days of listing have a huge impact on the sale of books through Amazon and Audible? It establishes a book’s ranking. So, some authors, especially new ones, actually pay to have their books read/ listened to and reviewed. Services like Kirkusreviews.com hire industry professionals to read and provide feedback for author’s books. The reviews are not guaranteed to be positive and the authors don’t have to use the reviews but this service exists for a reason.
For audio books, there are many genre-specific Facebook groups where authors visit to offer codes for honest reviews of potential fans. As of 9-2019 authors pay $12 per title to offer audio book codes through AudioBook Boom.com Facebook group. Just this week additional promo code sites have been announced: FreeAudiobooks.com, AudiobookFreebies.com and AudiobookPromos.com. Do you know of any others? I’ll update this blog with hotlinks and other review websites when they are available. As a courtesy, it’s understood that in accepting a code you do your best to read/listen and post a review.
Opportunity for aspiring writers. Writing a review gives you the opportunity to demonstrate to the world your writing and analytical skills. A review can be very short (Audible requires 15 words if you want to provide a written review.) or very long. There, for the world to see will be a sample of your writing for publishers/agents and co-writers to see.
If you want a refresher on writing a book review see this article from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Of course with an audio book, specific notes about the narrator could be added as well
After receiving feedback on the blog, while valuable, it seems there’s too much information for one day’s reading. I’m breaking up the blog into four parts. See this link for the #2 reason: it helps authors.