Just recently, I’ve managed to put my book, Rosco the Rascal Goes to Camp, into hardcover through Ingram Spark. I plan to promote it mainly to libraries, but also to bookstores across the US ($18.99 for sale through Ingram at a 55% discount, but full price on Amazon. However, the paperback is still $6.25 available on Amazon 🙂 ). I’m really happy with the way it’s turned out, especially the quality of the binding and the colors on the cover.
Looking for a way to introduce the book to new readers of my blog while mentioning the hardcover, it dawned on me one day while I was updating the auto-emails that I send to those who subscribe to my Rosco the Rascal newsletter that most of my blog followers aren’t crossover subscribers to the newsletter. So here’s a post about reader reviews and how and why to write one for an author, with a few mentions about my book. (And my apologies to those of you who’ve seen this in an email before.) 🙂
Sometimes my book reviews crack me up.
Here are a few gems, all taken from Amazon reviewers:
“I wish his name was Roscoe with an ‘e’ on the end because he sounds like a large shopping store…” (ah-oh)
“Well, Rosco was your original house dog but to the next level.” (Nice!)
“I was warned that this book would make my kids want to go out and play in the snow…” (I hope it did!)
Of course, some of them simply made my day:
“I would not be surprised if you get to watch a movie based on this book!” (Sweet!)
“The story is adventurous, exhilarating, and well written for the intended audience of about 6 to 10 years…” (Perfect!)
And then, of course, there’s this one, possibly my all-time favorite honest-to-goodness, diplomatic review. It isn’t insulting; it isn’t critical. It’s just the blatantly honest opinion of one individual:
I don’t know why that one cracks me up. I guess it’s just good to be brought back down to earth sometimes. Rosco without an ‘e’ may not be everyone’s cup of tea; I’ve accepted this.
And while I’m really hoping your kids think the books are more than just “ehhh”, you’ll have to let me know. The best way to do that is by writing your own review for all the world to see.
In all seriousness, I can’t even tell you how valuable your reviews are. They are worth their weight in gold to an author, especially an independent one like me, who doesn’t have a big publisher splashing the dog’s face across billboards on every highway in the U.S. of A.
Regardless, reviews serve several important purposes:
~They tell me if I’m doing things right.
~They tell other potential readers if I’m doing things right, thus influencing their buying decisions.
~When they are plentiful and positive, they tell Amazon to stack my books a little higher on the proverbial ‘shelf‘.
If you’d like to write a review for me or for another author, (or maybe you’d like to ask your child to write one in his or her own words,) don’t feel like you have to summarize the book. It shouldn’t give you hives like a 5th grade book report. It’s simply your opinion, on any aspect of the book, really. Short or long, doesn’t matter. Consider asking these questions:
~Were the characters believable?
~Was the plot line interesting? Exciting? Dull?
~Did the book hold your child’s interest?
~Would your child recommend this book to his or her peers?
~Did the illustrations add anything to the story?
~What was the most memorable part of the book?
Those are some of the things that would-be customers look for when they’re skimming reviews, making a book-buying decision.
If I’ve convinced you that you should go and write that review, here’s a link to the Rosco the Rascal series page on Amazon, where you can choose the book you’d like to praise or demolish. Just click on the book and then scroll down the book’s page. Click the Write a customer review button. You don’t need to have purchased the book on Amazon in order to leave a review there, although sometimes Amazon won’t post reviews when either you haven’t bought the book on Amazon, or, if you haven’t mentioned that you received the review for free in exchange for an honest opinion or where else you may have bought it (at a in-person books festival visit with the author, for example.)
Who knows, if you write me a funny or memorable one, maybe I’ll even immortalize your comments in an ad like this one? (These are some more of my favorites, if you haven’t guessed.)
But seriously, even if it’s not for my book, please go and write a review for someone! It will make their day!
(PS. If you subscribe to my Rosco the Rascal newsletter, you’ll get a free full copy of Rosco the Rascal Goes to Camp in ebook format!)
Disclosure: The links above are Amazon Affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. ~Thank you, Rosco’s Reading Room