Thursday, 28 June 2012

Needy? Writers?

From A.Writer to  A.Reader:

Dear Reader,
                         Many thanks for reading my book. It took me a long time to write and I know you spent many hours with it. I hope some of the characters and moments stay with you a long time after you closed the back cover.

I very much appreciate the 8% royalty that will come my way. You owe me nothing.

However. Do you know how many authors don’t care about their ratings on Amazon? How many don’t read the comments made? How many never check on Goodreads, or Barnes and Noble, or Google books, or Shelfari, or even libraryThing? Me either, but I bet it’s not a big number. Bottom line – if you spend a few moments writing a few words to say you liked my book, I will notice. It will make a difference to me. Consider it a thank you. Consider it a gift. Consider it charity. But consider it!

I think more letters of complaint are written in the world than thank you notes. If somebody or something riles us, we’re apt to kick up a fuss. When a book rubs someone the wrong way they’re likely to spend quite a while telling the world exactly how bad it is. When a book delivers exactly what we want ... we’re happy to move on and say no more.

So this is an open letter from Writing to Reading. Don’t ever think the writing side isn’t interested in your opinion and don’t ever think a kind word in the right place isn’t appreciated.

Thank you.


  1. Look at it from my point of view. I'd never read an Amazon review. Why should I read someone's opinion who may be biased, probably doesn't share my tastes, and I'm not going to be able to learn usefully whether I agree with because I'm unlikely to ever see another review by them again. I'm self conceited enough to assume that because I don't read them, no one else does. My assumption was they were just a ploy to enable Amazon and the like's marketing departments to collect email addresses. Obviously. If I had thought about it I would have realised authors probably read them, but does anyone else?

  2. You'd be surprised! I've had people email me to say they picked up the book because of the Amazon reviews (content, number & distribution of ratings). Additionally the level of interest shown there can impact independent bookstores stocking decisions & the rating average dictates if a book shows on certain Amazon charts where people browse for purchasing ideas. In short - after word-of-mouth the next most important things in book selling are visibility and availability.

  3. In which case I'll have a go.

  4. Today I have learned that you can't add a review to Amazon if you haven't bought anything from them...

    Probably best if I reread it (or maybe even listen to it) first anyway, since its been a while. I was going to do so anyway in preparation for Book 2, I'll just advance that a bit.