More thoughts on Amazon Reviews

I continue to hear about independent authors who are worried or upset about Amazon's new policy (or perhaps not so new policy) of deleting reviews that it considers suspect.  I've already given my suggestions for a new review system, but until we do have a new system, I'd like to persuade fellow authors to follow some best practices about online reviews:

1.  Don't limit reviews to colleagues.  Review major authors of both literary and/or commercial fiction.  It seems suspect when all you do is boost those whom you know.  It is also ungenerous to the larger readership community.  A good side-effect of this is:  when you do publish, your potential readers can easily obtain a sense of what you like, and by extension, the kind of writer you aspire to be.

2.  Write short reviews.  Amazon has a 20 word limit, and I think 20-50 words is adequate is give potential readers a sense of why you like (or dislike) a book.  Writing more is not helpful to either readers or authors-- and writing multiple paragraphs suggests a vested interest.

3. Promote your review.  This is an easy way to help fellow authors.  After you've written a review, post in on Facebook and Twitter and your blog, if you have one.  Let your friends know that you've written a review.

4. Say who (women, kids, literary types) will appreciate the book you're reviewing.  Nothing helps a fellow author more than connecting with their ideal readers.  If it's a perfect gift book, say so.  If it's great for teachers or students, say so-- and if it reminds you of other, more famous, writers, definitely say so!

5. Never refer to authors by their first name only.  Unless you're writing a creative non-fiction piece or an interview, using first names is suspect.    I personally ignore any review in which a reviewer appears to know the author.

'via Blog this'
Post a Comment
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...