The lifeblood of indie book sales: reader reviews

This post is for all of the readers out there who suffer “review freeze”. For indie authors like me, an honest review from a reader is key to gaining new readers and making more book sales. For readers, I think the thought of writing a review can be terrifying. Even I have sat staring at my computer screen trying desperately to come up with words which would help other readers decide weather to buy a book or not.

Since it’s a bit daunting to compose a review, I’m going to offer a short template for those readers who want to leave reviews but don’t quite know what to write. Remember – your review doesn’t have to be long. It doesn’t have to be poetic. It needs to be engaging and informative – period. You can do that in as little as five sentences.

1st sentence: Introduction
Why did you buy this book? Was it the cover, title, description, or subject matter? Have you read other books by this author? Do you have a lot of experience with this type of book (subject matter, genre)?

2nd sentence: The book experience
What was the general subject of the book? What was the tone (scary, funny, action-packed, heart-breaking, uplifting)? Were there plot twists, memorable characters, great descriptions?

3rd sentence: Stand-out moments
What was your favorite scene in the book? Did it make you laugh, cry, get angry? Did you find yourself absorbed enough that you kept reading late into the night? Did you fall asleep every time you sat down to read? Did you delete it from your kindle after the fourth page? Was there a question the author didn’t answer and it’s still driving you nuts? Is it driving you nuts in a good way or in a bad way?

4th sentence: Your opinion
Did you love this book? Hate it? Can’t wait to read other books by this author?

5th sentence: Your recommendation
Would you recommend this book to someone who loves the subject/genre? Do you think someone might fall in love with the subject/genre BECAUSE they read this book? Is there another book you would recommend instead? If you’ve read other books by the same author, is this book as good as their other work?

The final thing you want to do is title your review. This is a short phrase to gain your reader’s attention. When I’m surfing reviews, I look for things like: A satisfying read, indeed! Great book! So-and-so does it again! Slightly disappointing. Unanswered questions. Left-turn at Albuquerque.