These days you are always being solicited to do a survey here, how did you feel about that, or post a review or opinion on something you purchased. As someone recently pointed out on one of the hundreds of social media sites, reviews are key to the search engines used by most websites. Amazon seems to possess the most extensive review algorithms, which by the way changes on the fly to keep you guessing how to get favored in the promotional engines.
Reviews for books are especially important to the growing number of independent and small press publishers. The number of books published daily is at an all time high and it is hard for consumers to get insights on the newer authors without help from early readers. Goodreads is one location where the everyday reader from anywhere on the planet is able to post a review without having to meet a minimum purchase. I suspect the honesty of these reviews are a bit more aligned to people who actually consumed a book. When I say consumed, I refer to those who read or listen to various books across a lot of genres.
The picture above was sent to me by someone trying to emphasize the value of reviews. It is extremely concise and relevant, especially to Amazon. The truth of the matter is that to hear the new voice of authors without the traditional publishing houses behind them it does take a village. We are at a point where the more comments the better to kill a product or encourage its continuance. Obviously, it is better to provide honest feedback without attacking someone because your review can be anonymous. I am exposed through various author and writer groups to many different books. Some of them need some significant help from editing to final production. It is a learned skill and as such we can encourage even those authors with rough edges. Rarely have I read a book that I was unable to find something that appealed to me or that I found unique. Basically, I’m always looking for a diamond in the rough. It is our unique qualities as humans which make us interesting to others across the globe.
I tend to read a lot of technical manuals and they are as dry as 4-week old toast with no butter. Self-help for me must fit a current situation or I won’t give it my full attention. For fiction I enjoy mysteries, spicy romance, and thrillers. All of these known preferences make it easier for me to pick a book which will interest me usually via the back cover and recommendations. I also try to provide honest feedback. If a story misses by a mile to hit my like side, then I try to provide more private feedback.
I think it is important that you have a good sense of what you enjoy or need before delivering a ration of bitter comments. Everyone has different taste, thank goodness, and your opinion means a great deal to an author. Goodreads is far easier to post a review on that Amazon, but both are better than none. Take a moment and provide a short honest review.