“Read this book if you adore big space conspiracies and multi-faction machinations.” The delightfully named Psychotropek.net wrote a great review of Pico’s Crush, Book 3 in the Central Galactic Concordance series. She likes the characters, and the universe, and the bit with the… well, you should read it for yourself.
I know I said last time that authors like reviews because we like to know people are reading our books, and the reduced-pressure feedback. Authors can be a reticent lot, and we’re not inclined to ask perfect strangers what they thought of our work, or whether the plot resonated, or if they thought the scene with the kids was believable. Reviews give us that, and tell us what’s memorable to our readers.
From a practical standpoint, however, they’re validation to new readers who have just stumbled across a book that others enjoyed it. Sometimes, even negative reviews help, because the new reader may love the very thing the other reader complained about. If I want to advertise my books via the various email lists that offer discounted/sale books to readers, the list owners are much more likely to accept my book if it has at least 10 four- and five-star reviews. They don’t want to recommend books of unknown-quality to their customers, so good reviews tell them the book will be worth including. Rumor has it that the ebook retailers such as Kobo and Amazon have algorithms that will start showing your book to targeted buyers once the book reaches a certain threshold, e.g, fifty reviews. Their selection criteria are rightfully considered proprietary information, and they probably get tweaked monthly, because ebook retailers want to sell more books.
Which brings me to the plea you see in most books nowadays, especially the indie books. The vary from the shy and diffident passing request (“If it’s not too much trouble, could you post a review when you get a chance”) to a full-throated demand (“You! Post a review! NOW!”). We authors don’t know how to talk to readers about that, because you’ve already done us the honor of buying our book, but we really hope that you’ll take that extra step for the books you like. It encourages us to write more books in that series, or with those characters you like. It’s free, and only takes a few minutes of your time, but it makes a wonderful gift.