Rosie’s Review-A-Book Challenge #RRABC – Reading, Writing and the Value of Reviewers

John joins us today with an article about the importance of book reviews to authors.

As part of Rosie’s Review-A-Book Challenge #RRABC, we continue our week of advice posts. See the link at the bottom of the page for details of the challenge and where you can sign up for a free book in exchange for a review.

Reading, writing and the value of reviewers is something that I’ve wanted to talk about for a while now. As a writer, I’m incredibly grateful when anybody reads my work. The gratitude only grows when that person writes a review. Taking the time and effort to publish your thoughts on a book is an act which connects the reader and writer in a more personal way than the somewhat abstract, impersonal idea that ‘someone’ has read your book. It adds another level to what is a very intimate yet weirdly distant interaction between reader and writer.

So, my sincere thanks go out to all those good folk busily reviewing books. It means a lot and is massively appreciated by everyone I know in the writing community. If you enjoy reading fiction and fancy trying your hand at reviewing, I’d urge you to give it a go. Writing reviews can enrich the reading experience and be a rewarding pastime.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he? It’s in his own interests to support reviewing books.

Undeniably true. I won’t lie, this isn’t me just being a nice guy, there is a mercenary side to it. Reviews stimulate interest in your books, raise your profile and enhance your reputation as an author. All of which gives a shot in the arm to your confidence and belief in what you’re doing. Honest feedback also helps your writing. Any author worth their salt welcomes real, constructive reviews. They’re priceless observations, the best beta reading you’ll find for future projects.

But, believe it or not, self-interest isn’t my primary motivation here. I genuinely do appreciate reviewers and value their contribution to the literary eco-system. The title of this article represents my three Rs – reading, writing and reviewing – because they’re inextricably linked. A natural affinity exists. Reader and writer are two sides of the same coin and reviewer the place where they meet. A marvellous marriage of the two with a precious result.

Over the years, I’ve become friends with quite a few reviewers and like to think it’s given me a small insight into why they do what they do and what they get from it. The motive is rarely financial benefit. That’s another similarity between writing books and reviewing them. The majority of reviewers, like authors, don’t pursue their passion expecting a shedload of cash to be the outcome. Sure, you get free books. With a multi-genre site like Rosie Amber, you get to choose from a broad spectrum and they tend to be good quality. It’s a great opportunity to dabble, sample different subjects and styles. And as mentioned, there’s every chance that you’ll become better acquainted with the author and find a new virtual friend.

Are those the main reasons? No, I think it’s far simpler.

We share a love of the written word and a need not to feel alone in that love.

I’ll say one more thing, probably what I’ve been trying to say all along, and it’s about engagement between readers, writers and reviewers. The day of the remote author has passed. Social media makes it an obscure and unproductive angle from which to approach an essentially connective field.

Reading is the boss. Writing springs from that.

Reviewers are a vital part of this new equation. Quite rightly, we no longer blithely accept what one or two publishers put on our shelves. We need real input.

Read, Write, Opinion. There is no mathematical formula, it just exists.

Readers who write a review have become an essential part of good reading and good writing.

If you’d like to read more about Rosie’s Review-A-Book Challenge #RRABC click here

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