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Do you write reviews?..

Before I published my first and only book I must have read every article and every excerpt that came out about indie writing and publishing.

But the one thing they don’t tell you is how to get the readers to write a simple honest review.

I have to say that beside doing promotional stuff, getting readers to post a review has been the hardest part of writing.
But then I didn’t write many reviews before I became a published author either.
I had no idea writers count on reviews to sell their books.
But now that I do know I make sure I write a review as soon as I’m finished with the book.
It’s easy, just hit the star you think represents how much you liked the book, which for me is always at least a three.


I figure any writer that actually has the guts to write, finish, and then publish his work deserves at least a three star review.

I bet you didn’t know that most writers never publish anything. Ninety nine percent of writers will write but never publish their work.
Now if the punctuation and spelling need editing but I loved the story
I give it four stars.
Although there have been times when I’ve given a book five stars even with bad grammar and spelling errors.
The reason I do this is because I know how much it cost to get a book edited.
I also know the indie author knows the errors are there. And when that indie gets the funds together they will fix that book.

I’m not making excuses for poor grammar and spelling errors. I just think indie’s do their best to give the reader a story they think is worthy of your time and money.

 I don’t think an indie author should ever be punished in an open review.
You see when an author has a big publishing company backing them they don’t have to worry about their books grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors.
That’s because the Big Publisher will make sure that book has been edited and re-edited by their people who get paid to do that kind of work for the signed author.
Meaning the Big Publisher won’t let that author’s book go out to the public until that book is damn near perfect.
But then we’ve all seen books that a big publisher has backed with errors in them. But no one says anything or writes a harsh review for those books.
So I don’t think the indie’s book deserves to be harshly criticized in an open review either.

My rating system for reviews:

The way I review a book is :
five stars to a book that I loved. This is a book that I couldn’t wait to get back too when I had other things too do. When I find a book like this as long as I can read it with minor errors it’s worth five stars.
Four stars goes to a book that I I loved the story.
But even I know it needed more editing. Probably a Indies book that didn’t have the money for an editor. Or they hired an editor that they could afford and with that you get what you pay for.
Three stars is a book where I didn’t enjoy the story.
But that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be great for someone else. And the book would have to be riddled with errors for me to give it three stars.
Two stars for every book written.
I don’t think readers realize how hard it is to write and publish a book.
I think the majority of book deserve at least two stars.
One star reviews I don’t ever give.
I think the book would have to be blank, just a cover, and nothing else for me to give it a one star.
And then maybe I would give that author two stars for having the guts to publish something like that.
No errors, no story just empty pages.

A blank book with just a cover:

Hey maybe I’m on to something here.
I would give this book the title: You think you can write so go ahead. Imagine having the guts to do this. It would probably be a best seller, Lol. Go figure.

It only takes a few minutes to write a review.

And so I don’t understand why we don’t see every book that’s sold at least one copy having at least one review.
And reviews mean the world to authors.
Reviews are how authors sell books.
I bet you didn’t know that. Yes word of mouth sells books too.
But most books aren’t getting sold by word of mouth reviews. most books are getting sold by five star reviews.

Before I was a published author

I read the reviews when picking a book to read.
I didn’t really think that someone took the time to write those actual reviews.
And there were times that I picked a book because of a bad review.
Sometimes I picked a three star or even a two star reviewed book. Sometimes a bad review is really a good review after all.
I hope who ever’s reading this blog starts to think about all those books they’ve read.
Consider going back and posting a quick review for each of those books and writers.
Just be kind. And never get personal.

Each writer writes from the heart.

She/He writes in hopes to give the reader a place to go in their mind.
Maybe its to a beach, to another state, another Continent, a different century or maybe its just down the street in some small town.
No matter where that writer takes you they do it so that you can give your brain a rest from the real world.
That’s what I hope when someone reads my books. But with my book you’ll probably need a cold shower or a warm body or both before you finish the first chapter.
The conversations I’ve had with other authors all end the same way, with them asking if I know a better way to get readers to write reviews?
If I did I would have more than fifteen reviews myself.

You can say that my book has been harshly criticized by a few reviewers. Even after I went back in with an editor and re-uploaded my book.

I know you get what you pay for when hiring an editor. But it was the best I could do at the time. And it’s still not as perfect as I’d like it to be.

But one day I will have the funds to go back in and make it even better.

I wonder if the readers know that the independent or indie author does it all by themselves.

The indie write and do the re-writes.

The indie does all his or her own research, with more re-writes.
We add chapters and cut chapters and we edit and then edit some more.
We have to find and make our own covers and that cost money too. And we do all of this while we are editing our books some more.
Then there’s also the book trailers that cost the author some money too.
And then after we’ve done everything we can possibly do to make our books stand out from the millions of books that are put out each day we then have to promote our books.

Promoting means that we not only have to talk about our books on a blog that we had to build. But we also have to let the reader know who we are.

There’s a Facebook author page, an amazon page.  Interviews on guest author’s pages. And so many more pages that I can’t even keep count anymore.

We have too put our books as well as ourselves out there everywhere. From Facebook and Google to LinkedIn profiles. And everywhere in between. If you’ve seen a book somewhere that means the indie probably had his or her book there too. It just never ends. Indies have to do it all and so much more.

I’m not complaining.
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I just want the readers to know that indies just don’t sit around and write. We don’t write a book and throw it out there either.

If we are lucky and have the guts we find some beta readers willing to help us.

Beta readers help with editing and also let the writer know if their book needs something or if somethings not right. Betas are very helpful to writers.

I for one am scared to death to hand my books over to a few beta’s. But I’m going to have a find a few if I am ever going to become the writer I want to be.
I can tell you one thing and that’s that I won’t put my second book out without getting beta’s to read my first and second book.
I want to make sure my books are as perfect as they can be. So no matter how long it takes to get my second book out there I’m determined to do it the right way.

I bet the readers don’t realize that editors charge by the word.

So a book like mine with over a hundred thousand words will cost anywhere from seven hundred and fifty dollars to well over a thousand.

What makes me smile is that even the best selling authors have punctuation and spelling errors that get missed.
The difference is those editors are from the big publishing houses. The readers seem to just pass over those error’s and most times don’t mention those error’s when they give those books five star reviews.

I hope by now you’re starting to see that it’s not easy to be an independent or indie author.

 The next time you see a misspelled word or the wrong there, their, or they’re, know that we are doing our best. Most writers don’t have a Big N.Y.C. publishing house backing them.

We indies would really appreciate if the readers could cut us some slack.  I can assure you we want our books to look their best when presented to the reader.

I would love to have a big publishing house backing me.

Then I could take off on a vacation the day after my book is published with the money they gave me in advance.  And I could have my people do all the work. Now that’s funny. I haven’t left this computer for more than a few hours a day since I started my first book back in January 2013.

My brain doesn’t seem to shut off anymore.  I wake up after getting a few hours of sleep and I grab my stainless steel coffee cup, fill it up and start checking e-mails.  Before I know it its nine pm and my sweet husband is asking me if I want to watch a little television or a movie with him

A writer writes because its just something we have to do.

I’m proud of myself for what I’ve accomplished in this short amount of time I’ve been a published author. I have learned so much in the last year and a half. And I’m going to make sure I give the readers the best possible book I can give them.  So bare with.

Write a review for the next book you read. And go back and write a few quick reviews for some books that you’ve already read. A three or four word review is all it would take.

I liked it. Or I didn’t like it.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read Annie’s blog.

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