The Power (and evil) of Reviews

I’m a fortunate author. I get emails and FB messages, cards in the mail saying how much readers loved Seeking Carolina. It thrills me, every time, and is typically followed by the thought, “if only they’d put this up on Amazon, or Goodreads, that’d be really awesome.” Then I feel bad, because how greedy is that? Isn’t it extraordinary that friends, family, long-lost acquaintances, strangers would take the time to send me a personal note about how much they loved my book? Yes it is.

It bothers the crap out of me that I have to worry about such praise going up in a public venue just so the machines powering the industry can rank me, promise me visibility. It feels really wrong, and yet, without it, my future work is in jeopardy, because–as we’ve all found out somewhere along the line or the other–it’s about numbers, first and foremost.

The general population doesn’t know (and shouldn’t) much about the publishing world. I’m a “little” author. I’m not in bookstores, on talk shows, in magazines. My work is fairly invisible to the reading world at large. I blog. My publisher promotes my book on sites trafficked by romance readers. But my reach is limited. Nora Roberts doesn’t need reader reviews. I, and other small authors like me, do.

In a world where any potential publisher, agent, reader can look you up and make a judgement based on the numbers they find, the slope gets really slippery. On the one hand, I want no part of it. On the other, I have no choice but to drink the Kool-Aid. So I’m going to go out on a limb here, and ask–If you’ve read Seeking Carolina, consider putting up a review on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble. It matters. Thanks.

Hmmm…cherry Kool-Aid isn’t so bad. Leaves my tongue red though.




Filed under Romance

6 responses to “The Power (and evil) of Reviews

  1. Hi Terri! I’m almost done with your lovely book, so you should see a review from me soon. I’ve found a lot of readers are simply shy about putting their opinion out there in such a public forum. But you’re so right – it makes such a difference for authors! Thanks for posting this reminder. Hopefully many will see it & take it to heart, not just for you, but for all authors everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. MaryAnn Forbes

    Your book is on my TBR list. Until very recently I was not aware that reviews from readers carried any weight. I am now really trying to write the review immediately after reading the book. If not the idea just becomes a good intention that didn’t happen. My wonderful late Dad used to say: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      Glad to hear it, love. (No matter how big or small the author, there’s not a one of us who doesn’t get a trickley little thrill when we hear such things.)

      Most readers have no idea there even ARE reviews on Amazon etc, and have never heard of Goodreads. I’ve been an avid reader all my life and I had no idea about any of this until about five years ago.


  3. Carol Lovekin

    Whenever I have this discussion with people shy of writing a review, I tell them, just leave a star-rating & a few words: ‘Great, I loved it!’ is fine.
    Great post, Terri. Useful. I’ll share it. xXx

    Liked by 1 person

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