The Goldenwealth Light Just received its second official review on amazon. I recall dropping everything I was doing (though I admit it wasn't much at the time) and trotting joyfully over to read it right away.
Yes, it's only the book's second review. But as many authors who have gone the way of self-publishing know, when you're doing all your own promoting, reviews really are the bread-and-butter of your existence. You can tout the joys of your own book until you're blue in the face, and it's somewhat helpful for people to know you care enough to say something, but let's be honest -- of course you like your own book, right? If you didn't think it was well written and worthy of publication, you wouldn't have tried to publish it.
...at least I hope you wouldn't have.
At any rate, did you ever watch Reading Rainbow? What did LeVar Burton always say at the end? "But don't take my word for it!" No truer words have been spoken in a long time. You're the author. You can most certainly drum up interest in your book through your own hard work, but at the end of the day, people can't just take your word for it. That's what makes reviewing so important. Reviewing establishes credibility -- it tells people that the general public is liking what they read when they spare the time to stare at your book. Even a mediocre review at least shows others that people are reading your book.
I recall a book (which shall remain nameless) that I encountered on Amazon last week that had reviews so abysmal, I was curious to see what people had such a problem with. Man...those were some painful reviews (some of them really weren't even fair, but I digress). But all the same...the book still had 239 total reviews, and not all of them were total train wrecks. Famous or infamous...people are clearly reading this book. People are telling their friends, who are picking up their own copies to read and review.
Of course, as new authors we all hope and pray that people will like our masterpieces, and that we will receive more good reviews than poor ones. But still, folks? When you take the time out of your day to read a book, consider adding on a few extra minutes to share your thoughts in the form of a review. Are you obligated to do this? Certainly not. If you were, then the words would likely lack impact because they would be forced. See writing a review as a token of your appreciation if you liked the book, and a friendly warning to others if you didn't. If the book has a lot of reviews already, share your voice anyway. If it doesn't, then your review might just be a pivotal decision-maker for somebody else.
Your favorite author, whoever it is, needs your voice. Writing isn't easy...but neither is brain surgery or rocket science. Still, surgeons and scientists are paid for what they do. Most indie authors aren't, until they "make it". Help your favorite author to "make it" by telling them how you feel, since they can't be there reading the book over your shoulder.
And really, you don't want them there reading over your shoulder anyway, right? That would just be disturbing.