Readers think they support authors, but do you really?

Photo credit: Alice Hampson

Photo credit: Alice Hampson

When the Amazon/Hachette feud was in full swing back in 2014, readers came out in full force on the internet to voice their support for the authors being hurt by Amazon's price-gouging practices. All of those readers had something to be proud of at the end of that fight, when the win went to the book publishers. Authors appreciate the vocal support, but there is another way to support authors that is often forgotten: book reviews.

How often have you gushed about a great book you read over lunch with friends, or added a quick "like" in response to someone's Tumblr post about a book you also enjoyed? While word of mouth is one of the most important tools a reader has to give a new author exposure, taking five minutes to post a book review or recommendation goes even further.

Your conversation over lunch may be forgotten in an hour, and your "like" may never be seen in the sea of other "likes". An online review is longer lasting and more visible. It's aggregated with other reviews for that book, and just a spike in the number of reviews can do positive things for how much exposure an author's book receives on Amazon or Goodreads.

Book reviews neither have to be time-consuming nor lengthy. Goodreads and other sites allow you to do a star-only review if you choose; text is optional. So, when you have a moment and think about it, go ahead to Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, or wherever your heart desires, and post your rating about the latest book you read. If so inclined, add a sentence or two to say you liked it.

You might think your little review won't matter to other readers, but when most readers choose whether or not to purchase a book, based on the number of reviewers who read the book, I can tell you that your review, however short, is invaluable. So, support an author today by reviewing their book.

- A.M.