Writers, Do Your Duty!!!

by sjbgilmour

We hear it all the time.  That constant bleat from writers begging readers to leave reviews.  Hell, I’ve sounded off about it myself a few times.  But, it’s a two-way street, ladies and gents.  When a reader reviews your work, even if it’s a measly one or two star review, you have an opportunity – no, scratch that.  You have an obligation to reach out and contact the reviewer.

They read your book.  They paid for it (even if it was free, their time could have been spent doing something else, or worse, reading something else.  Just think about that for a moment, yeah?), and they went to all the effort of letting you and the whole world know what they thought.  They’re giving you direct feedback, and an opportunity to hone your craft, fix mistakes, and best of all encourage them to read more.

Writers, when a reader reviews your work, thank them.  Value them.  Encourage them to read more, and not just by lambasting them with pushy demands to like this page or that.  Don’t autorespond!!!  You’re  WRITERS.  You make stuff up for a living.  You can surely string a few original sentences together to thank a reviewer.  Trust me on this, it’s the best advertising you’ll ever get, and it’s free.  The reviewer will never forget it, and be very, very likely to read more of your work.

How do I know this?  Well not too long ago, I read a book I liked so much I left a review.  My review wasn’t any great piece of literary craftsmanship in itself, but it was a five-star review ( I rarely write reviews unless I can give a book at least four stars), and I meant every word.  You know what?  The author responded.  Publicly.  I’m a 43 year-old guy, and I’m squirming like an embarrassed shy schoolkid who just got a pat on the back from his teen idol.  I’m not going to go all stalker-ish on the writer, but I sure as hell will read every single book they turn out.  Every.  Single.  Book.