The SHOCKING Secret Health Benefits of Posting Book Reviews

Please enjoy my latest blog post, written by an author friend who wished to remain anonymous:

Want to stay healthy? Youthful? Full of energy? The first step is writing that book review!

Okay, okay. So I'm really bad at writing click-bait headlines. (And I can't even commit to a good falsehood for, like, five seconds!) But, I'm kind of desperate. Because, you know that author who keeps begging you to review her book? (Me.) She doesn't just want your reviews. She needs them. (Also me.)


Not to put too fine a point on it, but here's the truth: She will never, ever be able to make a living as a writer if you don't post that review. Here's why. Even though she has spent years writing quality novels that readers seem to enjoy, and even though...
  • She spends hours each week marketing
  • Her reviews are good
  • She advertises
  • She promotes on social media
  • She maintains a blog
  • She builds a mailing list
  • She keeps writing more books
  • She hosts giveaways, promotions, launch parties and blog tours
  • She takes marketing classes and seminars
  • She enters writing contests
  • She sends her book to bloggers
  • She does book signings
The result of it all is still only a relatively small number of readers who even know she exist.

That writer truly loves her loyal band of readers to the deepest depths of her soul. They help her keep writing, they help her believe in what she does... but, practically speaking, that's not enough to get her enough sales to even cover her expenses most months. She just needs more exposure! To get it, she needs to promote her books to millions of readers, not hundreds or thousands.

But how?

Well, since SHE is Me, I'll tell you: there are certain promotional avenues available to authors who have at least 35 to 50 reviews on one book. To date, none of my titles have quite that many. As you can imagine, at this point, reviews are even more valuable to me than sales.

So what do I do to get more reviews?

In a perfect world, I get reviews from book bloggers. These are great, because they are impartial readers who don't know me and don't worry about hurting my feelings. Here's the problem: we authors are overwhelming them with requests and, often, even when we do send them books to review, they don't.

So here I am, hat in hand, begging, annoying, pleading and harassing my other connections -- friends of a friend, that lady my husband works with, my sister's daughter's third-grade teacher's cousin, and that random dude on Twitter who keeps liking my kitten photos.

I don't want to be a bother. I hate sounding so needy. But this is survival time. Thus, this post. I figured if I could explain why I need reviews, I would not be compelled to beg, annoy, plead or harass. I'm hoping my author friends will find it handy too, including the host of this blog. You know, as a public service announcement to the reading public.

In the past, whenever someone tells me they've read my book, I have politely asked them to post an honest review, preferably on Amazon (because that's the site that typically accumulates the most reviews.) I've also told them:
  • I don't expect five stars
  • I don't expect it to be free of criticism
  • My feelings won't be hurt
  • I value honesty
Here's how many people respond:
  • I'm not good at thinking of something to write
  • I'm waiting until I can do it justice
  • My one little review won't make a difference, will it?
  • I'll get to it soon
  •  .... (that's the sound of crickets chirping)
So... what does ANY of this have to do with your health? Well, don't you feel guilty now? Doesn't it make your heart hurt a little, your stomach clench. Don't you feel a headache coming on -- all because you DIDN'T post that review?

I don't want you to feel that way! I want you to be healthy! (I want to be healthy too -- and fewer sleepless nights worrying about this stuff wouldn't hurt!) So please, for the sake of your health, for the sake of mine, pop over to Amazon and post that review!

Still don't know what to write?  Here's the truth: I love those thoughtful reviews that my readers post. But something less impressive will still mean so much! How about:
  • I liked it
  • It was pretty good
  • It reminded me of This Other Book
  • It reminded me of This Other Writer
  • It made me think
  • It killed the time
  • I don't know what to say about this book
Seriously, it doesn't matter. Sad to say, I don't need eloquence to take advantage of these marketing opportunities, I need volume! If I could order the super-sized Costco quantity of vanilla-flavored reviews over those rich, decadent delicious morsels... well, I would have to. Because I'm trying to make a living at this, not just an expensive hobby.

Thanks in advance! And just remember, if I ever make it big, you helped make it happen. <3

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