Darlin’, stand by me

I’ve read several tweets this past week about Amazon’s policy allowing readers to return eBooks after they’ve read them. When that happens, Amazon charges the FULL PRICE of the book to the author. Problem with that is authors don’t receive the full price when the book sells. We get 60%. When people take advantage of this policy, authors lose money.

This practice has the same unethical vibe as returning an expensive dress to Nieman’s AFTER you’ve worn it to your high school reunion.

Unless you’re Stephen King or Janet Evanovich, you’re not making enough money to pay your bills. I wonder if people realize the effect of their choice to return books.

As long as Amazon’s policy remains in place, authors have no say in the situation. However, there is something our devoted fans can do to help us out.

Leave reviews!

It’s easy to do. Click on the link next to the stars at the top of the page. It takes you to the screen which houses all posted reviews for the book. Simply click the button that says, “Write a customer review.”

Not sure what to say?

Start with a hook, a sentence that grabs the potential reader’s attention. Something like, “OMG, if you want to stay up all hours of the night reading until you turn the last page, this is the book for you!”

List your praise and your critiques. No book is perfect. It’s probably a more realistic review if you share things you didn’t love. But be as lavish as you want with what you really liked.

You can talk about the characters. When I decide about a new book to buy, I want to know if the people in the story are authentic and real-life, not too perfect to be true. Discuss whether the dialogue sounded real to you or gave the story a good regional flavor. Maybe you liked the descriptions of the setting, little details that made the time period pop to life.

Give your recommendation. Who do you think would enjoy reading the book?

Your review doesn’t have to be long. A few sentences will suffice. And it may be just the thing to swing a reader into the decision to buy.

Here is an easy fill-in-the blank sample you can copy.

_______ (hook).
I really liked this book because ______. I got a little sidetracked when_______ happened, but not enough to take away from the story. My favorite character was ______. I loved how she always _____. And the dialogue between _____ and _____ made me laugh out loud in places. The author must have done her research because I felt like I was right there in _____ with all the details about the setting she included. If you like books in the _______ genre, you’re going to love this one. And it’s safe for teen readers as well. Buy this book. You won’t be disappointed.

Of course, you could make your review say whatever you want, but I’ve had so many readers tell me they just don’t have the time to write their own. They’ve even told me if I’ll write it for them, they’ll post it! I’ve resisted the urge so far.

Personally, I’d rather hear what you have to say. Just know, you taking the time and effort to add a review (to Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble – wherever you like to check out books) will mean the world to the authors you enjoy. We can’t do this alone and we appreciate every single one of you.

4 Replies to “Darlin’, stand by me”

  1. Great post Paula – I hadn’t realised that Amazon charge the author the full price of the book. Charming …

    On reviews, even a simple sentence such as ‘I couldn’t put this book down, everyone should read it’ is enough!
    And if that’s too much, just give a star rating. Anything is appreciated.

  2. What an excellent post, Paula. Thank you so much. Reviews are like a “thank you” note to the author. Many long hours go into crafting, editing, publishing, and marketing a novel.

    Authors deserve some praise for all their efforts. Blessings!

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