A write old life.

Dougie Brimson. Author, screenwriter, serial moaner.

Why I love my readers (and why their reviews are so important!)

I love my readers.

I love my readers! Come on, give us a cuddle!

Over the last couple of years you might have noticed that the world of the ebook has changed publishing out of all recognition. This is particularly true for mid-list authors such as myself.

No longer under the control of editors or publishers we are now free to go it alone to write what we like and publish it when we like. Trust me, for all kinds of reasons that freedom is liberating!

For the reader, it has been equally revolutionary. Who would have thought five years ago that not only would there be a genuine alternative to good old paper but that there would be books available to download for free at the touch of a button!

But the rise of the ebook has added a new and very important element to the reading process and it is one which not everyone seems to have grasped. It is the power to review. Be it on amazon, iTunes, Goodreads or any of the numerous reader websites, if you enjoy or even dislike a book you are now able to tell the world.

That my friends, is power, real power. And I will tell you why.

As a professional writer of ebooks, whenever I release something new onto the market the promotion of that book falls not to the publisher as it used to, but to me as the author. As a consequence the normal routine is to bombard media outlets, social media, related websites and blogs in the hope that someone will help by providing some publicity.

This, as you can imagine, is an extremely important part of the publishing process because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how good a book might be if no one knows about it no one will buy it! But this work can consume an extraordinary amount of time and whilst it can be fabulous fun, it can also prove to be both frustrating and soul destroying.

However, after a certain amount of time you have to get back to the actual process of writing which means that you have to let your latest stand on its merits and fend for itself. It’s at this point that all authors hope that their readers will kick in and take up the task of spreading the word on their behalf. Fundamental to that is the review.

From the readers perspective a review can have many functions but for the majority of authors reviews are promotional tools and in that sense they are almost unrivalled which is why we all ask, plead and even beg readers to post them. It isn’t that we want you to boost our self-esteem (nice though that is!) it’s because the simple truth of the matter is that nothing sells books like word of mouth and these days, that primarily means what readers have to say on the online outlets.

Of course there are people who would never review a book for all kinds of reasons. The usual three being ‘I wouldn’t know what to write’,’ I’d be embarrassed’ or ‘I can’t be arsed.’ But by thinking in this way they are actually missing out on what to me is one of the most exciting elements of the ebook revolution and that’s the potential for the reader to become directly involved in the publishing process.

Because when you download a book be it free or paid, you earn the right to have an opinion. And since your opinion is as good as anyone else’s, rather than keep it to yourself or simply share it with your immediate family why not share it with the global community? You don’t have to say much, just a sentence or two, but anything is better than nothing. Believe me, it can be a great deal of fun!

Equally and just as importantly, by posting a review on one of the online stores such as Amazon and iTunes –and this is the crux of the matter- you instantly become a part of the promotion for that book.

I won’t try and explain the mysteries of the various ranking systems and why every single review counts but think about it in its most basic sense; your glowing review could be the one which introduces someone to the delights of Billy’s Log or The Crew! Surely that has to be worth a few minutes of your time!

And speaking as an author, reviews have other benefits. One of which is that they help me to decide what to write next. For example, I had no idea that there was so much interest in sequels to both Top Dog and Billy’s Log but now, thanks to both the sales figures and the fabulous reviews posted by readers, I do. Which is why you will hopefully soon see both, possibly within the next 12 months.

For me that last sentence encapsulates why I place so much importance on my readers opinions. Because by posting a review and helping to keep a title or titles selling, they/you allow me to concentrate on the actual process of writing and turning out fresh material.

At the end of the day, I hope that’s what people actually want me to be doing as opposed to trying to climb up some journalist rear end in the hope

Me at work

What I would much rather be doing!

that they might say something nice about my latest. It’s certainly what I’d much rather be doing.

So please, if you have ever read a book and like it, take the time to leave a review somewhere or even mention it on Facebook or Twitter. As I have said a million times each and every one of them genuinely helps and as someone pointed out to me today, a review is a fabulous way of thanking the author for his or her efforts.

One final point on the subject of reviews and just to confirm the importance of what I’ve said above, could I say a huge thanks to all the people who have been posting such kind things on Amazon and iTunes lately. It’s because of you guys that The Crew, Top Dog and Billy’s Log in particular are selling so well and sitting at the top of their respective charts. I am both humbled and eternally grateful for your fantastic support.

sexy lads romance love

Billy's Log - autobiography?

Two quick things I would like to add, I’m aiming to have a new book online by the end of May or early June  (details here) and I have just agreed to take part in what I hope is going to be a fabulous new project aimed directly at lads everywhere.

Watch this space or keep an eye on my website for more details.

18 comments on “Why I love my readers (and why their reviews are so important!)

  1. Lois Hoffman
    March 15, 2012

    I can’t say that I have ever reviewed a book. Sounds like that is going to change. Thanks for the post.

    • Dougie Brimson
      March 15, 2012

      You must Lois! It’s never been more important. Besides, you might enjoy it!

  2. Jen Talty
    March 15, 2012

    Word of mouth is the number one way to sell books. A review is word of mouth.

  3. Pingback: One Essential Way You Can Help Your Favorite Writers… « Under An Outlaw Moon

  4. Heather Murphy
    March 16, 2012

    I have agreed to write reviews for a couple authors possibly due to the same reasons that you have mentioned here. I have limited funds but if given an ebook, I would be happy to write a review and post it on my blog, goodreads, facebook, whereever. I make it a practice to send the author the review first and I will not post it he/she does not want it posted. If anyone is interested, feel free to contact me

    • Betsy Miller
      March 16, 2012

      Hi Heather,
      Would you be interested in reviewing my short stories? I’d love to hear from you.

      • Heather Murphy
        March 17, 2012

        Hi Betsy. All of your writing sound great, including your short stories! I would be happy to write reviews for you

    • Christopher Antony Meade.
      February 13, 2013

      Hi Heather. I will send you a copy of my book if you like. It would be really useful to have one of your reviews. It has had several, but could do with more.

      • Heather Murphy
        February 13, 2013

        Absolutely, the offer still stands. Thank you for considering me. My email address is heather(dot)murphy9134(at)gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you

  5. sharkbytes
    March 17, 2012

    Doug- I quoted a piece of what you wrote today, on joanofshark.com. The quick feedback really has changed the industry!

    • Dougie Brimson
      March 17, 2012

      Thanks Joan. I think in these increasingly exciting times the idea of directly involving readers is quite fantastic!

      If nothing else it has the potential to make books much more ‘real’.

  6. mreuther
    March 20, 2012

    Reviews are fun to write and a real benefit to authors whose works often go unnoticed.

  7. mreuther
    March 21, 2012

    I got great feedback from a colleague who read my book, “Write the Darn Book.” She said it has inspired her to write her own book, which is precisely what’s it’s meant to do.

    • Dougie Brimson
      March 21, 2012

      Good man!! I hope she credited you?

      I get lots of mails from people who criticise my books (long story) and I always say to them ‘write a better book!’

      Four people have taken me up on the challenge and ended up in print!

  8. mreuther
    April 14, 2012

    It’s great to help others by sharing your own experiences.

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