Now that The Maze: Book Three of the Osteria Chronicles has been unleashed on the world. It’s time for me to remind all you lovely book readers out there just how important book reviews are and how helpful they can be to give a writer a boost.

And I’m not talking about an ego boost (okay, maybe a little ego boost). Here’s just a handful of ways taking a couple minutes to leave a review can help an author…

  • It can encourage a writer. Sure as a writer you have to be self-motivated or you’re never going to get a book published. Still, if my stepsister hadn’t told me how much she enjoyed Books One and Two of The Osteria Chronicles and how much she was looking forward to Book Three, that Book Three may not have existed. I was so disheartened with writing at that point and so frustrated with the manuscript for what would eventually become The Maze that I was about ready to give up on the series. Even though it was only one person’s words, they were enough to drive me back to that pesky manuscript.

  • It provides another tool for authors to promote their work. It’s a bit tacky to post “Buy My Book!!” ten thousand times a day on social media, but it’s perfectly acceptable to post a snippet of a reader’s raving review….especially if you doll it up using a fancy-schmancy quote creator like I did with this one…

  • It helps other readers. If you were sifting through the “shelves” on Amazon and saw two books for the same price and one had fifty reviews while the other had no reviews, which one are you likely going to click on first to learn more? In most cases, you’ll check out the one with more reviews. It’s not to say the book with no reviews is worse than the one with fifty reviews (in fact, it may be better), but with our limited time and limited budgets we’re more inclined to go with books that have proven themselves to be worth reading.

  • It boosts a book’s algorithms. Search engines are ever-evolving things. A bit of SEO in a book’s metadata (keywords, description, title, etc) helps, but search engines – especially those on retail sites – really really really LOVE reviews. So, the more reviews, the more likely a book is going to pop up on that all important first page of search results.

Amazon Is Getting Tricky

Due to a few fiascos with authors paying people to post reviews and creating fake reviews, Amazon is now very picky about reviews and have been known to delete those they think are fake or to pull down a book’s entire listing if they think something fishy is going on.

Because of this, it’s even more important to leave reviews…sort of like letting an author stockpile reviews in case the Amazon gremlins whisk some away.

You Know What This is Leading Up To, Right?

With The Trials of Hercules, I was crazy pro-active in trying to get reviews such as contacting Goodreads Giveaway entrants, book bloggers, and the local press. It was an enormous amount of work and to this day I still have only ten reviews on Amazon for the book (all very good reviews, so yay!!)…and I swear not long ago there were at least twenty (Amazon gremlins?).

Because the effort didn’t seem worth the reward, I now rely solely on my readers to post reviews. How’s that for pressure?! It doesn’t have to be much, even just clicking a star rating is better than nothing, but a simple sentence about your thoughts is super appreciated.

So, if you’ve read a book lately and haven’t yet left a review, head over to whichever book retailer’s website** you prefer and toss a few stars or a few words the author’s way.

(**And remember, to really help readers discover new books, you can cross-post reviews on various sites such as Amazon, iBooks, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, Goodreads, etc, with just some simple cutting and pasting magic.)

See you Saturday when Finn and I will be heading back to the beach…although this one is far less tropical than the ones in Maui.


Get your copy of The Maze today….
For e-book fans and bargain hunters….

From now through the end of the month you can get The Trials of Hercules (Book One) and The Maze (Book Three) for only 99 cents each. Clicking on the books’ titles above will take you to a handy dandy site with direct links to all your favorite ebook retailers. 


For those of you who love the feel of a real book, or who are perhaps looking for a great gift for a fan of epic fantasy or historical fantasy fiction….

From now through the end of the year you can get all three books in the series for only $30 (plus shipping*). That’s over $13 off the retail price!! To get this deal, just email me, let me know you’re interested, and we can proceed from there (I promise, it’s very easy and relatively painless).


9 thoughts on “Want to Help a Writer? Leave a Review!!

  1. I’m glad you raised this, because I have a question. Do I leave a review of a book when there are things about it I don’t like? This isn’t about your books, but recently I read a book from an author who I know on-line and, whilst there were aspects of the book I liked, there were some things I thought were problematic about it. I don’t want to go into details and you have to remember that I am also an editor, but I wonder what you think. Do I write an honest review? Do I write personally to the author? If so would the author be horribly offended at unsolicited feedback? I talked to Mr Snail about this and he said that since the author knew I bought the book, but didn’t ask me what I thought of it, I should leave well alone. I would appreciate your views.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a tough one. On one hand, I personally would want to know the flaws of the book in the hopes that I could work on them in the future. On the other hand, if the book doesn’t have many reviews, a bad one can really hurt the average rating. I’d say if the book was okay, give it three stars and a brief mention of the top couple things you did and didn’t like, then (if you’re comfortable) contact the author and gently tell them what could do with some improvement (and do remind them you’re an editor). If the book is truly awful, I’d say be honest if there are already 25-30 reviews, but not to leave a review if there aren’t (you can still contact the author).


      1. In that case, I think I would say just that very thing in a posted review. Then, if you’re comfortable with it, email the author and suggest a few aspects of his/her writing that he/she should work on to improve his/her craft.


  2. Excellent points! Back in the distant misty past when I worked in a bookshop, the staff were encouraged to put up reviews of their favourites, and the difference it made to sales was incredible. If I make it through silly season in one piece, I solemnly swear to get some reviews out there! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Powells Books here in Portland puts reviews both from staff and from local readers on little tags along the shelves. Some of the ones from kids are hilarious because you can tell they’re trying to sound sophisticated. 😂😂😂


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