Calling All Readers – How To Write a Simple Book Review by Allyson R. Abbott is not only an instructional book on how to write a book review but it also explains the importance of writing book reviews for Indie Authors. Yes, I read a book on how to write book reviews. Ha! I know it may seem comical to have read it eight reviews into my blog but hey…I’ve got to start sometime. By the way, Indie authors are writers that are not financially backed by publishing houses; they’re independent writers. Thought you’d probably want to know that. I didn’t know that. And I probably never would have known that had it not been for this informative book.
I’m actually really glad I picked up this book. Allyson goes into great detail on the importance of writing book reviews for authors on all the typical websites such as Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, etc. She especially emphasizes the importance of doing this for Indie authors since they do not have the financial backing of publishing houses which typically take care of all of the promoting, circulating and marketing of the book. Indie authors rely on book reviews to generate sales. Something to consider since I’m currently working on a book of my own. She had some good recommendations. Some of her statistics on Indie author book sales were discouraging. “An Indie author’s income comes from the books that are sold. The common (and usually expected) selling price is either 99p, or it’s free. Yes free. Can you imagine slogging your guts out for months on a piece of work, then giving it away for free, time and time again? It is heart-breaking.” It really is heart-breaking and it would really bother me if it weren’t for the fact that she used such an entertaining word like slogging. Ha! *Note to self: Reconsider self-publishing.
The book was brief, to the point and as you probably already gathered, informal. It’s an uncomplicated light read. It serves its purpose. Only a few things bothered me about it. I was a little bothered by the fact that it has a few grammatical errors. To add insult to injury she actually goes into detail about the negative effects of having readers notice grammatical errors in ones work. About two sentences into that explanation, I found another grammatical error; no joke. Another point that irritated me a bit was that the content was too dumbed down as if it were written for junior high students. It doesn’t read like a book that a typical adult would pick up. Finally, the last point that kind of bothered me was that she was a tad persistent in using the book as self-promotion material and insisted that the reader take a minute to review the book after having read it.
I did like that she repeatedly asked the reader to give honest and constructive criticism without being biased or insulting. She also cautioned the reader not to “sell their souls” by automatically giving a good review for the sake of monetary compensation. I enjoyed the unexpected information about self-publishing, self-promoting and self-marketing. It’s helpful for someone like me. I also enjoyed that she kept an optimistic view and positive tone throughout the book. I don’t know whether this is obvious or not but…she published the book herself. I admire that kind of gumption. It’s admirable! She’s definitely braver than me! I know I will dread the day that I finally publish my book. I may very well opt not to read any reviews out of fear of being discouraged from continuing to write. I want to write for me; not for popularity. We shall see what comes of it all. As for the book, it was good but not great. I gave it three (3) stars on Goodreads. Enjoy!