POP QUIZ: How many books are published in the U.S. each month?

ANSWER: 50,000. Or maybe 100,000. The experts disagree. Either way, it’s mind-boggling.


For our purposes here, let’s stick with 50,000. Remember, that’s 50,000 books each month.

Just to keep up, you would have to read more than 1,666 books a day.

That’s about 70 books an hour.


But what does this have to do with reader reviews? And by reader reviews, I mean those reviews readers write and post on Websites such as Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, etc.

I know what you’re thinking. You paid the money. You bought the book. You read it. You even enjoyed it. And now you are supposed to write a review of it, too? Geez.

But your reader review is crucial. Yes, crucial.

Here’s the ugly truth: if you like a writer’s work and hope to read her next book, take three minutes and write a quick review.

Because when your author goes to her publisher with her next manuscript, you can bet that publisher is going to check the Amazon reviews for her previous book before deciding whether to accept the new one.

Harsh, but true.

Now, if your author is regularly mentioned in the New York Times, please feel free to disregard this plea entirely.

But, if you admire the work of an author, especially one who isn’t widely reviewed in the media, then take a few minutes to write your own review.

One more fact to consider: if that writer you admire is a woman, then your review is even more important. There is a striking gender disparity in reviewing. For example, only about 25% of the books reviewed in the The New York Review of Books are written by women. Your review makes an even greater difference for women writers.

Wondering how to write a review? It’s easy: go to the Webpage selling the book–it doesn’t matter if you bought the book there or not. Next, scroll down to the reviews, click on the “Write a Customer Review Button,” assign some stars, and write a couple of sentences. It might help to imagine you are writing a postcard to the author. Easy-peasy.

In the end, the most important thing is this: your review can make all the difference in a writer’s life.

Thank you for putting in a good word for us. 

You make our writing life possible.


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