Ramblings: reviews from readers and their importance for self-published authors

Right, so I’m an author who recently self-published his first book, ‘Only an atheist can help God save the world’ via Amazon and Smashwords. I have plans to publish the sequel, ‘Jesus Returns: here he comes again’, when it’s completed by the same means and this week I would like to talk about the importance of reader reviews for writers like me. Like many out there who chose this route I have no agent, no publishing house and very little in the way of budget that I can use to promote my work so I need all the help I can get ;). I have been plugging my book on social media for a few months, building up a small following, and I have sold a small number of copies. And then one evening recently I received a very nice message from one of my followers, someone who had been persuaded by my advertising to give my book a go. This person messaged me to thank me for my book. And then they posted this, rather lovely, review on Amazon:

“A thoroughly enjoyable read. 4 stars. Enjoyed this immensely, much more than I thought I would. Thought provoking and enjoyably quirky. Well worth the entrance fee. Recommended.”

You can see their review on Amazon UK here (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Only-atheist-help-save-world-ebook/dp/B010QJFJMI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1435819807&sr=8-1&keywords=only+an+atheist).

As a self-published author I have to say that it doesn’t get much better than that! And I have obviously been tweeting this review out as often as I dare! But it also got me thinking, not only about how wonderful it was to have someone say something so nice about my work, but about how grateful I was to the person for taking the time to write the review and post it on Amazon. I’m glad that they were persuaded by my incessant ranting on Twitter to give the book a go, for it is not an easy thing to convince people when you don’t have the aforementioned publicity team, but also that they had enjoyed the novel so much that they wanted to share this information with other potential readers out there and to encourage them to do as they themselves had done.

For I know that the only way that someone like me shall succeed is with the interaction and the enthusiasm of fans. These are the people who take the leap to give your work a try, who will then talk about it, tweet about it, convey their opinion to their friends and family and persuade them that the book is worth reading. For us that self-publish word of mouth really is everything! Also, when you receive a review like this one it is, undoubtedly, very gratifying and you get the feeling that everything you endured to get to this point might actually be worth it! As you can tell, I am very grateful to this person and I messaged them to tell them that I was.

So, if you buy my book, or you read the works of other self-published authors, and you enjoy them, as I hope you do, then please take the time to let them know what you thought and to post a review. I recently bought several books by other self-publishing authors and I will be posting reviews on my blog, and on the website from which I purchased the book, once I’ve actually managed to find the time to read them.

We in the self-publishing community need to support each other but we also need the support of our readers. If you have something to say then please feel free to get in touch with me. Either message me on Twitter or email me (onlyanatheist@mail.com) and I’ll do my best to reply. And leave reviews on whichever websites you buy self-published books from. It makes all the difference to those of us trying to reach an audience.

Check out my other “Rambling” blogs posts for articles on comics, politics, self-publishing and my novel, ‘Only an atheist can help God save the world’ which is out now at all electronic retailers! Also follow me on Twitter @onlyanatheist1. Cheers!



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