You loved the book! You didn’t want it to end! When you read the last page your heart broke, because it was over. You sat contemplating what might have happened next and how that would affect the characters’ lives. Then you closed the book. You walked away. But you can’t get that story out of your mind.

What now? How can you thank the author? What should you do?

The most powerful thing is this: Write a review.

A review doesn’t have to be long. It can be comprised of one or two short sentences. “I couldn’t put it down,” is great, if this was true. Of course, you can say more if you’d like. Next choose the number of stars that you feel the book should have. Then post it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or wherever you bought the book. That’s it.

Why do this? What effect will this have?

You may be surprised to find that the average author income is less than $2000 annually. The expenses of writing and publishing consume that total and more. Authors do our own marketing, and as a result we’re only able to actually write during about 35% of our work time. The remaining 65% is spent trying to get the word out to you about our stories. We must market because there are millions of books on Amazon alone.

Writing is a business. It can take years to produce a book. It’s been revised dozens of times. It’s gone through professional editing. It’s gone through the book design process. A cover has been crafted specifically for the story. It’s time intensive. My books take years to reach publication.

If the author wants to keep writing, she must sell books and make at least enough money to continue to do so. There are websites to upkeep, ads to produce, marketing skills to learn, webinars to attend to gain those skills, editors and designers to hire, and sales promos to design and carry out. These are costly.

This is why the best way to help an author is to write a review and to tell your friends: Your words help the author sell more books.

What happens when you write a review?

When the author reads your review, she is paid with something more important than money. She now knows that those countless hours have resulted in a story that hit the mark and accomplished what she hoped and dreamed her story would accomplish. However, she still has bills to pay.

When you review the book, it affects how Amazon or any other bookseller treats that story. The more readers who review a book, the easier Amazon makes it for future readers to find, discover, and buy the book. The more reviews, the higher Amazon ranks the book and moves it to places where others can find it alongside similar books to tempt you, the reader.

Because Amazon is the biggest bookseller in the world, your review is as valuable as paid advertising material. This brings in income, enabling your author to write more books. Not only does it tell her what her readers like and what impacts their lives, but it helps her to recoup the costs of writing the book and seeing it published as well as marketed.

Books are sold by word-of-mouth. Reviews and online discussions are the equivalent in our day. Make your favorite author’s day. Enable her to write more stories for you to enjoy. Take a few minutes to write that review.

It’s never too late to write one.

All the authors thank you!

More about the Whys: What Every Reader Must Know by Ninie Hammon