The One-Size-Fits-All Writer Gift
Fancy gifts, that is. And since we’re all about writing here, I thought I’d share my never-fail gift for the writers on your list. But honestly, it’s nothing fancy. In fact, it’s pretty simple. And it’s free, too.
It’s the sparkly and fun book review!
Wait—what? You never considered it? Then it’s time to take a closer look at the joy of the review.
Gosh, it’s hard being a writer. Day in, day out, you write, write, write—and deep down, you wonder, wonder, wonder if your writing is any good. And getting daily rejections certainly doesn’t help. But then, miracle of miracles, you get published! Maybe it’s a long-awaited contract for the manuscript you’ve spent five years writing. Or maybe it’s a story, accepted for an anthology like Chicken Soup for the Soul. Or maybe it’s the book you believed in so much that you went the self-publishing route. So now your words are out there in the world—oh, the thrill!—but something’s missing. And that’s a sweet note of validation.
There’s validation, of course, when friends and family and people you don’t even know buy your book, but nothing beats a sincere, “I really enjoyed this book!” You can make someone’s day with just a few words of validation in a thoughtful book review.
But you can also make someone’s book sales soar with a book review.
In a perfect world, writers could spend all their time writing. But writers must succeed in the business world, too, and that means marketing their books. They’ll schedule tours on blogs or dash around to book signings or sponsor giveaways. They want to sell books, but they also want people talking about their books. A book review can make quite an impact.
Reviews on Amazon or Goodreads affect a book’s ranking; they influence buyers. So your review—which costs you nothing but the twenty minutes or so to write a few words—can boost sales.
But, But, But
But what if your writer friend hasn't got a book? Be creative—you’re a writer, right? Send a note of encouragement, or leave a lovely comment on her blog.
But what if you truly didn’t like your writer friend’s book? You don’t have to gush. Find something nice to say, even if it’s just that you loved the title. And if you can’t find the words, click on a couple stars. Stars are shiny support, too.
But what if you have a book? Put a book review on the top of your Wish List. Spread the word to friends and family. Ask nicely. Because honestly, it’s that time of year when people want to do something good.
And something good doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be as simple and heartfelt as saying, “I really enjoyed this book!”
~Cathy C. Hall