Are you a ‘Book Reviewer’? Who Told you? – by Sandeep Sharma


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Yes, the writing industry is evolving everyday and everything that evolves in this world, have to face the obstructions. With the coming of up self-publishing (or POD), the authentication of author’s writing has degraded a lot. Earlier the published author was the one who must have been brilliant with his/her writing skills but today, the scenario is different. With the coming up of ‘Open Self-publishing houses’ (Those who openly accept that they are self-publishers in nature) and ‘Hidden Self-Publishing houses’ (Those who are working under the curtain of traditional houses), the need of Book Reviewers came up in the market because you never know, from where the lotus is going to blossom. Even the self-publishing market is providing fabulous fictions that are way superior to the traditional ones.

Now the question that arrives is that, who should be remarked (or tagged) as a book reviewer? I am reviewing books since last 2 years now and I am still searching for the answer of this question. Though I do call myself ‘A Book Reviewer’ but sometimes I do feel like I am cheating by calling myself the same and that’s why I decided to write upon it.

We all know that facebook is a powerful medium for our industry. Social media is the only place where a writer gets appraisal for his/her book (I am talking about the majority part, not the giant Bestsellers like Chetan Bhagat, Amish Tripathy etc.). Being an ardent follower of the changing trend of writing industry over social media platform (facebook), I noticed that there’s a constant conflict between authors and publishers that who should be the genuine reviewer for the books they have brought up in the market? In my opinion, the answer is pretty simple; every reader is a reviewer. Everyone is having their own opinion and when you are standing in the market to sell, be ready to hear everyone’s opinion. Everyone is free to speak and with the power of social media, the thoughts will surely get magnified and will reach the masses.

Lately I was reading an article about the success of an International Bestseller Novel named ‘The girl on the train’ by Paula Hawkins. It broke an epic record of 3 million copies being sold in a very short span of time and the success story of the book is pretty simple. It reached these tremendous heights just because of the early reviews that got received by mere readers (termed as Book reviewer). The hype that got received by the book after the review of a reviewer named Karen (Top reviewer on goodreads) on goodreads, was tremendous; even Goodreads was stunned to see that. Another such story was of Harry Potter series. Oprah Winfrey, the most influential lady over television, speaks about Harry Potter, and the sales of the book picked up the speed of rocket.

Concluding the thoughts that kept on wavering inside my head, in my opinion, a reader is a reviewer and you are absolutely free to review it on your blog and when your friends start to follow your blogs (Which does happens, if you are regular), you becomes the voice of readers. And for the writers, if you have confidence in your writing and want to reach the masses, you should be ready for everything. You do need reviews, there’s no escape to it (if you are a debutant or still struggling to reach the heights, you dreamt of!). You should be thankful to everyone who is taking the pain of reading your book. With so much of choices around, so many big names around (and tempting deals on Amazon and other online portals), you should thank every reviewer around and should encourage the reading. Believe in grapevine publicity of your book and for that, you need reviewers.

Now why I do feel like cheating, when I review books? Well will write next time!

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10 thoughts on “Are you a ‘Book Reviewer’? Who Told you? – by Sandeep Sharma”

  1. I agree, every reader is a reviewer. And every reviewer that leaves an honest review should be thanked. I make an effort to thank reviewers, especially those that leave negative reviews. After all, they sucked it up and finished my book even though they didn’t quite enjoyed it.

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    1. Very true. Even my first book that came in market, got reviewed by an ardent reader and he literally ripped it apart. I felt bad for a moment, but then started working on my next. I completed my next book in 4 months and when it arrived in paperback, I sent the book to the same reviewer and asked for review. He loved it and then I understood that how that ‘One’ negative review shaped my writing career. In short, we should thank the reviewer for sure.

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  2. Having a number of reviewers is very important for a writer’s writing career given that the writer is able to handle the review especially the negative ones. Both sides play an important role. How effectively the reviewer is able to put his opinion or feedback forward and how the author is able to learn from it to better deliver in future.

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