WHY WRITING BOOK REVIEWS IS SO IMPORTANT: A Guest Post By Sheila Goicea
Each day, billions of humans wake up to a blaring alarm. They drag themselves out of bed, dress, drink their morning cup of caffeine, eat breakfast, and prepare for the workday ahead. For some, weekdays are repetitious, but offer a sort of confidence in consistency. For others, like artists, musicians, dancers, and writers, the day consists of the same elements, but is formulated in a very different way.
Whenever a person’s vocation is driven by creativity, that creativity is what determines the schedule. In this day and age, artists of whichever genre don’t get enough credit. Quantity has outweighed importance over technical quality. To those that may not understand what it takes to write a book, the “artist’s life” may look like a frivolous one thanks to the impressions many popular movies have painted it to be. Rest assured, for it is anything but that.
There is a sort of irony that has presented itself in the modern world. Studies in Mathematics and Science have long-overtaken the centerstage, and deemed to be the most revered areas of study. The arts have found themselves demoted, dulled, and even defaced. What is often overlooked or forgotten is that the arts are the basis of almost everything in culture and history. Books are one of the most referenced and valuable time capsules that we have. Books never have, and will never go out of style. Why? Because a part of a person's soul gave each book life. Someone took the time to dream up every single aspect about a story that could, in some cases, replace the day-to-day with their vividness and relatability. What has been created by humans will never lose their value.
Out of the millions of books that have been published, these ever-growing numbers are proving that the necessity for reading and writing will never die. What gives a book life, however, is the response it receives through reviews. Book reviews are essential for the three following reasons:
1. Like anyone who owns a business, feedback, both good and bad, is essential. It’s the best way to communicate between consumer and producer. When it comes to books, this feedback comes in the form of book reviews. In most cases, book reviews come from people that aren’t being paid for taking the time to write down their reactions. If money isn’t involved, there’s little-to-nothing holding one back from giving an honest opinion.
These opinions help the author understand what their readers are looking for. Reviews can be incredibly rewarding for authors to receive from passionate and supportive readers--which is the optimal response. In the case where a reviewer may not have liked or paired with a story well, constructive criticism can be equally appreciated as it helps authors hone their talents to reach and appeal to their readers.
Reviews are equally important for fellow readers. Books have very little preliminary information divulged in terms of content. The genre(s) which the book is assigned to, and a brief synopsis are really the only two sources a reader can go off of before deciding to read or not. In addition to personal impressions and opinions, many reviewers are now including content or trigger warnings that may better indicate who said book is best suited for. Just like clothes, books are rarely one-size-fits-all. There is no way that a person will ever read all the books that have ever been published. With our finite lives, we must be diligent in choosing the right books to read that will best suit each person’s unique palette for the desired response.
2. Tieing into the first point, book reviews help an author build their style or brand. With any artistic endeavour, writers dedicate a massive amount of time to their craft, shaping and honing their thoughts into articulate utterances. Each author has their own unique voice, style, and purpose for writing that can certainly change over time. Finding that niche content, or traversing many plains of genres is determined by the author, but sometimes also by the readers.
Have you ever had a time in your life when someone made you aware of a talent that you didn’t realize you had? This is something that book reviews can provide authors. It's a scary thing to share a story that is often times personal to one’s heart. In this craft, however, bearing parts of one’s soul can lead to so many other opportunities.
3. To put it plainly, book reviews help with sales. Perhaps the less-glamorous point of this post, book reviews help to monitor how much a book is read, and how well it is received. The more reviews a book gets, the better it will sell. As it goes with almost anything, the more visage, the more interest.
An author’s vocation is one of passion and tenacity. These are some of the hardest-working people out there who commit themselves wholly to their craft. If you encounter a book you love, or an author’s voice that absolutely can’t go unheard, take a moment to write a review!