Sunday, May 25, 2014

Importance of Reviews

    I have read and heard that a good review, or several good reviews, can help boost a book's appeal to readers. I have written many reviews, myself, over the years, some even for important, well-known authors. Reviews sent me or published in a paper about one of my books, I have treasured and kept. However, I've never kept up with reviews on Amazon for my books. I mean, my books don't sell extremely well, and I thought that any reviews were probably few and far between. I wasn't even curious, until last night.
   True, the reviews were few for each of my main four books (Stolen, Midnight Hours, Prairie Dog Cowboy, and I Like Pink), but the reviews sent me a message from the readers.
    For example, let me share two excerpts from reviews of Stolen:
"Stolen crafted by Vivian Gilbert Zabel is the proverbial page turner done with sensitivity and emotions that will keep you wanting more." 
"Zabel pens a taunt, edge of your seat thriller with 'Stolen'." 
    Reviews about Midnight Hours included the following snippets: 
"Once I started reading about the mysterious and treacherous Midnight, an online predator who targets disabled men, I couldn't put the book down."
"Zabel has created a fast moving plot with characters you come to care about, a satisfying romance, and suspense that keeps you reading. Readers of crime fiction will appreciate Zabel's latest novel and will be hoping for more. I love a good murder mystery. I recommend this one highly for readers who are looking for interesting and believable characters, a tension filled plot, and a realistic setting."
    My young adult novel Prairie Dog Cowboy, which appeals to older readers as much as to the young, also had a few favorable comments:
"The author has a talent for speaking to her readers and putting them in the middle of the story, as if they're actually riding the range or breaking horses with Buddy and his friends."
"I got so interested in the book that I just wish it would have continued and told us about Buddy as a mature man. Good book I can recommend for all age groups."
    Finally, I'll share a couple of excerpts for I Like Pink, my first children's book:
"I Like Pink is a book with which many little girls will relate. Expressive illustrations are a wonderful complement to this book, which will educate and entertain little girls ..."
"My daughter loves this book. It is her absolute favorite."
   The reviews were all good, even if the ratings weren't all 5 Stars. They let me know that I'm doing my job as a writer, that I'm keeping the readers wanting more, wanting to read my work. 
   Even if you haven't read my books, please go to Amazon and read the reviews. Who knows, they may create a desire for you to read one or more. IF you have read one or more of my books, would you please write a review or reviews?  If you do, I'll know more about how readers accept, enjoy, or don't, my books.
     Yes, using reviews as indicators of my success in addressing my audience is the best use of reviews.


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