Do you “Reader Review”?

As an author, reader reviews are extremely important to me  because I write for ‘real’ readers–real women–not critics and I want to know what real readers think. Besides the obvious perks of word-of-mouth, I love seeing positive reviews from fans on sites like Amazon and Barnes& Readers always have favorite books, and some books will be more loved than others, but I appreciate every review, especially when readers can share their experience with another reader. For one, it makes me feel like I’m part of the reading community, and for another, it makes my work all the more worthwhile.

So I’m curious. Do you “reader review”?

If so, are you an avid or occasional reviewer? What are your favorite bookseller sites to post and read reviews? Is there a different one you like? Are they easy to use? Do you give reader reviews much weight? I really want to hear what you think! I’m doing a shortie contest just for this impromptu “study” with the prize being a $10 B+N gift card and tons of my fun JP goodies. Enter to win by posting a comment about reader reviews: Do you do them? Do you read them? What do you think of them? Your comment enters you in the drawing. Contest closes Friday night midnight PST and I’ll announce the winner Saturday morning.

PS  If you’ve never posted book reviews, but you want to, my fellow author Hope Tarr has a wonderful guide on how to get started. Check it out.


  1. Wow… am I the first? That’s a first. I love to read reader’s reviews. I think that my favorite site is Amazon. It’s nice to know what other fellow readers think, likes and dislikes about books and authors. I don’t usually write a review, don’t know why… I think this post will make me think more about writing reviews for the books that I read.

  2. I have written a few but mostly I enjoy writing the author themselves to tell them I enjoy the book. And I am a member of shelfari. And now there are blogs like yours I participate there as well.

  3. I don’t usually post them but have recommended different books on some blogs. I do read the reviews and not just on books but on many things that I buy. When I was buying my nephew a toy workbench for Christmas I read reviews on Amazon and Toys R Us and Walmart and bought the one with consistently good reviews and her loves it.

  4. I’ve posted a few reader reviews for authors. They were advanced copies and all I had to do was write a review on them. Both of the books I’ve done so far were great. I have a tendency to just write the author about my opinions on their book(s). One author I wrote, wrote back and asked if she could post my response to her book. I was floored and immediately wrote the author and said she could use it as a review. The only thing is I don’t read reviews myself.

  5. I love reader reviews. I feel that they are the best representation of a book. The readers are talking from the heart, not being endorsed or paid by anyone. Because of reader reviews I have found quite a few new books and authors that I may not have otherwise given a second look. Rock on reader reviews!

  6. Wow! Two in two days….

    I have to admit, I never “reader review”, but perhaps Easy on The Eyes will inspire me to do so. I must also admit that I ALWAYS read them before buying so to everyone who does review; please don’t stop!!

    Especially read the reviews for things I plan to buy my kids.

    Have a great day.

  7. I try to write reviews for books I read and enter then into Barnes & Nobles site. I love Barnes & Noble! I do read reviews from others, especially if I am looking at a new author to read. I find them very helpful 🙂

  8. I think my review career began with you Jane and other Presents authors. Because I’m passionate about romance and women’s fiction I like to share with others. I’m a reviewer for The Pink Heart Society a site for contemporary readers and authors.

    I also have two blogs, a review one called Marilyn’s Romance Reviews and a promo site for authors called Romance Author Buzz and run contests on each site.

    Then a few years back when a “sheikh book” website went down and I had invested time in reviewing “romance sheikh books” I’ve created a blog called Romancing the Desert, sheikh books. However the website is back up called Sheiks and Desert Love.

    I also post reviews on Harlequin and have joined their book challenge and now Mills and Boon are doing the same with a review site and a forum site. Hopefully I’ll see some of you there and I hope you’ll stop by to my blogs and enter the respective contest.

    You’ll also find me at Barnes and Noble and Amazon at Reader to Reader @ New and Previously Owned Books and from time to time at Powell’s.

    Sorry for the long post but Jane as you know, I do love my authors and books and can’t wait for your July release!!!

  9. I post reader reviews and I read them. I go in spurts, so am not consistent with every book I read. Amazon, Borders, and I have started reading the jobbers web sites such as Baker & Taylor and Ingram for my library tech class. They have great information and reviews for childrens books (for school libraries) and for a wide range of books in the public sector. They include books that have gotten awards, and books that may not be “award worthy”, but they are good reads. They also include reviews by employees as well as authors.

    I tend to read the reviews of people who are similar in demographics to me and who I notice seem to have the same taste in reading as I do. Not always the case, but usually a book review by a 20-something guy reading a fantasy novel will not have the same take on a book that I will.

    Of course, not all reviews are helpful! On more than one occassion I have gotten a book, in spite of a bad review or two and have loved the book.

    I do enjoy reading several reviews for the same book. I find it interesting to read what different people have to say about the same book. Often times, there are similarities, usually what they did or did not like, but because we come from different walks of life and have different views on life, five people can read the same book, but can come away with a totally different view of the book. Sometimes the “reader reviews” are quite entertaining too!

  10. I do not write reviews frequently, but I have written several reviews and posted them on Amazon over time. I am more likely to write a review for a book if I absolutely love it and want more readers to know how good the book is. I also write to authors occasionally and let them know if I really enjoyed their books.

    As for reading reviews, I sometimes read them just to learn more about the plot of a book. I do not rely on them to determine which books I purchase, though. I do not give them much weight because it is too hard to determine which reviewers have taste similar to mine. In the past, I bought books based on reviews and then didn’t like the books. I have also read books and loved them, then saw a ton of bad reviews for them on Amazon. I have to know the reviewers like the same things I do before I let their opinions sway me.

  11. I have done reader reviews a few times; I like Amazon where I go and read the reviews there. I definitely go by what others say.

  12. I do at both Barnes and Nobles and Amazon, and I read reader blogs for reccomendations.
    I most often review when I see a book I liked getting “beaten up” by unfair reviewers. It is. to me, always ok to like or dislike abook. Bu when it gets to negative comments without any supporting satements, it feels like playground bullying. So I step in, for all the good it does!

  13. I have written very few, but I do love reading them. Sometimes they help me better understand what a book is about.

  14. I’ve done a few reader reviews on Amazon, but I do most of them on WeRead, through Facebook.

    I always rate the books I read, but I don’t always review them. (Usually it’s because I get distracted and start another book, and then forget the details of the previous one, and it doesn’t seem right to review something that way. I am a scattered mess. It’s true!)

    I give some weight to what other readers write, but only if it’s more than just “the book was good” or “I’m halfway through and I like it so far.” Because I don’t like those sorts of reviews, I try to give more information about what made the book enjoyable for me, or why I didn’t connect with it.

  15. I have written a handful reviews and posted on Amazon. I usually only do it if I really love the book and it’s a keeper for me. If I’m undecided about buying a book the reader reviews is often the thing that helps me decide.

  16. Hello,

    I have never done a reader review. However, I frequently read them on Barnes and Noble. I generally find them helpful, although sometimes too much detail is given and the storyline is given away.


  17. Jane,
    I have never done it and don’t read them. I belong to book clubs and get suggestions on what to read from that and friends and blogs like yours. I might check out the link and find out about it and try. I have always thought that being a book reviewer for a magazine or newspaper (and I do check those out for possible reads) would be a perfect job because I love to read and enjoy writing, too.

  18. I often read the reviews when purchasing books through or Chapters/Indigo online, but I don’t usually leave reviews…mostly because I suffer from review-writer-anxiety and feel there is a lot of pressure to write something profound 🙂

    PS — I keep buying your books because I am NEVER disappointed! Keep writing Jane!

  19. Hi Jane,

    YES, I also read the review on everything from cameras to books, shoes, clothes, video equipment, hotel, vacation places and so on. I love to hear real peoples honest opinion on items I’m interested in. I do write review on items I really like, not as much as I should though.


  20. I am an avid book reviewer. I review books on my blog, I’ve reviewed over 300 books. I post them on Amazon and I prefer Amazon b/c I like the ranking system. I do read other reviews, I actually like reading the 1-3 star reviews b/c normally those are the true reviews instead of just gushing ones.

  21. I haven’t done book reviewers in past but recently joined a book club and a friend send me an invite to good reads and I’ve been looking at her book recommendations. I’ll probably write a few reviews on several books I’ve read in the past few months.

    Hope you are doing well in the last few weeks of your pregnancy! ~Michelle

  22. I would love to write reviews on books. I’m such an obsessive-compulsively-avid reader that perhaps it’s something I should think about.

    Your books are some of the over the top most favorite reads of mine. Mostly because I feel the realness there. I can identify as a woman. None of your writing insults my intelligence as a woman (which so many female audience books do.)

    Anywho. Great blog as always. I’m still a hugemongous fan. 😉 lol.

  23. I review for an online romance website (TRS). I also read reviews on other sites when I want to purchase a book from a new author. I think it’s important as a reviewer to give an honest but polite review of any book.

  24. I have done reader reviews on Amazon. I really like this, and use this sometimes to see what others have thought of the book.
    Jane,I give your books 5 stars, it would be 10 if they had that!

  25. I write reviews, avidly. I like reading them…. sometimes. I like book reviews that are about the books more than ones that are about the idiosyncratic-ness of the reviewer (oh I love this or I have this pet peeve but it is about them rather than the book). Blogs are different though because they can be like reading journeys and then it is about the reader too and that can be fun because there is a long term context so it is more about a community than a review about a single book. I care more about what is said than a number. Yes, Amazon but I like reviews from a whole variety of places. Amazon reviews depress me at times because they can be a popularity contest more than reviews. I like newspaper reviews the most I guess because they are more about the book than some of the love/hate things I see on Amazon but newspapers rarely review romance. Harlequin’s challenge was fun until they started pushing ratings and snippets over content. Very few reviewers are paid — none that I know of actually unless they are Kirkus, Booklist, PW etc and that is their job. An author or publisher sending a book to a reviewer doesn’t seem like a paid review to me. Just the time taken to read a book and review it is not much monetary compensation for the time taken in my opinion. What I don’t like are the reviews where it seems the person never read the book or ones filled with spoilers to prove they read it.

    I guess I read too many negative reviews sometimes because, at times, the teacher part of me wonders if readers get so little enjoyment from reading.

    I like seeing thoughtful reviews wherever they are. I just read a 1 star review the other day from a reader who hated a book but her review was a very good one to me because she pinpointed exactly what I loved about the book although it made me sad that the reviewer felt that lush descriptions were a negative thing.

    Sometimes I like to read reviews after I have read a book. What I love is when a reviewer captures the spirit of the book or when they write about another perspective on a book. I guess it functions as a book club in a way.

  26. I have written a few on Amazon, only for books I really liked that didn’t have reviews already. I’d never write a negative one. I’ve only used others when buying history books to help decide which to purchase. And offline, when I love a book, I tell EVERYBODY I KNOW!

  27. I love to review – and to read reviews. I use Shelfari religiously, but I also review on B&N and Amazon when I love a book/author. iTunes and are also great places to review audio books.

  28. I love being a reader who reviews what I read! I started to post more this year on my blog and mostly Amazon, on what I’ve read and my thoughts and a summary as well of the book. I don’t do alot of the summary because the blurb is all over, but I love to tell what I got out of it. I think that if a couple of readers decide to get the book after reading it, I feel like I did something to thank the author too. I don’t know what I’d do without these great reads!

  29. After a bit of semi-retirement, I am reviewing again. I have actually been posting reviews at Amazon for years. I used to post other places but when I went back to work I just didn’t have the time but I realize I missed sharing the passion of reading a wonderful book with others, which is why my reviews are, most of the time overwhelmingly positive. It’s sharing with others a much-loved book.

  30. I don’t read reviews. I am pretty new to this though, I just started reading books for fun last year. Your book, Flirting With Forty was my first read in years. I loved it SO much I have been reading your books ever since. 🙂 I have given some to my friends when they are done and they absoloutely love them too! I will probably never be one to read book reviews, I like to stick with certain authors I know are good.

  31. I buy books on word of mouth. So I do look on amazon and B& N to see how many stars someone gives a book. But if I read a book I like I am likely to check out the authors website for their other books. I also read an excerpt of the book if its available because if the first page catches my interest I will get it. I do not write reviews.

  32. I do read reader reviews when I am thinking about buying a book online. Usually I find out about a book through a magazine (reading an excerpt), then I check it out on Amazon.

  33. I haven’t really done any reader reviews, but I am interested in them, so I guess I will be reading Hope’s article. I do read them on occasion, but not faithfully.


  34. I do reader reviews of almost everything I read. Usually on Barnes and Noble because I just love everything about that site. I think it is easy to use and fun.
    I take the time to read other reader reviews as well. I am ALWAYS looking for something to read so I enjoy hearing what others thought about what they are reading. Sometimes it encourages me to choose a book that isn’t something i would select for myself and I love “reading outside the box.” Without reader reviews, I never would have read Devil in the White City or anything by David Sedaris and I think I would have really been missing out.

  35. I do reviews on my blog but that is it. I read the reviews on Amazon and (sometimes) Good Reads and Paperback Swap. I don’t place much weight on other’s reviews, however…and will read (or try to read) a book good reviews or not. I take more recommendations from friends and enjoy browsing bookstores to find something new.

  36. I have written a few reviews on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I enjoy reading reader reviews. I like to know if other readers have enjoyed the book.

  37. Good morning Jane!
    I have never written a review, but always read them on You definitely made me realize I do need to write reviews–especially for new authors I read.
    Keep up the good work.

  38. I’m an occasional reviewer on amazon. I’m usually one that reviews something I really like or something that I was really disappointed in.

  39. I will read reader reviews for a book I am considering buying… but I won’t slog through all the reviews. If the first couple pretty much say the same thing, then that’s the direction/opinion I take.

    I don’t post reviews, but will recommend books on sites like these when there is a poll or my opinion is asked. I like to tell authors when I have particularly enjoyed a book of theirs and I like to participate in blogs like yours.

  40. I enjoy reading reader reviews. They often help me decide which I should buy first (along with the author blurb/excerpt).

    I’ve also started reviewing books and enjoy it. I would love to have the job of book reviewer :).

    As for where I share, I do have a few posted on Amazon and I share mostly on yahoo book groups I am a member of.

    Off Topic – I caught Flirting with Forty the other day on LMN and loved it!!

  41. I love reader reviews. It’s how I know if a book is worth checking out.

    I personally have just started “reader reviews” but I publish on 🙂

  42. I do like to read reader reviews on Amazon and BN. I like to get an overall impression of whether the book is worth checking out. I look at reviews, the book’s blurb, and sometimes an excerpt before buying an author I am not familiar with.

    I don’t post reviews myself on those 2 sites, but I do discuss books I have read on various blogs that I visit.

  43. I absolutely do reader reviews for the books & authors that I love. I post them on Amazon.

    Also, before I buy a book, I like to read the reviews written by other readers–but I try not to be swayed by the negative postings.

    I prefer to only say nice things & don’t think there is any room for negative feedback in reviews or mean comments on blogs, for that matter.

  44. I love to review books. Recently I haven’t spent the time and I miss it. The second best thing to reading a books is sharing a book. That is how I feel about book reviews. I live to post on myspace blog, goodreads and amazon.
    On goodreads, If I don’t have the time for a review, I do rate a book

  45. I do reader reviews on my blogging website that I share with four fellow writers. I pick books that I loved and I ask the author to come by and leave a comment. My reviews are always positive and trying to promote the book.
    I feel like I am trying to pay it forward and help out. Karma…Karma!

  46. I do all my book browsing through BarnesandNoble,online and in store.I read the reviews and only have posted my own review a couple of times, however the one thing that bugs me are “Posters” that tell you everything about the book.I have to stop reviewing immediately or it will ruin it for me.

  47. I love to read reviews, but don’t usually get a chance to right a review. I love to share good books as well good things, & good experiences. Just don’t get a chance to do that too much. I will have to check out Hope Tarr’s wonderful guide. Thanks!

  48. Well…I never use to put much stock in them and I’ve never really done any except sporadically but I am finding them more useful than picking up a book and deciding at the end I didn’t like it. So I guess now I’m gonna start reading and writing more reader reviews.
    Have a great weekend everyone.

  49. Hi Jane

    Umm, reader reviews, that’s a very interesting question. I must admit, I always read the reviews that other readers have posted, especially on Amazon. I don’t always post a review on a book I have read, but, if my fave author, has written a great book, then I always try to post a review. I feel that I should, many authors read the reviews I think, and it gives them encouragement. I’ve only once posted a really bad review on Amazon, I haven’t done it again, I felt so mean afterwards, the author had probably slogged at that book. Every reader interprets a book differently, and other readers may have loved it. So, I know its silly, but I try to steer clear of posting negative reviews.

    And do reviews influence me when going to buy a book? No, not really, again, the author is my main reason for buying that book. That can restrict me a little, in what books you would automatically put in your basket at Amazon.

    But, in my case, if I don’t actually buy a particular book, whether because it’s not my favourite author, I would always get it out of my local library. If I like it then, I would go and buy it on Amazon. I’ve done that many times.

    Hope everything is going ok with you. Loved the post, a really interesting topic.

    xx Karen

  50. I don’t write them, but I do read them. I only pay attention if ALL the reviews agree a book is great or stinky…I take individual deviations with a grain of salt.

  51. I am so glad that your post is about reviews. I always check reviews on amazon and barnes and noble. I find these two sites helpful and very informative. I have posted reviews a few times on both of these sites. What a great resource. Take good care and have a lovely weekend.

  52. I do enjoy reading, readers reviews very much and do so often. I am not much on doing review myself. I am not very good at it. I have done a couple before but like I said I am not good at it!

  53. Hi Jane,

    I love to post reviews for my favorite authors. I look at it as my way of saying “thank you” for them sharing such wonderful stories.

    I’m very much looking forward to EASY ON THE EYES !


  54. Hi Jane! I love to read reader reviews whenever I get the chance. Sometimes they will tip the scale one way or the other as to whether or not I read something. I leave reviews sometimes but not always. I want to talk directly to people about the books I’ve read!! I have emailed authors directly a few times too to let them know how much I enjoyed their books too. Thanks!

  55. Time to announce the contest winners!

    I am posting the winner late today–so sorry! My son Jake had an early water polo game and then two more after and I’m only now getting home for lunch.

    However, I’ve decided to pick 3 winners instead of just one since you guys were so great and gave me so much good info!

    I drew names out of a hat and here’s what I got:

    #10 Jessica L

    #28 Sally JOhnson

    #37 Jerrie

    All three of you will receive a $10 B&N gift card and tons of JP reader goodies. Please send me an email with your mail address and I’ll get the gift card and goodies out in Monday’s mail.

    Congrats to all of you and thanks to everyone for participating!!


  56. Hi Jane:

    I am relatively new as reviewing but I do review my harlequins at I also belong to a yahoo group and some of the members review on their blogs as well as on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I will be checking out Hope Tarrs info on reviewing and hope to be able to “get on with the business of reviewing”.

    Evy (Vindella)

  57. I loved this post and I’ve been out of town and I’m just reading everyone’s comments. I think it’s wonderful not just your responses to Jane’s post but how you feel about reading and writing reviews. Very informative!

  58. I always browse through the reader reviews on the Barnes and Noble sight. I think it is a great idea since I usually agree with a lot of the readers and not the reviews in published works.
    The reviews on your books are usually all highly rated.
    can’t wait for the next one!

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